Hickory – Vanessa Adams-Harris, the director of the Hickory Community Theatre’s upcoming production of “The Wiz,” has just announced the cast of the musical adventure, which sets the classic story of “The Wizard of Oz” to a soulful, rock score.

Nauria Mitchell is Dorothy, Tiffany Gray is Aunt Em. Niyesha Green and Thelma Eley play the good witches, Glinda the Witch of the South and Addaperle the Witch of the North, respectively. Kecia Hopper plays the villainous Evilene, the Wicked Witch of the West and Malik Hill is her Lord High Underling. Of the friends Dorothy meets first on her adventure through Oz, Naomi Segers is the Scarecrow, R.J. Christian is the Tin Man and Donovan Harper is the Cowardly Lion. In the Emerald City, Marcus Phillips is the Gatekeeper and David Ingle is The Wiz.

The ensemble actors play a variety of characters and creatures, including citizens, messengers, mice, monkeys and Munchkins. This ensemble features Denise Bukovan, Rihanna Carson, Tiffany Christian, Amanda Foster, Byron Phillips, Nathaniel Phillips, Dayln Sigmon, Emily Stober, Keora Turner and Kenna Walton.

Performances of “The Wiz” are Fridays and Saturdays – September 2, 3, 9, 10, 16 and 17 at 8:00pm; Thursdays – September 8 and 15 at 7:30pm; and Sundays – September 11 and 18 at 2:30pm.

Tickets for Friday through Sunday performances are $20, with a $2 discount for seniors and half price for students and for youth 18 and under. Thursday night performances all adults are $14 and youth and students are $10. Tickets may be purchased online at www.hickorytheatre.showare.com or at the Theatre box office, which is open 12-5 Wednesday through Saturday, in person or by phoning 828-328-2283.

The Hickory Community Theatre is a Funded Affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County. “The Wiz” is the first show in the Theatre’s 68th season, sponsored by Paramount Automotive, and is produced by Cargo Transporters, Corning Optical Communications, Dr. Kimberly S. Jones DDS and TRUMPF, Inc.

Photo: The cast of “The Wiz” (Floor: Amanda Foster, Nathaniel Phillips, David Abernathy Byron Phillips, Marcus Phillips; 1st row: Rihanna Carson, Kenna Walton, Dayln Sigmon, Tiffany Gray; 2nd row: Malik Hill, Kecia Hopper, Keora Turner, David Ingle, Nauria Mitchell, Naomi Segers; 3rd row: Tiffany Christian, Niyesha Green, Denise Bukovan, Donovan Harper, and R.J. Christian,) opening September 2nd at the Hickory Community Theatre.

For tickets or more information go to www.hickorytheatre.org or call 828-327-3855.

Photo by John Koval