Hickory – There are six young actors playing what are literally small parts in the Hickory Community Theatre’s upcoming production of “The Wiz.” Their roles are messengers, mice, monkeys and, of course, munchkins.

Rihanna Carson is in the fourth grade and her dad works for Catawba County. This is her first stage play. Byron Phillips is a fifth grade student at Longview Elementary and his mom, Betty is the stage manager of this production. Byron has been in two previous productions by the RugBug Theatre@HCT but this is his first mainstage performance. Nathaniel Phillips, Byron’s brother, is a third grader at Longview, where he has received awards for reading. This is his first play at HCT. He plans to be a veterinarian when he grows up.

Dalyn Elise Sigmon is from Newton and loves to act. She has been on stage twice, once with the RugBugTheatre@HCT and in “The Wizard of Oz” at Bandys High School. She has also been in church plays at Mt. Ruhama Baptist in Maiden.  Keora Turner lives in Hickory and likes reading, drawing, singing and playing with her animals. At school she is in the Get Moving Club and is a CAC Kids Helper. “The Wiz” is her first play. Kenna Walton is the oldest of four kids and this is her second show at the Theatre. She was part of the ensemble in “The Music Man,” last December. She studies musical theatre at Sonya’s Dance Academy.

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 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: (back) Nathaniel Phillips, Byron Phillips, (front) Rihanna Carson, Kenna Walton and Dalyn Sigmon play mice, monkeys and munchkins in “The Wiz,”  opening September 2nd at the Hickory Community Theatre. For tickets or more information click hickorytheatre.org or call 828-327-3855. Photo by John Koval.