Dancing along a yellow brick road is an enthusiastic cast from Hunterville School working extra hard at their production of The Wizard of Oz.

Well-known Hawke's Bay director Wendy Revell, who recently directed the musical Dusty for Taihape, is at the helm. And the 30-plus children in the cast are all keen and motivated.

A group of the lead characters - including Dorothy, Tin Man, Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion and the Wicked Witch of the West - told the Chronicle it was exciting working on the show.

The five students all said they weren't really sure at first what the Wizard of Oz was about, but they soon learned when they were shown the 1939 film starring Judy Garland.


Confidence oozed as they talked about how much they loved to sing, dance and act.

"I love being on the stage and I really like singing by myself," said Anna Hughes, who is playing Dorothy.

In the role of Scarecrow, Asha Stevenson, who came to Hunterville School this year from Rotorua, said she had been singing and dancing for as long as she could remember.

"I've just always done it, so I'm very glad to be in the show."

Playing the Wizard, Credance Duncan, another new student who arrived this year from Taumarunui, said he felt really good. "I've been in shows in Taumarunui and always had a good time."

Tin Man actor Alex Legner thinks his height will be perfect.

"I am very tall. I am taller than the Lion, and he should really be taller than me, but I don't think it will matter that much."

"Of course it won't," said Josh Lourie, who is playing the Lion.

"I'm a very loud lion."

Although the students hadn't really heard the music before, they were learning it quickly.

Playing the Wicked Witch, Daisy Lane, another new student who came from Taihape this year, said she had had experience from playing Annie last year.

As the lead, Dorothy has most of the songs. "But I get a lot of help from everyone else," Anna said.

There will be four performances: two evenings and two afternoons on August 4 and 5.

In a rural town like Hunterville, rugby was usually the big school attraction.

Principal Stephen Lewis said although they loved their rugby, the school always presented a fantastic show every two years.

"We're always very proud of our students on stage."