PHOTOESSAY: We’re Off To See Peninsula Youth Theatre!

Newly cast actors in Peninsula Youth Theatre’s The Wizard of Oz practice songs and rehearse nearly every evening at PYT studios in Mountain View.

Director Marcie Shapiro is shown working hard creating her vision for the timeless musical. Marcie has previously partnered with PYT as a choreographer, but now it’s her turn to direct for the company. “I spent months looking at the script and coming up with ideas of how to incorporate more kids in more unique roles in the ensemble,” Marcie states. “Sure enough all the comedians, all the dancers, and all the singers that I was looking for could be applied to those little things that I had created. I’m very excited for the show.”

Isabel Stewart, a regular PYT-er, is playing Dorothy Gale in this production. Isabel has performed in eleven other musicals with the company. “I’m definitely excited for the show, but also a little bit nervous. It’s really nerve wracking being the lead role, but it’s also super exciting,” Isabel says.

Eva Colliou and Marisa Barry are featured in the ensemble in The Wizard of Oz. Both are returning actors at PYT, and they are ecstatic to be rehearsing for the November performances. “The Wizard of Oz looked like a fun show and a lot of people were asking me if I was doing it,” Eva explains. “I’ve always loved The Wizard of Oz, so I decided why not be a part of it,” Marisa says.

It takes more than just the actors on the stage to make a production. Behind the scenes one can find a dedicated crew working on sets, props, and costumes. Putting on a full-scale musical is expensive and it takes a team to get the show from rehearsals to the stage. Therefore, PYT relies on parent and family volunteers who generously donate their time and money.

Michelle Lawlor and Mike Cobb are co-producing The Wizard of Oz along with Susie Lew (not pictured). Despite all the paperwork, you can count on the producers to get the job done. PYT’s producers regularly blog about the show’s progress on the company’s Facebook page. For more information or to purchase tickets, check out the official PYT website at

The purpose of this photojournalism essay project in my opinion was to utilize the skills and effective techniques I had learned inside the classroom that are needed to create a proper photograph and caption. With such knowledge, I geared my project towards the topic of theatre production with a local theatre group with which I have many ties with. I explored the numerous aspects of the creation of a show in its first stages and by doing this I have hopefully informed my audience about the significant work and effort that comes into producing a full-scale musical.