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Wizard of Oz: The yellow brick road to confidence

All the way from remote Pemagatshel, 29 students staged The Wizard of Oz with its famed landmark, the yellow brick road, transporting the audience to a world of musical fantasy at Motithang on Monday.

Pemagatshel Middle Secondary School (PMSS) students performed the drama, enacting Dorothy and her dog Toto along with their friends who follow the yellow brick road to Oz on Monday.

The much-loved story tells of the adventures of Dorothy and Toto as they follow the yellow brick road to meet the Wizard who can transport them home.  Along the way, they meet a Scarecrow who needs a brain, a Tin Man missing a heart and a Cowardly Lion who wants courage.

It was definitely a treat for the students as they learnt dazzling dance numbers, catchy songs and developed team spirit.

PMSS stood second in the dzongkhag-level competition.

Tshering Yangzom, the teacher and drama coordinator said the classic tale was selected because it is a story both the students and parents can connect with and enjoy.

“It is perfect for all generations. Every child can relate to it and it is something the parents will love,” she said adding that the play expresses some powerful messages and themes such as the importance of home, relationships, imaginations, dreams and human nature.

“It is colorful and interesting. It also has a musical sequence which made it more exciting for students,” said Tshering Yangzom.

The show not only helped students individually but also built a team rapport.

“The students most importantly were able to help each other in a way they had never done before,” she said.

Initiated by the Ministry of Education to promote holistic approach to education especially drama culture, a 50-day drama festival to be performed by selected schools across the country kick-started on August 16.

Each drama focuses on aspects of theater from stage craft and makeup to acting and performance.

“It was hard but with help of other teachers we created this show and managed to achieve this in a relatively short time,” said Tshering Yangzom. They set up the entire stage, stitched the costumes and did their own makeup.

“But it was fun,” she added.

The show also offered parents the opportunity to witness the impact exposure to theater and arts has on children.

Lotey Om, sister of Kinley Wangmo who played an evil witch effortlessly said, “It did not matter what role she played, I am glad she was able to do what she loves most and what she is best at.”

According to teacher Tshering Yangzom, drama is an important means to show one’s creativity, selfcontrol, discipline, communication skill and most importantly it strengthens literacy.

“It paves way for students to explore their emotions, thoughts and dreams which in one way or the other builds  selfesteem and confidence,” she said.

One of the students who played the wizard’s guard was quiet and shy while rehearsing the song, “Merry Old Land Of Oz,” where Dorothy and her friends enter the Emerald City and get makeovers but he refused to dance.

“He was not confident about his dance moves but after practice, he developed confidence. He learned the steps quickly and managed to keep up with everything going on despite being very shy. I was very impressed,” said Tshering Yangzom.

Tshering Lhaden who played Dorothy in the play said: “We performed the drama as best as we could and it was a lovely feeling. It was awesome.”

Pema Seldon from Thimphu

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