‘Wizard of Oz’ at PS 192

Third-grade teachers and students adapt film in honor of 75th anniversary

Brooklyn Daily
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Ding, dong the witch is dead: The Lullaby League steals the show.
If I only had a brain: Dorothy, played by Fajr Butt, and the Scarecrow, played by Steve Dudkin, have great on-stage chemistry.
Lions and tigers and bears: From left, Fajr Butt, Danny Lauriero, Ian Fiterman, Fredy Rojas, Jimmy Govea, Steven Dudkin take a walk down the yellow brick road.
I’ll get you my pretty: Ariella Abramova shows her best witch face.

Somewhere over the rainbow turns out to be PS 192 on 18th Avenue.

Seventy-five third graders celebrated the 75th anniversary of the classic film “The Wizard of Oz” with a rousing stage rendition on May 22 and May 23.

“It was wonderful,” said Assistant Principal Leslie Pagliaro.

The show was the product of a two-month collaboration between four third-grade teachers, the visual arts department, the dance instructor, and the children themselves. The teachers read “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” novel with their classes in March, and watched the movie in May. Then they sat down with the students and worked out a way to adapt the film into a live-action musical.

“We talked about the dances, and about how we could recreate a play based on the movie,” said Literacy through Music and Movement teacher Letizia Draghi.

The teachers and their students whittled the story down to an hour, and added songs from “The Wizard of Oz”-inspired musicals “Wicked” and “The Wiz.” The kids rehearsed for a month, with one class filling out the cast, one class peforming as the chorus, and one doing the dances. It culminated in a stunning performance on stage, with Draghi naming the scene when the tornado whisks Dorothy and Toto away as the most exciting. When the girl and her little dog seek shelter from the storm inside her house, the two picked it up from inside and started spinning it, as their peers whirled around them to illustrate the storm.

“It was definitely our most exciting scenes,” said Draghi.

The show raised more than $1,000 for the anti-cancer fund Relay for Life.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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