By Becky GINOS firstname.lastname@example.org BOUNTIFUL—Children at Muir Elementary are off to see the wizard with a magical journey to Oz as they present the well-loved play, “The Wizard of Oz.” “We selected the play before the end of last year,” said director/parent Lisa Thorne who has four children in the show. “We got into full gear in August. I was one of the music directors for last year’s play and I just volunteered.” There are 145 fourth – sixth graders in the production. “It was unexpected how many people wanted to participate so we had to have three casts,” she said. “It’s more work on us but totally worth it. We want everybody to be able to take part.” The students have been practicing since January, said assistant director/parent Stephanie Hubbel, whose three children are in the play. “It’s been intense for the kids,” she said. “We’ve had so much parent help. They’ve spent tons of time sewing costumes and building sets. Two are chorographers and others have been acting coaches.” “The Wizard of Oz” is a young performers edition so there are a few small differences Hubbel said. “In this version there are jitterbugs that dance to try and shake the ruby slippers off.” Hubbel has helped with the last two productions at the school so when Thorne asked her to assist she jumped on board. “I do all the background stuff like the sound system, microphones, sets, props,” she said. “I’m kind of a Jack of all trades.” It’s all been worth it though to work with the children. “I’m a lunch lady and I see these kids every day and I’ve gotten to know them,” said Hubbel. “They’re so fun and cute. They have so much talent. It was really hard for some of them to audition. Some were on the brink of tears they were so nervous. But it’s great to see what potential people have. Sometimes they just need the confidence that they have a role.” The production has brought kids together who didn’t know each other before, she said. “It’s almost like they’re part of a special club,” said Hubbel. “The sixth-graders mingle with the fifth-graders. It’s kind of like team building. We told them ‘the cast is your family for the next three months.’” Fletcher Hubbel plays the Tin Man in one of the casts. “I’ve been in the last three shows the school has done,” said the sixth-grader. “It’s fun being around friends and having the costumes. I think it’s fun going out on stage and saying my lines. I want to be in plays when I get to junior high.” Hubbel said helping with the play has become like a full-time job. “I call it a labor of love,” she said. “I’m doing it for the kids because I love them. I hope they can look back on this and have fond memories.” The show is running now through Saturday March 24 with a performance tonight at 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 2:30 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased online or at the door. Muir Elementary is located at 2275 S. Davis Blvd., Bountiful.