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Young Achiever: The Wiz comes to CedarBridge

  • Wicked performance: Quinceé Jones, 15, plays Addaperle, the Good Witch of the North, in the CedarBridge Academy production of The Wiz

CedarBridge Academy students brought The Wiz to life this weekend in front of cheering crowds.

However, students Quinceé Jones, Joshua Harney and Trinae Edwards said the show was the result of weeks of dedicated work.

Quinceé, 15, said: “We have been putting in a lot of hours, working into the night. Sometimes we have sleepovers just to make sure we know our parts.

“It takes a lot of time. You have to be dedicated.”

Quinceé played Addaperle, the Good Witch of the North, who helps Dorothy along her journey.

She said: “She’s here to help her get to Emerald City. She draws people in. She’s just very fierce.”

Quinceé has always loved the performing arts, including music, drama and dance, but The Wiz was her first big musical.

She said: “I just wanted to see what it would be like to be on Broadway, because I’ve never done a Broadway-type show.

“It’s been amazing but also very stressful. You have to remember your lines, you’ve got to deal with everyone off stage to make sure everyone knows what they’re doing. If you have enough practice, it’s fine, but because I’m starting, it’s a bit stressful.”

Quinceé was thrilled to be involved in the production, but was unable to pick out a highlight of the experience.

She said: “I think it’s an amazing show. The whole show is a highlight. It’s really artistic, with a lot of pizazz.”

Her favourite musical is the Broadway hit Hamilton, but she said she would be afraid to try out for such a huge show.

Quinceé said: “I love Hamilton. I don’t think I could do it, though. It’s too much. I couldn’t do all those songs.”

However, she urged anyone interested in trying the performing arts to give it a shot.

Quinceé said: “It’s a wonderful experience. You have no idea. It makes you open yourself to new things and helps you find yourself.”

While Quinceé may have been in the spotlight on stage, CedarBridge students were hard at work behind the scenes as well to make the show a reality.

Joshua, 17, helped to build the show’s various set pieces, while Trinae, 16, put her crafting talents to the test by making costumes.

Joshua, who made a brief appearance on stage during the show, has been working backstage on the shows since he came to CedarBridge.

He said: “I have a passion for working with my hands. I like building stuff, fixing things and putting them back together. It runs in my blood.

“I enjoy being a part of it, meeting people as they come into the school and working alongside different people.”

Trinae hand-sewed the Lion’s jacket and worked with others to piece together the Scarecrow’s costume.

She said: “It was quite a bit of work. It took me a few hours to do the jacket and it took us about a day to do the Scarecrow costume.

“It’s fun. I’ve done this for other shows as well. It feels good to see your work on stage.”

Trinae wants to continue working in fashion, while Joshua hopes to become an aircraft mechanic.