JFKMHS Goes Over the Rainbow


Vishwa Patel

Cast members prepare for their big opening night.

Vishwa Patel

This year, JFKMHS presents “The Wizard of Oz” as its spring musical. Opening night will be held on Thursday, March 2, at 7 p.m. and show times will run until March 4. The musical stars senior Anaina Vineeth as Dorothy, senior Jonne Ramos as the Scarecrow, junior Vihaan Agrawal as the Tin-Man and junior Shivam Patel as the Lion.

“The Wizard of Oz” tells the story of Dorothy Gale, who ends up in the strange land of Oz after a tornado blows her and her dog, Toto, away. Dorothy must then return home to her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry in Kansas, with the help of the Wizard of Oz, while she is hunted for her ruby slippers by the Wicked Witch of the West. With the help of a scarecrow, a lion, and a tin-man, Dorothy must travel across Oz, find the Wizard of Oz, and find her way back home.

“I was really shocked, and really happy, obviously. It just took a while to set in,” Vineeth stated while talking about receiving her role. “I didn’t expect it because everyone there was so talented and this cast is really good.”

To prepare for her role as Dorothy, Vineeth did a lot to train her voice and learn how to act more like a child.

“I was changing it [her voice] to sound not too much like a damsel in distress, and training it to be somewhat kid-like,” Vineeth said. “There was a lot of just standing in front of the mirror and just talking to myself. And then I would voice-record and listen back and I just kept changing it until it sounded right.”

“Mrs. Prusicki actually inspired me to do theater,” Vineeth stated while talking about what got her into acting. “We had this project in English where we had to act out vocabulary words and she gave me the best actor award and she was like ‘you should try out for the play,’ and like I always wanted to do musical theater, but I was too intimidated by it, but this [award] helped me.”

After debuting her role as Play Director with “Annie” last year, Mrs. Ebner talks about why she picked “The Wizard of Oz” as this year’s spring musical.

“When we were out for Covid, the idea came to that there’s no place like home and for me, JFK was always like a second home, and so the idea came to me to do ‘The Wizard of Oz’ as the show.” Mrs. Ebner said. “But, ‘Annie’ and ‘The Wizard of Oz’ are two very different shows, and it only being my second year, I didn’t realize how much bigger it [‘The Wizard of Oz’] was.

Mrs. Ebner also mentioned how she felt while interacting with the cast members outside the classroom.

“Some students are very quiet and shy in the classroom, and when I see them in the play, they open up more and I get to see more of their personalities and their creativity and it makes me very proud.” Mrs. Ebner stated.

Mrs. McKeever, who has been the play choreographer for 17 years, shares a similar opinion.

“It is a very rewarding experience because you get to work with students in a different way and see them grow from not knowing anything, to being able to put on this big performance in front of a lot of people.” Mrs. Mckeever states. “A lot of students make you go ‘wow’ because you wouldn’t think they’d go up on stage and sing and dance.”

Even in the face of many difficulties like time and a fallen curtain, all of the cast, crew, and faculty persevered to put on an incredible performance for their friends and family.

Performances will also be held on Feb. 28 for senior citizens and March 1 for the Menlo Park Terrace School 19 elementary students.