ESCAPE to bring Emerald City to Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center

The Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons. Katharine Lotze/Signal

Though there’s no yellow brick roads around College of the Canyons, the Emerald City can still be found with a performance of “The Wizard of Oz” presented by the ESCAPE Theatre at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center on Saturday.

“(We have) 320 youth in the cast,” said director Kyle Burson. “We split the cast, each do half of the performances over the two weekends and they all get the opportunity to improve.”

The show will include and orchestra and different sets, along with classic tunes like “Over the Rainbow” and “We’re Off to See the Wizard.”

The ESCAPE, or Experience Santa Clarita’s Actor’s Performing Ensemble Theatre, hosts two to three musicals, a two-week long summer camp and a six-week holiday dinner-theater event, according to the theater’s website.

Children and teenagers are able to excel as they continue performing as a way to build up their confidence on stage, Burson added.

“They amaze us and they amaze themselves from where they started to where they finish with their performance,” Burson said. “That’s the joy that I get.”

Lindsay Gambini, managing director of the Performing Arts Center, remarked after Friday’s performance that it featured a lot of flying from the cast members.

“It’s a lot of fun,” she said. “Today’s house was sold out, and you still could have heard a pin drop at the end. The kids were mesmerizing.”

Tickets will cost $18 for children and seniors, $22 for adults. For more information, call (661) 299-5264 or stop by escapetheatre.org. There will be a showing at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

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About the author

Ryan Mancini

Ryan Mancini

Ryan Mancini covers local news for The Signal. He joined in 2018, previously working as a reporter and editor for The Sundial, Scene Magazine and El Nuevo Sol while a student at California State University, Northridge, where he studied journalism and political science. He's lived in Santa Clarita since 2002.