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Faces & Places Ministries to present ‘Follow the Yellow Brick Road’ Sunday at Harkins Hall

Faces & Places Ministries will present “Follow the Yellow Brick Road” at St. Matthew’s Harkins Hall on Sunday, April 27 at 3 p.m.
Although it takes a slightly different path, “Follow the Yellow Brick Road” tells the story of “The Wizard of Oz”, brining to life all the favorite characters from the original story.
This weekend’s performance will be the last, following a small tour which took the cast throughout central Pennsylvania.
While known for their dedication to bring the Gospel to life through biblical productions, as well as real to life stories, many people have asked why Faces & Places Ministries chose to perform this take on “The Wizard of Oz”.
According to Faces & Places members, one of the reasons for doing the show is because it is rich in spiritual truths.
“The yearning for heaven and the corresponding redemption from evil are illustrated in it from beginning to end,” said Drew M. Baker.
“In the beginning, Dorothy talks about going ‘someplace where there isn’t any trouble.’ She wants to go ‘over the rainbow,’ where there are no problems.
“These thoughts are paralleled in our own longings for paradise and freedom from the effects of the curse, to be fulfilled at the end of the age, when paradise will again be restored through redemption in Christ.”
Another important spiritual principle is the powerlessness of evil in the presence of good. Think back to the movie’s struggles between the wicked witch and Glinda, the good witch.
According to Baker, the wizard himself in some ways portrays aspects of God’s character.
“He is awesome and unapproachable, yet at the same time, personal and very approachable,” said Baker.
“Then, there is a clear reference to God’s omniscience when the wizard says, ‘Silence! The Great and Powerful Oz knows why you have come.’”
These are just a few ways in which the story parallels the Christian faith. Those in attendance can watch this play with new eyes as they see the many other references and similar spiritual ideas that are presented throughout the show.
“And so it is for those who follow the path of the Lord–the path of righteousness. While Dorothy and her companions were traveling along the path that they were directed to follow, they encountered evil of various kinds, and it was at times very frightening, but they always managed to get through it safely,” added Baker, “If we are obedient, God will get us through the frightening and evil things we encounter, and He will actually grant us great success in our spiritual battles.
“Yet, when all is said and done, we cannot take credit for success in finishing the course, or fulfilling His call. We can only obey God and wait for Him to do the impossible. We are only able put into operation God-given courage, love, and obedience, and He takes care of the rest. The end result will be the destruction of evil.”
The cast for this performance includes, in order of appearance: Kathleen Beck of Tyrone as Dorothy; Jessica Murphy of Altoona as Toto; Mary Edna Lykens of Tyrone as Aunt Em; Erik Baker of Tyrone as Uncle Henry; Karen Beasom of Tyrone as Almira Gulch; Drew M. Baker of Tyrone as Prof. Marvel; Betsy Beck of Tyrone as Glinda; Donna Derdel of State College as the Wicked Witch; Drew M. Baker of Tyrone as Scarecrow; Jack Wagner of Tyrone as Tinman; Erik Baker of Tyrone as Lion; Joyce Kennedy of Altoona as Doorgirl and Jack Servello of Altoona as the Wizard.
The Forest Trees are played by Judy Campbell, Tyrone; Jayne McPhail, Tyrone and Cindy Murphy, Altoona and the Munchkins are portrayed by: Connor Garman, Stephen Garman, Morgan Garman, MJ Hunt, Kali Lingenfelter and Marlena Wagner.
Costumes for the production were provided by Karen Baker of Tyrone. Technical Assistance by Jack Servello and Servello Family Studios of Altoona and makeup and hair was done by Erika Garman, Tyrone.