Follow the Yellow Brick Road: Pa. Youth Theater’s ‘The Wizard of Oz’ Comes to Zoellner

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — The Yellow Brick Road is coming to the Lehigh Valley.

Pennsylvania Youth Theatre, or PYT, will present “The Wizard of Oz” beginning Thursday and running through Sunday, May 19 at the Zoellner Arts Center, 420 E. Packer Ave.

Based on a version performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company, the play will feature student performances of well-known songs such as “Somewhere Over The Rainbow,” “Munchkinland (Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead)” and “If I Only Had a Brain.”

Rehearsals for the 78-actor production began in February.

The show is the product of artistic director Jill Dunn Jones, choreographer Darah Donaher, musical director Matthew Asti, production director Braden Drake, stage directors Jillian McLuhan and Corinne Philbin, costume designer Bill Bauman and designer lighting Anthony Forchielli.

Fundraising for a new house

Ticket sales will support PYT programs and raise money for a new home.

The youth theater will be displaced when the Banana Factory is demolished in April 2025 to clear the way for ArtsQuest’s new cultural arts center at 25 W. Third St. in South Bethlehem.

The proposed $22 million project would give PYT less space than needed to house its dance, acting and voice classes, PYT CEO Valerie Reinhardt told in February.

According to Reinhardt, PYT needs at least $1.5 million to buy a performance hall and renovate it.

The performing arts school, with 650 students (preschool through 12th grade) offers year-round programs in acting, singing and dance.

Additionally, PYT produces three to four major plays throughout the year and attracts between 10,000 and 16,000 people.

To purchase tickets to “The Wizard of Oz,” click here.