“Love, Dot” opens with exceptional performances by all, dazzling audience members


Isabella Moranheras ’22 and Timothy Woodward ’24 enact a climactic scene before their audience. Photo by Jason Zhou ’23.

The weekend before Spring Break, many members of the Hill and surrounding Pottstown community found themselves traveling down the yellow brick road as the Ellis Theatre Guild presented “Love, Dot.” This modern take on “The Wizard of Oz” follows the story of Dot (played by Isabella Moranheras ’22), a young girl who travels to the fantastical city of Oz in search of her late mother’s best friend. Along the way, she encounters dangers, triumphs, new friends, enemies and magic. 

The production of “Love, Dot” is a momentous realization for the Ellis Theatre Guild, as it was created specifically by a team of professionals to be brought to life by Hill students. Each scene was expertly crafted to meet the exigencies of the Hill’s stage. The characters themselves showed an incredible amount of development characterized by not just incredible acting but also extraordinary writing that allowed them to flourish. Those coordinating the production worked tirelessly throughout the winter months to produce a product that is not just a show but the genesis of a new stratum of theatre. 

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  • The Kansas ensemble members open with “Only in a Small Town.” Photo by Jason Zhou ’23.

  • Isabella Moranheras ’22 belts to her audience. Photo by Jason Zhou ’23.

  • Leona (Tiffany Lee ’22) and her “momager” (Sissi Zhen ’24). Photo by Jason Zhou ’23.

  • Daniel Schlegel ’23 sings “Every Step You Take.” Photo by Jason Zhou ’23.

  • Members of the ensemble carry large props across the stage during the rendition of “I Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas. Photo by Jason Zhou ’23.

  • Geordie Ravara ’22 plays “The Wizard.” Photo by Jason Zhou ’23.

  • Geordie Ravara ’22 sings “I Don’t Wanna Show Off.” Photo by Jason Zhou ’23.

  • Daniel Schlegel ’23 and Timmy Woodward ’24 play the Wicked Witch of the West and Glen, respectively. Photo by Jason Zhou ’23.

  • Isabella Moranheras ’22, Tiffany Lee ’22, Meredith Mark ’24, and Meena Ali ’23 stand side-by-side on the stage. Photo by Jason Zhou ’23.

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Hill students who attended the show were ecstatic to see their peers’ performance. Marty Campagnoli ’22 remarked, “I loved ‘Love, Dot!’ I was especially struck by the costumes. The character Glen [played by Timmy Woodward ’22] had costume changes, each with plastic bubbles applied to them and a full face of makeup that was absolutely incredible. The special effects were terrific; the bubble machine, the smoke machines, and the mirror screens looked so professional. I was overall astonished at how high school students can be this talented and produce a show that was Broadway level.”

The quality of performance was unparalleled. There were many moments in the show that were chilling in how well a number was executed; however, this initial feeling of astonishment was quickly followed by awe and pride in those who portrayed their characters so well. Each scene had a clear purpose, and the use of space throughout the show made the audience feel as though they themselves were a part of the performance. The level of precision in the technical aspects of the show were visually stunning, as light, sound, and image were used to create otherworldly illusions that extended Oz beyond the stage. 

“Love, Dot” received an exceptional reaction from the audience. Cathy Carney P’22 remarked, “I absolutely loved ‘Love, Dot’s’ take on ‘The Wizard of Oz.’ The energy in the room was fantastic, and the performances of the cast were simply amazing. I teared up in one of the final scenes. I want to see it again and again!” 

Cast, ensemble and crew members were ecstatic during the performance, showing a deep level of enthusiasm and pride in their roles. Woodward reflected on this journey: “‘Love, Dot’ was an incredible learning experience for me. I absolutely loved spending time with everyone involved, and the audience brought the whole show together. I cannot thank every faculty member involved for such an amazing time and show.”

Congratulations are in order for the Ellis Theatre Guild and everyone else involved in the production. Their hard work and attention to detail are truly exceptional; the Hill and the rest of the Pottstown community are grateful to be their audience. 

For more information on the Hill school arts program visit https://www.thehill.org/arts/theatre or follow The Hill School Theatre on Instagram @hilltheatre.