Dorothys, and Dorothys, and Dorothys, Oh My!


Photo provided by Chloe Law

MacKenzie Clegg and Chloe Law pose in costume as Dorothy.

Olivia Stubbs , Staff Writer

    After a long week of auditions, callbacks, and hearing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” for what felt like a million times, the cast list for Wizard of Oz was finally out. Senior Chloe Law, junior MacKenzie Clegg, and plenty of other RJ Reynolds student actors opened the theatre department’s Instagram page to see the results. Each searched closely for their name on the posted list.

    Much to their surprise, Law and Clegg discovered that the role of Dorothy was double cast. They would both play Dorothy, splitting performances equally.

    “Ninety-nine percent of me was like Chloe Law is getting that,” Clegg said. “I didn’t even know [double casting] was a possible option.”

    Law had the same reaction, wondering what rehearsals would be like with two people as Dorothy. Both actresses were apprehensive about the logistics of the situation, but they remained open-minded about what was to come.

    After the initial response to the casting decision, the two Dorothys began to work together. The cast performed at the Carolina Classic Fair, and though both Law and Clegg said it wasn’t a particularly excellent performance, it helped them get to know each other.

    “It was the initial bonding experience for the cast,” Clegg said.

    Once official rehearsals began, Law and Clegg started to learn their lines— an arduous task. Dorothy has over three hundred lines, including many repetitions of “ooh!” and “ah!”. This is the most nerve-racking part of playing Dorothy for Clegg, but having Law with her along the way has made it easier.

    “For me, it’s the lines,” Clegg said. “I’m pretty confident that the character itself is going to come with it once the memorization is done [but] it’s that initial step of becoming comfortable.”

    Being together during this challenge has taken some pressure off both actresses, as they can lean on each other for support. However, Law and Clegg participate in theatre outside of school and have experience with this responsibility. Law has been in twelve shows in the two years since she moved to Winston-Salem. Theatre is her most significant commitment.

    “It’s what I want to do for the rest of my life,” Law said. “It’s what I’m going to college for. It’s shaped how I live my life.”

    Law has been acting since she was four years old, and she plans to go to college in New York City next year to get her Bachelor in Fine Arts in musical theatre. She loves storytelling, and it has drawn her to the stage. For her last performance at RJR, Law wants to inspire underclassmen to strive for their artistic dreams.

     “For other people to look up to me,” Law said, “That’s really special.”

    Law’s inspiration has not gone unnoticed. Clegg is living proof and knows from personal experience how younger RJR actors see Law. 

    “When I was an underclassman, that’s what I did,” Clegg said when asked if other students look up to Law. 

    For Clegg, the goal is similar. She wants to impact the audience.

    “If I can touch at least one person in the audience, then all the work I’ve put in will have been worth it,” Clegg said.

    They will meet these goals in a couple of weeks as Law and Clegg continue to perfect their performances at each rehearsal. With each other’s support and gratitude for sharing the stage, they will soon be ready to share the spotlight.