Theater-goers who get out to see “THE WIZARD OF OZ” at the Mesa Arts Center this weekend will be amazed at the talent of the young actors of CYT Phoenix, but they’ll also meet a new blossoming talent: the pup portraying Toto–Meeko.
Local teen Kymberlee Williamson is both Meeko’s owner and trainer. She describes how Meeko came to be a part of their family. “I had been begging my parents for a dog for about three years. We went to Halo Animal Rescue and saw Meeko.” The family was smitten. Meeko is currently only fourteen months old and because she loved doing tricks, Williamson thought she would enjoy being on stage. When asked how she trains Meeko to work with the young actors of CYT, Williamson says, “There are many baby steps when training dogs. Once the dog figures the behavior out, the next part is teaching each of the actors how to hold the dog, how to give treats to the dog and when to give the treats. Timing is everything when it comes to dog training. “
Williamson says that being part of “THE WIZARD OF OZ” has been fun, mostly because they have gotten to meet a great group of people. “Meeko looks forward to seeing them every rehearsal,” she says. “It has been a great learning experience for both Meeko and I. We have both learned many things about the performing arts and are looking forward to other opportunities.”
And who knows? Maybe one day you’ll see Meeko on Broadway.
CYT's production of “THE WIZARD OF OZ,” features lush choral arrangements, gorgeous costuming, and fantastic sets. Performances continue through this weekend at the Mesa Arts Center, located at One E. Main St, Mesa, AZ 85201.
Showtimes are as follows:
Friday, May 15th – 7:00pm
Saturday, May 16th – 1:00pm & 4:30pm
Sunday, May 17th – 2:00pm
Click here for more information about this production