Coal Point school children and staff dress as Wizard of Oz characters to win tickets to arena spectacular in Newcastle

Staff and children at Coal Point Public School dressed up on Friday in the hope of winning tickets to The Wizard of Oz - Arena Spectacular in Newcastle next month.

There were dozens of Dorothys, Tin Men, Scarecrows and Cowardly Lions - but also plenty of Wizards, Wicked Witches of the West, Good Witches of the South, Winged Monkeys, Munchkins and even a Hurricane and Yellow Brick Road.

Principal Kim Creswell - who dressed as Cowardly Lion - said the enthusiastic and wholehearted response from the staff and children was typical.

"I've been here 12 years now and whether it's a Easter hat parade, book parade, or Christmas assembly, the school community supports them all," Ms Creswell said.

"The parents have gone all out today. They've created some incredible costumes."

The Wizard of Oz - Arena Spectacular

The school staff were also fully on board.

Coal Point was one of 10 schools across the Hunter who dressed up for the day.

A picture of the best dressed student from each school has been published online this week. The picture that attracts the most votes will win hundreds of tickets to the show for their school.

Harvest Rain, the producers of the Grease and Hairspray arena productions in Newcastle in recent years, have turned their talents to The Wizard of Oz.

Musical theatre star Simon Gallaher will lead the professional cast as The Wizard.

He will be joined by Brisbane Academy of Musical Theatre graduate Carly Bettinson, who will play Dorothy.

Chris Geoghegan will play Scarecrow, Michael Nunn is Tin Man, and Josh Whitten the Cowardly Lion.

And just as they did in their previous arena shows, the new production will feature a large mass ensemble of more than 500 young Hunter performers who will play Munchkins, Poppies, Emerald City Citizens, Winkies and Jitterbugs.

Three Coal Point students have been cast.

The show features a nine-metre tall LED Imax screen that will bring the land of Oz to life in the arena, with wall-to-wall interactive animations.

The Wizard of Oz - Arena Spectacular will begin its national tour at Newcastle Entertainment Centre with four performances from April 26 to April 28. Visit wizardofozarena.com for tickets.

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