Father, daughter share stage for 'Wizard of Oz'

Adam Shults (from left) as the Scarecrow, Madison Anderson as Dorothy, Tim McFall as the Tinman and Madison's father, Jim Anderson, as the Cowardly Lion in Aiken Kidney Benefit's "The Wizard of Oz."

 Jim Anderson has had a lifelong passion for theater, so it was only natural that his daughter, Madison, developed the same passion.


They first shared the stage in the Aiken Kidney Benefit’s production of the musical Oliver in 2005. Madison, a fifth-grader, pulled her hair under a hat at auditions and landed the title role, usually played by a boy. Her father accidentally got his role.

“I stood in to read a role when somebody wasn’t there,” Anderson said, “and wound up playing the bad guy in the show. It was a thrill to share something I’ve loved my entire life with my daughter.”

Madison, now a high school senior, will put her hair in pigtails this weekend in the Aiken Kidney Benefit production of The Wizard of Oz. As Dorothy, she will again share the stage with her father, who plays the Cowardly Lion.

“When we were onstage in Oliver, I kept telling Dad he wasn’t being mean enough,” Madison said. “Now, we’re just a couple of big goofballs on stage, having a lot of fun together.”

The Aiken Kidney Benefit raises funds for people with kidney disease and dialysis patients. The benefit does not pay medical bills but helps with everyday expenses, such as groceries and utility bills.

The musicals have been a big fundraiser for the group. They have staged Oliver, Guys and Dolls, Cinderella and more.

The Wizard of Oz will be performed at 8 p.m. Sept. 28-29 and Oct. 5-6 and 3 p.m. Sept. 29-30 and Oct. 6-7, at the URS Center for the Performing Arts, 126 Newberry St. SW, Aiken. Tickets are $25 adults and $20 for ages 60 and older, and ages 12 and younger. Call (803) 648-1438 for more information.


WHAT: Aiken Kidney Benefit production of The Wizard of Oz
8 p.m. Sept. 28-29, Oct. 5-6; 3 p.m. Sept. 29-30, Oct. 6-7
URS Center for the Performing Arts, 126 Newberry St. SW, Aiken
$25 adults; $20 seniors (60 and older) and children (12 and younger); (803) 648-1438