Wizard of Oz Engineering

What do you get when you arm a Shea Carr Jewell civil engineer with some adhesive spray, glitter and a pair of slippers?

Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers!

Photo of woman's shoes with red glitter
Manuel Hand-Crafted Dorothy Shoes

When Manuel Abarca’s daughter asked if he could help with her costume for Centralia High School’s Wizard of Oz production, she had no idea he would deliver full PS&E’s!

What started out as a Dorothy Dress scope crept into:

  • Ruby Slippers
  • 15 flying monkey costumes
  • 3 apple trees
  • 3 sinister trees
  • And various embellishments and props for the Wicked Witch, Winkies, Glenda the Good Witch, the Scarecrow and Professor Marvel

Photo of Centralia High School Wizard of Oz Apple Trees

Manuel said: “I loved every minute of it.  It was one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had.  It all started because of the jokes people made about trying out for the play and getting cast as a tree.  So when I was asked to help out and they needed tree costumes I wanted them to be the coolest trees ever.

The kids who played the trees went nuts over the costumes.  Things got so crazy for the director and assistant with so many cast members they could not keep track of all the costuming.

I ask, ‘what do you have for Lion?’  They replied, ‘a brown sweater and pants’ and asked if I would sew a brown patch for a belly.  All I could think of was this kid, with all the hard work, can’t go on stage with a brown sweater and pants.  So I made paws, feet, and embellished his sweater to make it look like grandma dressed him.  After a while they just let do me whatever I wanted.”


Photo of Centralia High School Wizard of Oz Cast 2012
Centralia High School Wizard of Oz Cast
Photo of Pam and Janis with Monkey Wings
Pam & Janis Flying Around the Office!

The SCJ office staff had a blast trying on the monkey wings Manuel created!

Photo of Steve with Monkey Wings
Steve Stewart Sporting Flying Monkey Wings

Good work Manuel, volunteering your time and creative talents clearly was appreciated and your creations are astounding.

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