WIZARD OF OZ // Great article in the Geelong Advertiser page 3!

MOLLY Gleeson followed in the footsteps of her parents at the weekend, hitting the stage by walking down the yellow brick road.

The 12-year-old daughter of esteemed stage actors Simon Gleeson and Natalie O’Donnell starred as Dorothy in a production of The Wizard of Oz at Geelong Grammar School.

Performed by students from Karen Feldman’s Dance Studio on Friday and Saturday night, the show featured actors aged between 4 and 16, as well as a showstopping performance from Daisy the dog as Toto.

Ms Feldman said Molly shone in her stage debut.

“It was her first stage performance and she was amazing,” Ms Feldman said.

“Molly is just a natural talent. She has the most beautiful presence on stage and a smile that won over the audience. Her voice is wise beyond her years.”

With both her parents established names on Australia’s theatre circuit, Molly has a great pedigree to launch a successful stage career. But Ms Feldman said the youngster was in no hurry.

“Our philosophy is to focus on fun and enjoyment, and her family are very supportive of that and embrace it,” Ms Feldman said.

“She got great support from her fellow cast members; the future is very bright for all of them.”

Ms Feldman said the Wizard of Oz production at the weekend had a further connection to a big name in Australian acting.

The Tin Man costume worn by Jake Birley for the two shows was the same outfit worn by Guy Pearce more than 30 years earlier, long before he became a Hollywood star. Pearce wore the costume in his early acting days with the Geelong Society of Dramatic Arts junior players.