Profile: Camden Markel is roaring (kind of) over his part in DDC’s Wizard of Oz

There is nothing cowardly about Camden Markel. The Dexter junior will be center stage with his talented friends as part of The Dexter Drama Club’s presentation of “The Wizard of Oz” Oct. 24-27 at Dexter High School CPA.

While HE is brave enough to stand on stage in front of hundreds of people, the character he is playing would have a hard time.

“My character, the Cowardly Lion, is, well, cowardly,” says Markel, a junior at DHS. “He is under the impression that he is just too big of a wimp to be ‘King of the Forest’, and he is constantly scared of everything.”

There is a challenge for an actor playing a part most people are familiar with – but Markel’s interpretation has been changing as rehearsals move along.

“I think the biggest challenge for me playing the role has been the different voices and emotions at all different times,” he says. “The lion is a bit up and down with his emotions. At the beginning I was just trying to approach the role kind of like Bert Lahr did in the original, but since then I think I’ve developed my own approach which is a good thing.”

It’s a very good thing!

And speaking of very good …

“Rehearsals have been going well,” Markel says. “I have a great time with my fellow cast members. It’s been a blast working with the other leads. The main challenge so far is just kind of getting everything all put together, taking the pieces we’ve learned and combining them with others.”

Camden, the son of Todd Markel and Angie Lampi, also is a member of DHS’s Chamber Choir and carries a 3.6 GPA in the classroom. He was in “Game of Tiaras,” a show his sister directed for the 3D series, and “Little Shop of Horrors.”

“After being in my first show last year, I wanted to continue to be a part of the drama club,” Markel says. “I love being able to sing especially as different roles in different shows.”

Markel would like to go to college – the University of Pittsburgh is high on his list. And he would like to stay involved in theater.

“I think if I attend college, I will want to minor in theater, but other than that I’m not sure what ways I would continue doing theater, but I would like to,” he says.


Directed by Erin Palmer, the show features Zoe Nowak as Dorothy, Anna Withrow as Aunt Em, John Brooks as Uncle Henry, Jackson Lewandowski as Hunk (scarecrow), Liam Fifelski as Hickory (tinman), Camden Markel as Zeke (lion), Jackson Helmholtz as The Wizard of Oz, Victoria Ward as The Wicked Witch of the East, Joey Hill as the Wicked Warlock of the West, and Maggie Needham was The Good Witch of the North.

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