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Blindness no barrier to Holly Connor

Cast from "Wizard of Oz" on the bus lending support to Holly

Cast from Crestview’s “Wizard of Oz” heading to a performance of “Beauty and the Beast,” in support of their classmate Holly Connor.

It was showtime at Crestview Middle, but as the students prepared for a production of “The Wizard of Oz” earlier this month, one student had a special story to tell.

Holly Connor, who played the role of Glinda the Good Witch, has a visual impairment. But that’s not about to stop her from going on with the show.

Connor’s mother, Katie Sears, explained that her daughter has many extraordinary abilities, including being musically gifted. After hearing a song only once, Connor is able to play it on the piano, her mother said. As a cast member, she composes the music when she gets home.

“Because she is blind, everything is auditory. Music and performing are her specialties. It is where she feels at home,” Sears said.

Crestview Middle’s drama teacher Laura Fontana, who is working with Connor for the first time this year, said she was “blown away by her voice.”

“Having Holly as part of the production really brings the crew and cast together,” Fontana said.
In addition to performing at Crestview Middle, Connor recently was part of the cast of “Beauty and the Beast” at the Touhill Performing Arts Center on the campus of the University of Missouri-St. Louis. That performance was sponsored by Variety, the Children’s Charity. The entire cast of Crestview’s production of “The Wizard of Oz” took a field trip to see Connor’s performance. And, they had special T-shirts made to show support for their friend.

“She’s an inspiration to all of us,” shared Claire Fitzgerald, a Crestview eighth-grader. “I think we should tell this story to everyone. Holly is not going to let anything stop her!”


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