From the gray of the Tin Man to the green of the Wicked Witch, the rainbow of colors in the Southwestern Central School District's coming presentations of ''The Wizard of Oz'' will be crafted by alumnus Carl Caprino.
Makeup and movie effects have long been a hobby of the 1982 Southwestern graduate, who cites ''Star Wars,'' ''E.T.'' and ''The Terminator'' movie series as some of his earliest influences. In recent years, Caprino has turned his hobby into a side job of sorts - out of his sheer passion for the craft.
Scheduled for March 19-21, the 2009 Southwestern musical is not Caprino's first locally.
Southwestern alum Carl Caprino works to transform student Lisa Matteson.
In 1998, Caprino worked with Panama Central School on the district's presentations of ''Beauty and the Beast.'' For the show, Caprino crafted the Beast's head mask and put much of what he had learned in his then-eight years of experience to work.
''I got started back around 1990 and it was basically just self-taught stuff at first, learning from training videos and printed material,'' Caprino said. ''I kind of learned it all on my own for the most part and then I got some work at Darien Lake from about 1999 to 2003. For about five years I did special-effects makeup there during their Fright Fest.''
At first, Caprino pretty much just painted faces. However, once officials learned of his ability to do foam rubber latex, Caprino was allowed to apply more elaborate makeup to the amusement park's employees. A time-consuming process, the use of foam rubber latex requires pieces of sponge-like costume to be applied to a person's skin. Caprino likened the look to the vampires seen on the late 1990s television show ''Buffy the Vampire Slayer.''
For the Southwestern musical, Caprino said he will be using generic foam rubber latex pieces he has acquired throughout the years. From the jaw of the Tin Man and the Wicked Witch of the West's nose to wrinkly, patterned skin of the Scarecrow, most everyone on stage will be wearing something crafted by Caprino.
As it takes time to apply and remove the makeup, Caprino will be working with Genevieve Rossotto to prepare Southwestern's students for each performance.
A professional makeup artist, Rossotto has been living and working in Jamestown since September 2008. A 2005 graduate of Joe Blasco Make-Up Center in Orlando, Fla., Rossotto has studied both beauty makeup and special-effects makeup application.
Rossotto presently works as the on-site makeup artist at the Pulse Salon at 305 E. Fairmount Ave. In the past, she has worked as a freelance makeup artist in Buffalo and worked with Red Scream Productions creating independent horror films. She has also worked with Prometheus Studios creating makeup looks for numerous still photographers. One such shoot featured professional wrestler Shawn Michaels being photographed for the cover of WWF Magazine. Other accomplishments include work with Fisher Price and Tuxedo Junction. As on-site makeup artist at the Pulse, Rossotto focuses on personalized consultations and bridal makeup.
In addition to makeup, Caprino also has experience creating movie effects with such computer programs as Photoshop and Visual Effects.
''When we asked Carl to design masks and assist with the theatrical makeup for this year's production, he was more than happy to lend a hand,'' said Linda Rinaldo, director. ''His work for 'Beauty and the Beast' for another school was just absolutely amazing, so we asked him to come and do the makeup for all of our lead characters and for all of the shows.''
Cast members range in age from 10 years old to Southwestern High School seniors, each bringing their own special talent and flavor to the settings of Kansas, Munchkin Land, Emerald City and Oz. In total, there are more than 100 members in the cast.
In addition to professional makeup, students participating in ''The Wizard of Oz'' will be wearing costumes by Costume World Theatrical, headquartered in Deerfield Beach, Fla. The company provides costuming for Broadway shows and will provide original professional costumes for Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, Scaregrow and both Glinda the Good Witch and the Wicked Witch, according to Rinaldo.
The Southwestern Central School District's presentations of ''The Wizard of Oz'' are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. March 19, 20 and 21. A single afternoon show is scheduled for 2 p.m. March 21. Tickets for the performances are $8 for general audience members and $5 for both senior citizens and children under the age of 5. Tickets can be purchased from cast members as well as at the Southwestern Central School District offices.