Arts Theatre, UNE – May/June 2001
Stage Direction by Donna Wainohu
Musical Direction by Emma Chapman
Produced by Neil Horton
Music and lyrics of the M.G.M. Motion Picture by Harold Arlen and E.Y.Harburg. Background music by Herbert Stothart. Book adaptation by John Kane from the motion picture screenplay. By arrangement with Tams-Witmark.
Our story begins as a frightened Dorothy Gale runs home from school after her dog Toto has snapped at Almira Gultch, and the sour neighbour has sworn revenge. Dorothy's Aunt Em and Uncle Henry are too busy to listen to her problems. The farmhands Hunk, Hickory and Zeke are no help either. Miss Gultch suddenly arrives with an order to have Toto destroyed. Although Toto escapes and runs home to Dorothy, she realises they must runaway to save him. On the way she meets a kindly Professor Marvel who convinces Dorothy that Aunt Em really needs her at home. But as Dorothy returns a tornado hits the farm, Dorothy is hit on the head and falls unconscious as the farm is practically destroyed.
Upon waking up Dorothy and Toto find themselves in the magical land of Oz. A good witch appears to explain to Dorothy that her house has fallen on the wicked witch of the east the wicked witch of the west will stop at nothing to get the ruby slippers she wore. She casts a spell and the ruby slippers magically appear on Dorothy's feet. The people of the land "The Munchkins” join in a celebration that the wicked witch of the east is dead and it was Dorothy who delivered them from her evil clutches.
Dorothy decides that she must seek help from the wizard of Oz to get home. The munchkins send her on her way by pointing out that the yellow brick road will lead her directly to the emerald city where the wizard lives. On the way she meets up with a scarecrow who desperately would like a brain to help scare the crows away. A tinman who would dearly love a heart to complete his body and a cowardly lion who is in desperate need of some courage. The three become fast friends along the way to see the wizard, all hoping their wishes will be granted. The wicked witch of the west however has other ideas, as she is desperate to get her hands on Dorothy's ruby slippers.
Despite some obstacles put in the way by the witch our intrepid travellers receive a tremendous welcome from the "Ozians". But when it comes time to see the wizard they have some trouble getting in to see him. But instead of giving them what they ask for, he first sets them a task, "bring me the broomstick of the wicked witch of the west”. Our intrepid travellers set off for the land of the Winkies and the witches castle. Of course they do not fare well, with the wicked witch sending a squadron of flying monkeys to capture Dorothy and Toto. The three friends then must venture onto the witches castle and try to rescue Dorothy. This they duly do and give the wicked witch her comeuppance as well.
With the witch's broomstick in hand they confront the wizard once again. It turns out that the wizard is not all-powerful as they hoped and are unsure that their requests will be granted. But with a little cunning the wizard grants their wishes and sets off to take Dorothy back to Kansas. Unfortunately during his farewell speech the balloon he is to take Dorothy back to Kansas in, goes out of control and Dorothy is left behind. It falls to Glinda the good witch to get Dorothy back home. Dorothy wakes up to a disbelieving Aunt Em and Uncle Henry but concludes that she will never run away again as "home is where the heart is".
SCENES & MUSICAL NUMBERS
Scene 1 - The Kansas prairie
‘Over the rainbow’ - Dorothy
Scene 2 - Gypsy caravan
Scene 3 - The twister
Scene 4 - Munchkinland
‘Ding dong the witch is dead’ - Chorus
‘Yellow brick road’ - Dorothy and Munchkins
Scene 5 – Scarecrow, corn field
‘If only I had a brain’ - Scarecrow and Dorothy
Scene 6 - Tinman with apple trees in front of his cottage
‘If I only had a heart’ - Tinman and trees
Scene 7 - Want to play ball?
Scene 8 - Lion, wild forest
‘If I only had the nerve’ - Lion and others
‘We’re off to see the Wizard’ - Quartet
Scene 9 - Poppies
Scene 1 - The emerald city
‘Merry old land of Oz’ - Dorothy and others
‘King of the forest’ - Lion
Scene 2 - The wizard's chamber
Scene 3 - The gates of the emerald city
Scene 4 - The witches castle (Winkies)
Scene 5 - The haunted forest
Scene 6 - The witch's castle
Scene 7 - Main gate of the witch's castle (Stripping the Winkies)
Scene 8 - The Witch's chamber (The rescue)
‘Ding dong the witch is dead’ - Chorus
Scene 9 - Wizard's chamber
Scene 10 - Emerald city town square
Scene 11 - The Kansas Prairie (Home)
There's an old saying in the Theatre world - "Never work with children or animals..." and this show includes both! but, this did not sway me from my choice. "Wizard of Oz" has been a long time favourite for my family and - yes, we do have a copy of the video. It has been a few years since we selected a show "for" and "with" children and it has been a wonderful, if occasionally stressful, experience. It is true that this show has brought a unique set of challenges, but these challenges have provided an opportunity for fun and laughter, whilst learning and growing.
I was overwhelmed with the interest in auditions! We had 77 children try out for only 20 places and the talent and enthusiasm from the kids made the selection process so very difficult. I have always known that Armidale is a city full of talent, but I was unprepared for the range of talent in so many so young.
Auditions also brought another little surprise - our Musical Director, Emma Chapman! A chorus member of two previous shows, Emma auditioned for a role in "Wizard of Oz" and I was "blown away" by her development as a singer (she has a truly glorious voice) and as a musician. She agreed to take on the role of Musical Director with a lot of trepidation, as she has never conducted before. To our delight, Emma has proven to be a wonderful asset and I am extremely grateful to her for taking on this role, at the last minute. Emma, thank you for all your hard work. Emma was ably supported in rehearsals - by our rehearsal accompanists Joan Monty and Emma Hadfield - and we are extremely grateful for the time and effort put in by these two wonderful ladies.
This entire process has been a collaborative effort and I have been surrounded and supported by a great production team. Thank you to the entire production team for their eternal optimism and support. Thanks to Jean Freer - for her help with directing and choreography; to Jan Paterson - for her choreography (it's great to see you bouncing around again); Special thanks must also go to Barbara Colledge - for her Stage Management and for keeping me well organised and punctual! And to Margaret Kennedy - for keeping me sane!
A Special Thank You to the parents and families of the cast and crew. The role of “chauffeur” is often underestimated. Some parents have also become actively involved with the show - Lyndia (mother of Bernadette Scott) has been a huge asset with costuming, Isabel (mother of Ruth Strut) has become our Assistant Social Director and Paul (father of the Reader clan) designed and built the windmill. To you all - thank you, thank you, thank you.
I hope you enjoy this show - some of the dialogue may be a little dated, but the moral and essence of this story and the hopes and dreams are still alive in us all. Maybe some day we'll meet "Somewhere Over the Rainbow…”.
Dorothy Gale: Ruth Strutt/Bernadette Scott, Toto: Joe Lennox/Banjo, Hunk/Scarecrow: Gordon Cope,Hickory/Tinman: Neil Horton, Zeke/Lion: Mike Gibson, Almira Gultch/Wicked Witch Of The West: Catherine Wright, Professor Marvel/Wizard Of Oz: Jim Harrop, Glinda The Good Witch: Catherine Fenning, Emerald City Guard No. 1: Stephen Watt, Emerald City Guard No. 2: James Rutten, Uncle Henry/Henry Gale: Dylan Worley, Aunty Em/Emily Gale: Beryl Hamel, Mayor Of Munchkinland: Alan Wilkinson, Barrister: Dianne Murphy, Coroner: Ben Cox
City Fathers: Caitlyn Dennehy, Lauren Peters, Stephanie Alexander, Lullaby League: Emma Hall, Kathryn Sinclair, Samantha Cooper, Lollipop Guild: Claire Horton, Jessica Eddie, Leisl Slocombe, Wendie Hudson,Teachers: Lisa Perry, Sharyn Holmes, Tumblers: Abbey Pearson, Barbi Reader, Erin Smith, Jessica Patrick, Marina Reader, Sarah Coward, Tony Sawyer, Nikko The Flying Monkey: Thomas Murphy, Flying Monkeys: Dianne Murphy, Edward Patterson, Emma Horton, Phillip Watt, Will Coward
Winkie General: Andrew Swann, Winkies: Alan Wilkinson, Aline Christenson, Ben Cox, Caedric Reader, Darby Reader, Erin Smith, Laura Horton, Marney Tilley, Tony Sawyer, Wendie Hudson
Junior Chorus: Abbey Pearson, Caedric Reader, Caitlyn Dennehy, Claire Horton, Darbi Reader, Dianne Murphy, Edward Patterson, Emma Horton, Erin Smith, Jessica Eddie, Jessica Miller, Jessica Patrick, Laura Horton, Lauren Peters, Leisl Slocombe, Marina Reader, Phillip Watt, Rosie McGrath, Sarah Coward, Stephanie Alexander, Thomas Murphy, Will Coward
Senior Chorus: Aline Christenson, Bernie Cunningham, Florence Ashley, Gabriele Alexander, Garry Slocombe, Malcolm McPhee, Marney Tilley, Nadia Ozanne, Robyn Slocombe, Tony Sawyer, Wendie Hudson
Violin1: Kate Chapman , Lachlan O'Donnell, Violin 2: Annie Chapmon, Rachel Menzies, Viola: Chris Cunningham, Cello: Claire Chapman, Angela Farrell, Andrew Alter, Bass: Ben O'Donnell, Flute: Sharon Davidge, Susan Farrell, Oboe: Kate Worthing, Matt Bedford, Clarinet: Sriram Rao, Chris Garden, Trumpet: David Arnold, Trombone: Katie Bradley, Horns: Sarah Opie, Tom Cooper, Percussion: Tamsin Lloyd, Drums: Tim Godwin
Stage Director: Donna Wainohu
Assistant Director: Jean Freer
Musical Director: Emma Chapman
Producer: Neil Horton
Stage Manager: Barbara Colledge
Choreography : Jan Paterson
Repetiteurs: Emma Hadfield, Joan Monty
Costume Design: Lyndia Scott, Maryan Vickers
Set Design: Donna Wainohu
Lighting Design: Bryce Little, Lachlan Ashley
Sound: Lolly Krzyskowiak
Set Construction: Donna Wainohu, Gordon Cope and helpers
Lighting Operation: Bryce Little, Lachlan Ashley
Make-up: Aline Christenson, Ann-Marie Powell, Donna Wainohu, Lisa Perry, Yvonne Eddie
Properties: Bev Jenkins, Julia Gregg
Prompt: Diana Helmrich
Program: Bryce Little
Publicity: Flange Zulic
Front of House: Jane Horton
Tickets: Gordon Cope, Margaret Kennedy
Sustenance Co-ordinator: Dorothy Pollard
Backstage Crew: Briahna Barry, Colin Barry, Daniel Eisenberg, Darren Mackie, David Paterson, Greg Cooper, Margaret Kennedy, Nigel Powell
Armidale High School, Bargain Fabrics, Covered in Style Upholstery, Di Arnold, End of the Rainbow, Meredith Paints, Mr. & Mrs. Davidson, Munchkin Press, Petah Abbot, Prime Television, Tim Clark (UNE Theatres Manager), Waine Grafton, Wayne McFayden Produce Merchants.