Carousel Theatre for Young People (CYTP) is partnering with Kaleidoscope Theatre for Young People to present the Canadian premiere of Oz, at Granville Island’s Waterfront Theatre from March 1-26, 2023.
Set in 1899 Chicago, Oz takes a whimsical look at an imagined backstory for how L. Frank Baum might have written his best selling children’s book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The play invites audiences to witness the unfolding of the classic children’s story, as Baum – with the help of his housekeeper, a playful young girl, and a collection of everyday objects – develops the characters and story we all know and love.
“We are delighted to present this charming tale of bravery, camaraderie, and, ultimately, finding your place in the world,” says Jennica Grienke, Oz Director and Co-Artistic and Managing Director of Carousel Theatre for Young People. “Oz transports us to a new place – not just a magical land with witches and wizards and talking scarecrows, but to a place of endless possibility – our own imaginations.”
In Oz, Baum is struggling to complete the manuscript for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Helping to resolve his writer’s block, Bridgey, his housekeeper, and Dot, a mischievous runaway, get swept up in the frenetic creation of his tale. Like the twister in the story, they’re transported to a magical land, where the author’s footstool becomes Toto and a birdcage, an overcoat and a fire grate become the Scarecrow, the Tinman and the Cowardly Lion. Ultimately, they craft a happy ending not only for the characters in the story, but for themselves as well.
“What makes Oz really special is that audiences are invited into the creative process of storytelling, as the play’s three characters work together on stage to develop their story in real time,” adds Dave Deveau, Co-Artistic and Managing Director of Carousel Theatre for Young People. “We hope it inspires kids and families to use their imagination to write their own stories.”
Since premiering in Kansas City in 1994, Oz has taken the stage across the world. Written by production and costume designer and playwright Patrick Shanahan, the CYPT production is directed by Jennica Grienke, with the cast featuring Stephen Thakkar as L. Frank Baum, Melanie Yeats as Bridgey, and Megan Zong as Dot.
Oz runs March 1-26, 2023 at Granville Island’s Waterfront Theatre, then from March 30-April 9, 2023 in Victoria with co-producer Kaleidoscope Theatre for Young People.
Find tickets and details at carouseltheatre.ca for Vancouver run which will feature several special performances; including a mandatory masked performance on March 4 (11am), a relaxed performance on March 5 (2pm), a Vocal Eye performance on March 18 (2pm), and ASL Interpretation on March 26 (2pm).