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Sunday, March 3, 2024

Before The Curtain Goes Up: Oz

David C Jones speaks with the director of Oz, the whimsically imagined backstory for how L. Frank Baum’s best-selling children’s book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, might have been written.

Vancouver’s Carousel Theatre for Young People is about to take a trip down the Yellow Brick Road as it presents the Canadian premiere of Oz, a whimsically imagined backstory for how L. Frank Baum’s best-selling children’s book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, might have been written.

We are delighted to present this charming tale of bravery, camaraderie, and, ultimately, finding your place in the world. 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. – Jennica Grienke

In Oz, Baum is struggling to complete the manuscript for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Like the cyclone in the story, his housekeeper, Bridgey, and Dot, a mischievous runaway, get swept up in the frenetic creation of his tale. They’re quickly 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. As the trio works to resolve Baum’s writer’s block, they ultimately craft a happy ending for the characters in the story and themselves.

“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,” says 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.”

In this edition of Before The Curtain Goes Up, Vancouver Presents contributor David C Jones speaks with director Jennica Grienke to learn more.

Carousel Theatre for Young People, in partnership with Kaleidoscope Theatre for Young People, presents Oz at Granville Island’s Waterfront Theatre (1412 Cartwright St, Vancouver) from March 1-26. Visit carouseltheatre.ca for tickets and information.

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