The Wizard of Oz (1996)


July 12-14, 1996


Community Players Theatre

A Theatre for Young People Production


Little Dorothy Gale of Kansas, like so many girls her age, often dreams of what may lie over the rainbow. One day a tornado hits her home town and carries her away to Munchkinland – at the end of the rainbow. The Munchkins fete Dorothy as a heroine. Dorothy wants to go home to Kansas and seeks the help of Glinda, the kind Witch of the North. Only the great Wizard of Oz, says the Sorceress, can help Dorothy get back to Kansas. Dorothy persuades three friends to accompany her on the trip to the Emerald City to see the Wizard: Scarecrow, who lacks a brain, he thinks; the Tin Woodman, who has no heart, and the Cowardly Lion, who would like to have some courage. The Wicked Witch of the West vows vengeance on Dorothy and does all she can to stop the friends getting to the Emerald City. But they do reach it, and manage to see the Wizard. He will only help them, he says, if they kill the Wicked Witch of the West, an apparently impossible task. They do succeed, they get all their wishes and Dorothy returns to Auntie Em and Uncle Henry.

By L. Frank Baum as Presented by the Royal Shakespeare Company with Music and Lyrics from the MGM motion picture score by Harold Arlen and E. Y. Harburg, Background Music by Herbert Stothart, Book Adaptation by John Kane from the motion picture screenplay

Historian’s Corner

On the heels of “Joesph” was the Theatre For Young People production of “The Wizard of Oz.” It was the 15th annual production for “Young People” series and included over 140 children in the cast and crew. To accommodate so many people in the building, the Players housed the children who were not appearing onstage in the St. John’s Lutheran Church basement. Nicknamed the “Munchkin Walk,” parents escorted children to the church after appearance onstage and brought then back for the finale and to greet family members in the audience. The five main characters of “The Wizard of Oz” reprised their roles a few weeks later by performing several numbers for the “McKids Days” at the Oakland McDonald’s. The proceeds went to benefit children’s charities. The show was a success.