The Woodward News

Local News

April 10, 2013

‘We’re off to see the Wizard’ starting Thursday

Woodward, Okla. — By Rowynn Ricks

Assistant Editor

OnStage Woodward invites the public to join in a journey down the yellow brick road as the community theater group prepares for 8 upcoming performances of the acclaimed musical "The Wizard of Oz."

After months of rehearsals, Director Kenton Baird said his 60-member strong cast and crew is now busily making the final preparations as opening night quickly approaches.

The first performance will be held this Thursday at the Woodward Arts Theatre with additional night performances to held this Friday and Saturday.  The curtain will go up at 8 p.m. each night.

There will then be a matinee performance on Sunday with curtain up at 2 p.m.

That same performance schedule will repeat next weekend, which additional night performances April 18-20, and another matinee on April 21.

At each performance, the box office and lobby will open an hour before curtain time for those still needing to purchase tickets.  The auditorium doors will then open 30 minutes before the performance for seating.

Seating is not assigned, so Baird encourages patrons to arrive early to get the best seats.

He also encourages the public to get tickets for the early performances while they still can, because he thinks interest will only grow after word gets out about the play.

"If you don't see it this first weekend, then trying to see it next weekend might be difficult because I think it's going to be a sellout," Baird said.

To get tickets in advance, visit the Arts Theatre office Monday through Friday between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. or 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.  Or you can call (580) 334-3048 to reserve tickets by phone.


Baird said the play will closely follow the plot of the film and should be familiar to many people who know and love the 1939 classic that starred Judy Garland.

"When I decided to do this play, the reason I chose 'Wizard of Oz' was because it was something everybody knew and could relate to," he said, noting "Everybody has a memory of or relationship with this story.  You hear 'ruby red slippers,' or 'yellow brick road,' or 'Scarecrow, Tinman and Lion,' you hear any of those, and everybody immediately thinks 'Wizard of Oz.'"

But for those few who haven't seen the film, the story follows as the main character Dorothy is transported "Over the Rainbow" to the magic land of Oz, where she must then follow the yellow brick road as she seeks to find her way back home to Kansas.  Along the way, she meets some new friends who help her overcome the Wicked Witch of the West and eventually find a way home.

Just like the film, Baird said his play will begin with "a lot of just drab Kansas," with characters dressed in sepia tones of beiges and browns.  But then once Dorothy is transported to Munchkinland in Oz, "we'll pop it for the rest of the production with a lot of vibrant color," he said.

After Munchkinland, he said, "we'll follow Dorothy until she meets the Scarecrow in the corn field, then meet the Tinman in the field and the Lion in the forrest. "

Baird said there will be a lot of set changing, made possible by his backstage crew, which should help to keep the play exciting.

"This is not just one stationary set," he said, adding that additional scenes include the poppy field, the Emerald City, the wizard's chamber, and the witch's castle.

In addition to the colorful and changing scenery, Baird said the play will also feature some exciting special effects.

"There will be some special effects that a lot of people have never seen on stage before in Woodward," he said.

For example, he said OnStage Woodward contracted with ZFX Flying out of Louisville, KY to modify the Arts Theatre's rigging system and train a backstage team and the actors on how to use the harness system and other equipment to allow the Wicked Witch and Glinda the Good Witch to fly.

"You'll have to show up to see the rest of the surprises," Baird said.  "I don't want to give all the magic away."

But he did add that "I think people will be pleasantly surprised with the makeup, because it ties in with the costuming and special effects.  We just tried to tackle the whole package."

Naturally as a musical, OnStage Woodward's upcoming production will also feature all the beloved tunes from the motion picture, including "If I Only Had a Brain/Heart/Nerve," "We're Off to See the Wizard," "Ding, Dong the Witch is Dead," and of course, "Over the Rainbow."

"The songs are spectacular," Baird said, noting "all my main actors have great singing voices."

Dorothy is played by Eryn Brooks with Hannah Shoaf serving as understudy.  The Scarecrow is played by Charlie Burns, Tinman by Brandon Wheelock, and the Cowardly Lion by Greg Nuse.

And in the songs where the larger cast as a whole sings together, such as in "The Merry Old Land of Oz," he said, "their voices all sound pretty good as they come together on the stage."

He applauded the musical direction of Judy White in helping to make the play really sing.

Text Only
Local News
  • State board votes again to delay education plan

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma's State Board of Education voted on Wednesday for a second time to delay a formal plan for adopting new education standards in math and English amid opposition to the proposal from three education groups that represent public school boards and administrators across Oklahoma.

    July 24, 2014

  • Winners of Cudd Legacy award named

    Three veterans of the oil industry will receive this year's Bobby Joe Cudd Legacy Award during the Tri-State Oil and Gas Convention on Aug. 7 at the Woodward Conference Center.

    July 24, 2014

  • Benefit gun raffles underway

    Woodward Reserve police officers and other Woodward full time officers have come together to support one of their own.

    July 24, 2014

  • Tulsa man looking for military friend

    There are times in everyone's life when you think back and wonder whatever happened to those old friends from your past.

    July 23, 2014

  • Zoning change approved by commission

    Monday night Woodward city commissioners unanimously approved a zoning change that was contested by one local man who was protesting because he wants the neighborhood to continue its residential growth.

    July 23, 2014

  • Tangier Reunion set for Saturday, Sunday

    When Barbara (Allison) Merwin thinks back to the years she spent in the classrooms of Tangier High School, it takes a few moments for her to recall how school life was 60 years ago.

    July 23, 2014

  • Traveler Majors take regional opener

    ALVA - The Traveler Majors continued their strong Connie Mack playoff showing at Northwestern Oklahoma State University Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • County OKs road use agreement

    Woodward County Commissioners on Monday approved a final version of a road use agreement between a energy company planning a wind turbine construction project near southeast Woodward County.

    July 22, 2014

  • Camp to show art is everywhere

    The Woodward Arts Theatre will become a recycling plant next week.

    July 22, 2014

  • Fairview Wrangler Rodeo turns 50 this year

    Western fun continues in Northwest Oklahoma as the Fairview Wrangler’s hosting their 50th annual rodeo.

    July 22, 2014