KSU School of Theatre Faculty and Alumni featured in the World Premiere of the new musical "The Land of Oz"

The World Premiere of the musical "The Land of Oz" is part of Dobama Theatre’s 2022/23 mainstage season. This production includes alumni and faculty from Kent State University’s School of Theatre and Dance. The production is currently running through December 31, 2022 at Dobama, Cleveland’s Off-Broadway Theatre. Associate Professor of Theatre Fabio Polanco originates the role of the Scarecrow along with M.F.A. Acting alumna and Adjunct Professor Lana Sugarman as Glinda, among other characters. Assistant Professor of Stage Management Tom Humes serves as production stage manager, supported by assistant stage managers and alumnae Barbara Kozlov and Elizabeth Cammett. Recent School of Theatre and Dance Adjunct Professor T. Paul Lowry provides projection designs.

The Dobama Theatre describes the production as “With book and lyrics by George Brant and music by Nathan Motta, this new piece of music theatre adapts celebrated American author L. Frank Baum’s second book in the “Oz” series, "The Marvelous Land of Oz." Its themes are both timeless and extraordinarily relevant to the modern world. George Brant’s script and lyrics for "The Land of Oz" are exceptional and it is a significant opportunity for any theatre to develop and premiere a full-scale musical by a playwright of his pedigree. The score by Dobama Artistic Director Nathan Motta features songs in various musical genres that correlate to different eras of musical theatre, a variety of American popular music styles, and the music of some beloved existing Oz adaptations. This project serves Dobama’s mission, vision, and values and continues the theatre’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. Some themes in "The Land of Oz" explore ideas related to social justice and marginalized communities, and the production features a wonderfully diverse cast.”

“The story centers around a young orphan boy named Tip who is the ward of an evil witch. When he escapes with a magical new friend, Tip sets out on an amazing adventure to the Emerald City. Along the way he encounters the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and a rebel army on their way to take over Oz! During his journey, Tip discovers more about himself than he ever thought possible.” says the Dobama Theatre press release.

The company includes Jordyn Freetage (Tip), Lana Sugarman (Glinda/ Jellia/ Lieutenant), Trinidad Snider (Mombi), Eric Fancher (Jack), Fabio Polanco(Scarecrow), Jason Eno (Tin Man), Neely Gevaart (Jinjur), Dar’Jon Bentley (Lion/ Guardian), Trey Gilpin (Woggle Bug), Tim Keo (Winkie/ Door/ Throne), Mia Renard (Tip, understudy), Sarah Blubaugh (Swing), Owen Connor Stout (Swing).

The production team includes music direction by Matthew Dolan, choreography by Gregory Daniels, scenic and projection design by T. Paul Lowry, lighting design by David Stoughton, sound design by Richard Ingraham, costume design by Tesia Benson, props design by Vanessa Cook, puppet design by Mike Horner, and technical direction by Marcus Dana. The band will consist of Rachel Woods (keyboard), Justin Hart (drums), Jesse Fishman (guitar), Tim Keo (bass), R.J. Rovito (reed). The show is stage managed by Tom Humes and assistant stage managed by Barbara Kozlov.

The show has a run time of two hours, including one 15-minute intermission.

This project received an Arts Projects award from the National Endowment of the Arts. The grant aided in the development of the new production with professional Cleveland theatre artists and musicians over an eighteen-month. Dobama Theatre’s project is one of the more than 1,100 projects that were selected during this second round of Grants for Arts Projects fiscal year 2021 funding. The Grants for Arts Projects provided a total of almost $27 million in funding to projects across the country.

Performances are on select dates from December 2-31, 2022. For a complete schedule, ticket prices, and reservations, call the Dobama Theatre box office at 216-932-3396 or visit dobama.org. Ask about the "pay-what-you-can" performances and opportunities.

Dobama is committed to making live professional theatre accessible to everyone. PAY-WHAT-YOU-CAN tickets are available for anyone that cannot afford a full-price ticket. Any available seat can be purchased at a pay-what-you-can price beginning one hour prior to every performance. Simply visit the Box Office to purchase.

For more information on the production, visit: https://www.dobama.org/land-of-oz

POSTED: Thursday, December 15, 2022 01:06 PM
Updated: Friday, December 16, 2022 09:36 AM