Recently I got a chance to have a cup of coffee with the Tin Woodman at Uncommon Grounds. Alan Edstrom (also a good friend of mine) is playing the icon from the Wizard of Oz in the upcoming production from Home Made Theater starting this Friday. This family friendly play has some fun twists on it from the story followed in the classic film. This production isn't a musical, but instead uses a script from the 1930’s with the elements that everyone loves but is truer to the original book. Alan described the scenery for the play as having an "Escher-like art deco 1930’s vibe to it" which I can't WAIT to see! And I want YOU to go see it too so I'm giving away TWO TICKETS to any performance, good for either two adult admission or two children admission. All you have to do to enter is comment to win! Now check out more from my interview with the Tin Woodman!
Alan: There's a pretty huge cast of young people and the munchkins are all local kids. There are 6 or 7 adults that are in the program ranging in age from 7-14 and a little girl playing Toto, in the original production it was also a person that played Toto. Home Made Theater had two days of auditions and callbacks. The auditions were open to the public and then rehearsals started with a table read. As a community theater production it is one of the more unique experiences that the kids are incorporated, and director Toni Sommo really understood that the kids need to be brought in in such a fun and gentle way.
People have expectations coming to see the Wizard of Oz so you have to be able to encompass that expectation level but you also have to make it your own, so there’s a little bit of shtick and charm and dealing with the body movements and the rhythms. This production has a focus on the characters and the story and we've got a great group making up Dorothy, the Lion, the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman and we all sat together to really develop back stories. With these four main characters you have people that are listening to each other and that play with each other and in the end, they each have the characteristics of each other as well.
With my character (the Tin Woodman), he has elements of the MGM "Tin Man" and also has more of the Marx Brothers and Three Stooges in there too. It’s a mix between outward working and costume, the voice and some work inward.
For the character of "Oz" the production is using puppets because each of the characters see Oz in a different way. In this production there are four Witches like there are in the book. Dorothy still has those ruby slippers, but there is also a golden cap from the Wicked Witch of the West.
In the end this is a children’s theater piece so you have to listen to the audience. It’s a real family experience because there is something for kids and for adults, some of the stuff the kids are going to get and some of the stuff the adults are going to get. What's great is that for some kids it is the first time they are seeing live theater. The director Toni is very good at what she does in that the production hits with the kids so that they want to follow the story. You have to have those key moments and signals that are close enough to the rhythms of the movie to make it palatable for a young audience.
Don't miss out on this fantastic family friendly theater performance, a perfect way to introduce your kids to live theater! Performances take place Dec. 7 & 14th – 7:30 p.m., Dec. 8, 9, 16th – 1:00 p.m. and Dec. 15th – 1:00 p.m. & 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $18 Adults and $12 Children (age 12 & under) and can be purchased by clicking here OR you can win two tickets to any of the performances simply by commenting here! Check out all of the holiday productions taking place this season at Home Made Theater in the updated Holiday Guide as well. Go enter now and good luck! xoxo