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Head off to see the Wizard!

To understand this strange, weird world of social media, a great metaphor, along with ‘Alice in Wonderland’ by Lewis Carroll, is ‘The Wizard of Oz’ by L. Frank Baum.

We are, collectively, on the other side of the Looking Glass, in a place full of cats and screaming leaders, on a pathway seemingly paved with gold, with weird weather and unlikely friendships.

Great stories thrive as each generation finds new relevance in the narrative, whether via book or film, or a musical, as in the current presentation by the Oshawa Little Theatre, the tale of the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, and Dorothy with her little dog, has continued to matter to so many over the years.

“The story of Dorothy certainly resonates with many people, and the themes continue to be relevant today,” says Alexandra Lembo, Director of Community Outreach for the OLT. “I also believe that the story and themes can be applied to our post-pandemic world. Most people felt some sort of loneliness or isolation through the pandemic, and we are all trying to navigate finding where we belong in society again. Which is what Dorothy and her companions experience on their journey through Oz. Finding their places in society once again and coming together as a community are all experiences we have had over the course of the last three years.”

Lembo says The Wizard of Oz was chosen for the post-pandemic season because of its wide appeal and the large range of roles involved, including for children. “There truly is a spot for everyone in Oz,” she says.

Although the Director of Community Outreach, as with many community theatres, Lembo performs a variety of other roles, including choreographer - quite the job with a cast of 37 plus two dogs! I guess even Toto needs an understudy?

The production is spearheaded by Director Janet Gilliand and produced by Amy Lawrence, with music

director Miguel Esteban. The cast ranges from young children to adults and includes family members; siblings, cousins, and mother-and-son duos will share the stage.

“The cast are all extremely talented and have been working very hard over the last few months to bring this production to life,” says Lembo.

The OLT production of Wizard of Oz enters its final weekend with performances Thursday, April 6, Friday, April 7 and Saturday, April 8. The curtain call is 7:30 p.m. Be sure to get tickets while you still can!

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