Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Wizard of Oz, or Why I've Been Away from Blogging

Some of you might be wondering where I've been there last few months - 9 posts in the last two and a half months!  Well, I've had my plate full with Ruby Slippers and Munchkins!

I belong to the acting troop SMP Dramatic Society and every year for the past 15 years we've been putting on a pantomime in January.   For the uninitiated, a pantomime is a British tradition of putting on a family fairytale play that appeals to both kids and adults.  There are usually amazing costumes and sets, a lead boy played by a girl, a Dame played by a man, and lots of audience participation.  In short, they are really fun to experience!   This year, we decided to do the Wizard of Oz!

I personally wear two big hats in this production of Oz:  Set Designer and Dame.  Behind the scenes, I have been designing the various colourful sets for the show, and in the spotlight, I've been acting in a dress!

Set Designer

There were five main scenes to design which included Munchkinland (where Dorothy's house lands on the witch), the Wicked Witch of the West's castle, and the Emerald City.  Something I wanted to experiment this year was to use a projector to project part of the set (this would save space in storing painted flats, and allow us a very cool Floating Wizard's Head.)  So far, it's working very well!

Here are a few sketches and photos of the production of the sets for the Wizard of Oz:

Early Munchkinland sketch

Early Castle sketch

Two final flat drawings from the Castle

Watch for more production pictures in subsequent posts...

The Dame

A Dame is an older motherly woman with a healthy libido always played by a man.  It is usually one of the larger roles in the play (both figuratively and literally!)  with by far the most lines to remember!  In the Wizard of Oz, the Dame is Aunt Em - who just happens to come along with Dorothy on her adventures in Oz.

Aunt Em from the movie

Rehearsal pic of cast in the Emerald City (I'm third from the right!)

As for what my costume looks like, you'll have to wait until the next post!  I'll just say it looks nothing like the above image of Aunt Em from the movie...  Imagine a whale with blue hair.  Huge.  Ugly. Dame.

The Wizard of Oz opens on Thursday, to a run of completely sold-out shows!
And this is why I've been too busy to blog!