Director Collins talks ‘Oz’

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June 13th, 2013

Omaha, NE — The Omaha Community Playhouse continues its run of the classic The Wizard of Oz through June 30th.

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For a theatre company known for their mainstage classics like The Christmas Carol, Fiddler on the Roof, and Hairspray, director Susie Baer Collins says there are few shows as iconic as The Wizard of Oz.

“This is the 1987 version of the Royal Shakespeare Company stage production of The Wizard of Oz,” Collins said, “which was the first stage production to get all the rights to all the MGM music and the text of the actual film. So there are word for word moment in the show that the audience could recite along with the actors.”

The Cast of Wizard of Oz

The key to the Omaha Playhouse production Collins says, is meeting audience’s expectations that include their fond memories of the MGM film, while still putting the Playhouse stamp upon it. They accomplish this with the personal touches that actors place on their characters along with the ingenious designs of the set, lights, sound, and costumes and video projections by Delinea Design.

“We are video projecting this magical element that becomes the great and powerful Wizard of Oz. There are other projected moments but the biggest one for us is the tornado itself.”

Collins assured KVNO that the tornado sequence will surely be one to remember.

This past weekend, though took an unexpected turn of events when actor Noah Diaz, who plays the Scarecrow, landed awkwardly during a choreographed scene and injured his hip. In taking full precautions for Noah, the Playhouse had to cancel the second act of Saturday’s performance. After a quick visit to the doctor, Diaz was back dancing around for the Sunday matinee but Collins wanted to assure those patrons who missed out on Saturday that they haven’t forgotten them and are exploring options to come see the show again.

“We’re even looking now where we might add another performance just to accommodate the people who have only seen Act One of The Wizard of Oz and see if they’d like to come back and see the whole show all the way through or maybe just give them some timing so that they are here at intermission and can go into the second Act. But we hope to make amends to everyone who was sent away without getting back to Kansas.”

            The Wizard of Oz runs through June 30th on the Hawks Mainstage of the Omaha Community Playhouse. For tickets, call (402) 533-0800 or visit omahaplayhouse.org or ticketomaha.org

Update: The Omaha Playhouse confirmed that the added performance will be Tuesday June 25th at 7:30pm

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