Theater faculty member Jonel Langenfeld, stage director of "Wizard," said the busking-style appearance will feature 10 to 15 SUNY Oswego students as Winkie soldiers, under the control of the Wicked Witch of the West in the classic L. Frank Baum children's book.
Their dance -- a mashup, accompanied by a recording made by the college's music department, featuring styles from hip-hop to step to Bollywood -- will help set the stage for the full production. The play will preview at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20, and will run at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 21, 27 and 28 with matinees at 3 p.m. Oct. 22 and 29 in fully updated Waterman Theatre of Tyler Hall.
"I think it's important that the public understand our concept for this time-honored favorite. We are not changing it, but hoping to make it more relevant to today's audiences beyond the fantasy we all love," Langenfeld said. "We are going a bit deeper with the overall theme, which is feeling like you don't belong, where is home, who am I, and so on. There is also the connection to American history with the Great Depression and hobos riding the rails."
Langenfeld said 11 Oswego-area children were selected for the play's cast during auditions this summer. "We really wanted to engage the community," she said.
The Sept. 22 performance at the farmers' market is free. Tickets for "The Wizard of Oz" are available for $18 ($56 for a family four-pack; $7 for SUNY Oswego students with ID) at all SUNY Oswego box offices, online at tickets.oswego.edu or by calling 315-312-2141. All tickets to the Oct. 20 preview performance are $5.