Welcome to my blog, featuring various pieces from my collection of Oz books, artwork and memorabilia!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Ozma of Oz, 1964

The Children's Theater Company of Minneapolis is well known nationwide, and is particularly known by Oz fans for their lavish 1981 production of The Marvelous Land of Oz. This show was filmed and released on video, and can be seen on YouTube. But in 1964 there was an earlier Oz production by a forerunner to CTC, The Moppet Players: Ozma of Oz.

This show was reviewed by Ruth Berman in a 1964 Baum Bugle, in the Oz Behind the Footlights section. I've always been intrigued as to what this production might have been like, and recently ran across photos on the CTC Alumni Archive blog. This is a blog featuring photos, sound clips and video clips from productions at the theater over the years.

According to Ruth's review, the show was very faithful to the book. From the photos, it appears that the Tin Woodman was left out of the story, and there is no sign of the Hungry Tiger or Cowardly Lion. The photo at the top of the page shows the Queen of Ev and her son, Tik-Tok, Dorothy, the Scarecrow, Ozma (in a strange choice of costume - all blue and black, including the poppies in her hair!), and Billina the hen.

Above, Dorothy and Billina are trapped on a rocky hill by the Wheelers. On the left, Ozma confronts Princess Langwi- dere, who has shut Dorothy up in a tower. Below, Princess Langwidere is seen changing heads with the help of her maid, Nanda.

There are more photos on the theater blog. The Children's Theater Company split away from The Moppet Players not long after this time, and the show is clearly simpler than the productions that CTC became known for. But it is fun to see documentation of this play!


Sam A M said...

I know it's not really probable, but if the 1981 "Marvelous Land" was officially released to DVD and *IF* this 1964 Ozma was filmed or photographed in any way, THIS would be a GREAT Special Feature!

An "Ozma" photo gallery or video to go with the "Land" movie and gallery.

*Sigh* If Only . . .

Bill Campbell said...

It's a fun idea - unfortunately the likelihood of it happening is probably pretty minimal....