TribLIVE

| AandE


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Theatre Factory also taking a walk on the 'Oz' side

Brian F. Henry | Tribune-Review - (from left) Mary Kate McCarthy, 10, of Murrysville, Grace Bender, 12, of Harrison City and Victoria Pearl, 12, of Murrysville, rehearse for the Theatre Factory's 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz' at the Trafford venue on Monday, March 11, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Brian F. Henry  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>(from left) Mary Kate McCarthy, 10, of Murrysville, Grace Bender, 12, of Harrison City and Victoria Pearl, 12, of Murrysville, rehearse for the Theatre Factory's 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz' at the Trafford venue on Monday, March 11, 2013.
Brian F. Henry | Tribune-Review - Victoria Pearl, 12, of Murrysville, rehearses for the Theatre Factory's 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz' at the Trafford venue on Monday, March 11, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Brian F. Henry  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Victoria Pearl, 12, of Murrysville, rehearses for the Theatre Factory's 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz' at the Trafford venue on Monday, March 11, 2013.

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz'

Presented by: Theatre Factory KidWorks

When: 2 p.m. March 16, 17, 23, 24; 7:30 p.m. March 22

Admission: $7; no reserved seats but reservations are recommended

Where: Theatre Factory, Trafford

Details: 412-374-9200; www.thetheatrefactory.com

Daily Photo Galleries

Theater Arts Photo Galleries

Friday, March 15, 2013, 1:15 p.m.
 

On a weekend that offers a prequel to the 1939 film classic on area movie screens and an orchestral arrangement and screening at Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra concerts, Theatre Factory joins “Munchkin mania” with the opening of its adaptation of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.”

Like the other cultural offerings, the Theatre Factory KidWorks production is based on the 1900 book by L. Frank Baum. But in this stage version, playwright V. Glasgow Koste tells the story from the viewpoint of the author (portrayed by Michael Byrne), who serves as the narrator.

“I think it's special because it's so theatrical,” says director David Little. “It doesn't rely on spectacle to tell its story. It allows the audience to fill in all of the specific details of the story with their imagination.”

Little returns to Theatre Factory to direct this production after having worked on shows in other states. He most recently directed “A Christmas Carol” in Fayetteville, N.C., at the Gilbert Theatre and the opera “La Boheme” in Twin Lake, Mich., for Blue Lake Opera. He previously served as artistic director at Theatre Factory and directed “Harvey” at the Trafford community theater in 2011.

He has a personal reason for wanting to direct this production.

“I have a special connection with ‘The Wizard of Oz,' since all of the original L. Frank Baum books were read out loud to me as a child by my mom,” he says. “This version is much closer to the original book than it is to the Judy Garland movie. But the basic story is still the same.”

All of the familiar “Oz” characters are in the cast. Among the actors that Little is directing is his sister, Alissa Little, who portrays the Witch of the North.

“This is actually the third time I have been in a show he has directed,” Alissa says. “I love being involved in his shows.”

Other families sharing credits in this production are Michael Byrne (narrator and Wizard of Oz) and his two sons, Michael Byrne V as the Tin Woodman and Stephen Byrne as one of the Winkies/Munchkins; John McCarthy as Uncle Henry/Guard and his daughter, Mary Cate McCarthy as Toto; and sisters Grace Bender as Dorothy and Amelia Bender as a Winkie.

The cast also features Carrie Lee Martz (Witch of the West), Dotty Weisberg (Aunt Em/Glinda), Victoria Perl (Scarecrow), Dominic Raymond (Cowardly Lion) and Jacob Capets, Carleigh Drakulic, Maura Marston, Natalie Norman, Mason Servello and Savannah Simeone as Winkies.

Although “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” is part of Theatre Factory's children's schedule of shows, Alissa Little says grownups will enjoy it, too.

“It allows the audience to use their imagination in so many ways,” she says.

Candy Williams is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Pirates notebook: Kang settling in to comfort zone
  2. Subway suspends ties with spokesman after raid at home
  3. Homestead man wanted on child sex trafficking charges nabbed in Mississippi
  4. Broad-based tax increases off-limits, GOP leaders tell Gov. Wolf
  5. Starkey: Burnett writing incredible final chapter
  6. Marijuana reform advances in Chile
  7. Uber lowers fares in Pittsburgh
  8. Policy to suspend employees with felony charges does not apply to Kane
  9. Penn-Trafford summer camps focus on specific topics
  10. Armstrong families following trend when it comes to pets
  11. Mother of Wilkinsburg toddler found dead in ravine charged with her murder