The Wizard of OZ
On Tour in East Lansing, MI
L. Frank Baum’s tale of family, friendship, and courage is vividly brought to life by choreographer Septime Webre in the Canadian premier of The Wizard of Oz. Join Dorothy, the Scarecrow, Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion as they journey down the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City.
“When the Royal Winnipeg Ballet opened its eagerly anticipated run of The Wizard of Oz, on Wednesday night, it presented a blockbuster ballet so bold and often quite brilliant one might be tempted to say American choreographer Septime Webre has turned the rarified art form on its head.”
- Holly Harris | Winnipeg Free Press, 2019
Featured Creative Team
Trad A. Burns
It is morning on Uncle Henry and Aunt Em’s farm in Kansas and the farmhands goof off between chores, ignoring Dorothy, who feels unappreciated and dreams of a place far away. Their unpleasant neighbor, Miss Gulch arrives to complain about Dorothy’s little dog, Toto, threatening to take him away. Toto escapes and Dorothy runs away with him. On the road, Dorothy meets a showman, Professor Marvel, who urges her to return to the farm as a twister approaches.
The Twister & Munchkinland
Dorothy is lifted into the sky by the twister and travels for what seems like an eternity. Suddenly she plops to the ground with a thud. The twister has taken her to the Land of Oz, where she meets the Munchkins and Glinda, the Good Witch of the North. Dorothy’s bed has fallen upon the Witch of the East, killing her, and freeing the Munchkins from her power. As the Munchkins celebrate, the Wicked Witch of the West arrives to claim her sister’s magical ruby slippers, and avenge her sister’s death. But in a flash, the ruby slippers appear on Dorothy’s feet, thwarting the Witch… for the moment. Dorothy wants to go home to Kansas. The Munchkins tell Dorothy that, surely the Wizard of Oz will help her, and she sets off down the Yellow Brick Road towards the Emerald City to find him.
Along the Yellow Brick Road
Along the way, Dorothy and Toto meet three new friends who need help: a Scarecrow whose head full of straw; a Tin Man with an empty chest, and a Lion who is afraid of his own tail. Dorothy invites them to join her to see if the Wizard can help them too. When the Wicked Witch fails to intimidate Dorothy and her friends, she creates a beautiful field of poppies whose scent is poisonous. Glinda causes it to snow, and the poppies melt away, revealing the gates of the Emerald City. Dorothy and her friends boldly knock on the gates but the Guard with the Green Whiskers and his Assistant send them away.
The Emerald City
The Guard sees that Dorothy is wearing the ruby slippers and assumes she must be a person of great importance. He welcomes the friends into the Emerald City. As they are preparing to meet the Wizard, the Witch flies by with another warning to Dorothy: give her those slippers! Unsettled, the group is led into the Wizard’s throne room where they ask for his help. He tells them that to prove themselves worthy of his assistance they must bring him the broom stick of the Wicked Witch of the West.
Winged Monkeys and the Witch’s Castle
Dorothy and her friends depart in haste, and as they make their way to the Witch’s Castle, they are set upon by the Witch’s Winged Monkeys who capture Dorothy, The Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion, sneak into the castle to try to free Dorothy and Toto, who have been imprisoned by the Witch and the Winkies, her slaves. Amid the chaos, the Witch makes a grab for the ruby slippers and Dorothy defends herself by throwing a bucket of water on the Witch, who melts into nothingness. The friends take her broomstick and return to the Emerald City.
The Humbug and Dorothy’s Return Home
In the Throne Room, the Wizard is reluctant to help Dorothy and her friends, when Toto discovers a befuddled man behind an emerald wall: it turns out that the Wizard is a humbug. He’s not a wizard at all, but an ordinary man from Kansas who found himself in Oz after he lost control of his hot-air balloon. The Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion impatiently remind him that he promised to help them, but the Wizard points out that they don’t need his help—they have already shown brains, heart and courage beyond measure. As for Dorothy, he tells her that he will take Toto and her to Kansas himself in his hot-air balloon. As they prepare to depart, Toto runs off, and Dorothy chases him, but it’s too late—the wind has already taken the Wizard, leaving Dorothy and Toto behind. Glinda appears, telling Dorothy that her ruby slippers will take her home. Dorothy says farewell to her friends, and with the aid of the slippers, wills herself home. Dorothy awakens to finds herself at home in Kansas, with Toto asleep at her feet.