As we count down to the final performance of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz at Adventure Theatre-MTC, I thought it would be nice to get to know our cast a little better. I had a chance to speak with them about their life in the theatre, their roles, and where we can see them next onstage. Next up, we have Henian Boone, who plays the Tin Woodman. Please enjoy!
Jacqueline Lawton: To begin, why did you decide to get into theater? Was there someone or a particular show that inspired you?
Henian Boone: Theatre was a life raft extended to me by my high school drama teacher. I was an anxious adolescent trying to acclimate himself to an ever changing environment. Theatre began as an afterschool intervention to keep me out of harms way, and has grown to become a vision of a possible future, a viable career, and a vehicle to share my voice.
JL: What excited you about working on the world premiere production of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz at Adventure Theatre-MTC?
HB: I was attracted to Adventure Theatre-MTC because of Michael Bobbitt, the Artistic Director. I’ve had the pleasure of being involved with Adventure in a previous project, The Adventure of Flat Stanley. Since that time Adventure Theatre MTC has made a name for itself for thinking outside of the box and producing dynamite work. I am attracted to theatre companies and artists that aim to reach all audiences through racially blind casting. This is paramount to me. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz at Adventure Theatre-MTC was an awesome opportunity for young audiences to see themselves depicted by diverse players.
JL: Published in September of 1900, the Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a much beloved classic story. Why do you feel this story is relevant to today’s audiences?
HB: A story like Oz is relevant. It’s a fable that speaks of the human condition or the quest to find oneself. Some may even call it timeless. Baum could relate to this quest. It seems all the characters who skipped down the yellow brick road of life are looking for qualities they already possess. I think this story is ultimately about trust. Trusting oneself and understanding that ‘you’ are enough. Trusting that when you fall down your neighbor will be there to help you back to get back on track. I think audiences then, now, and audiences to come will continue to see themselves in this story.
JL: Who are you playing? What, if anything, do you have in common with this character’s passions, values, intentions or belief system?
HB: I play the Tin-Woodman. Like the Tin Woodman, I can be found wearing my heart on my sleeve. In contrast, I’ve always known I had a heart, because it is constantly breaking. I believe that my compassion for others is my most trait in which I share with the Tin Woodman. And empathy never hurt anyone, definitely not an actor.
JL: What’s next for you as an actor? Where can we follow your work?
HB: After the Wizard of Oz closes, I’m going to be focusing my attention to some personal projects I’ve been working on. I’m so inspired by the things that surround me. I’m going to use them to good advantage. Please stay in touch. Follow my work at HenianBoone.com
Wonderful Wizard of Oz Event Info
THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ
April 3 – May 31, 2015
Based on the novel by L. Frank Baum
Adapted by Jacqueline E. Lawton
Directed by Roberta Gasbarre
Starring Henian Boone, Ryan Dalusung, Maggie Erwin, Pasquale Guiducci, Thony Mena, Sarah Olmsted-Thomas, Alex Vernon, and Paige Hernandez as Dorothy Gale
Recommended for All Ages
Running Time: 1 hour with no intermission
Click here to purchase tickets.
Life in Kansas has been a bit boring for Dorothy and her little dog Toto. Until one day, a cyclone swoops in and takes them “over the rainbow” to the wonderful and magical land of Oz. With the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion, Dorothy sets off on the adventure of a lifetime down the yellow brick road to the Emerald City. These new friends brave witches, flying monkeys, and a Haunted Forest all to meet the Wizard of Oz, who promises to make their dreams come true.
Tickets to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz are $19-19.50 each, with group and field trip rates available, and can be purchased through the box office by calling 301-634-2270 or online at www.adventuretheatre-mtc.org. Children under the age of one are free. The press performance is set for 2 p.m. Saturday, April 4th.
All performances will take place at Adventure Theatre MTC, 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo, MD, 20812 in the historic Glen Echo Park.
I'm a playwright, dramaturg, and teaching artist. It is here where you'll find my queries and musings on life, theater and the world. My posts advocate for diversity, inclusion, and equity in the American Theatre and updates on my own work. Please enjoy!