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 Alex Vernon, who plays a whole host of characters, including Uncle Henry and the Wizard of Oz. Please enjoy!
JACQUELINE LAWTON: To begin, why did you decide to get into theater? Was there someone or a particular show that inspired you?
Alex Vernon: When I was in middle school I was involved with a program called Odyssey of the Mind, which involved creative problem solving and a performance component. That was a really fun, creative outlet that jumpstarted my love of performing.
JL: What excited you about working on the world premiere production of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz at Adventure Theatre-MTC?
AV: ATMTC always does amazing shows, and I’ve always loved the story of OZ, so I knew it would be a great experience.
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?
AV: The themes that the story deals with are timeless. Wanting to explore the world outside of your home, feeling incomplete and wanting to better yourself, making friends and helping them on your journey.
JL: Who are you playing? What, if anything, do you have in common with this character’s passions, values, intentions or belief system?
AV: I play Uncle Henry, a puppeteer, the Evil Wildcat, the King of the Winged Monkeys, and the Wizard of OZ. I feel like I identify with the Wizard most of all. I’ve been interested in illusions and stage magic since I was young, and he only tricks people in order to make them feel better about themselves. He’s also basically the only thing keeping the Wicked Witches from taking over OZ.
JL: What’s next for you as an actor? Where can we follow your work?
AV: I’ll be remounting IMPOSSIBLE! A Happenstance Circus with my theater company Happenstance Theater at Roundhouse Bethesda, as well as debuting our new 6 person clown show at the DC Fringe Festival. You can follow my work at www.thealexvernon.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!