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 Ryan Dalusung who plays the Scarecrow. Please enjoy!
JACQUELINE LAWTON: To begin, why did you decide to get into theater? Was there someone or a particular show that inspired you?
RYAN DALUSUNG: I first got into theatre because I needed an elective in high school and heard it was an easy “A”. Turns out… it was, but only because it’s very difficult to really judge a performance. Everyone always learns to have fun when given the freedom to create, so here were a bunch of us using our imaginations to their fullest extents, which was the whole point of the classes. We were succeeding in embracing ourselves and establishing camaraderie with our classmates and, thus, we grew. For me, theatre acting became a craft that can never be perfected, but always bettered. I came to love that philosophy, and so I’m still involved today.
JL: What excited you about working on the world premiere production of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz at Adventure Theatre-MTC?
RD: The people involved, the experience of getting to work with the folks at Adventure Theatre MTC for the first time, and the mere fact that I was fortunate enough to play such an iconic character in a brand new adaptation of a beloved classic. A lot of firsts! The excitement hasn’t really ended for me either: seeing the faces in the audience continuously light up with wonder and awe at everything going on in front of them is endlessly rejuvenating.
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?
RD: For me, I feel it resonates most with the ideas of cooperation and understanding. You can’t ever have too much of that. Make friends, work together, support each other, help each other become better people. The more we learn and come to understand our own selves, the less reason we have to judge others. I also believe that a lot of people can relate to many of the characters, in that we all tend to look towards outside influences for answers to our personal problems, which can bring satisfaction, but won’t help you find lasting contentment.
JL: Who are you playing? What, if anything, do you have in common with this character’s passions, values, intentions or belief system?
RD: I play the Scarecrow who, I believe, shares a personality and mindset that is nigh identical to mine own. He’s very much a thinker (possibly an over thinker), he’s very supportive of his friends, he can appear overly serious until he realizes he’s being so (in which case he then snaps out of said reverie with attempts at humor), and he loves playing games, especially games that involve thinking. In short, I see him as the absent-minded professor who tries to answer questions as warmly and as accurately as possible but almost always veers off topic.
JL: What’s next for you as an actor? Where can we follow your work?
RD: In stark contrast to the warmhearted adventure that is The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, I’ll be appearing next in The Bloody Banquet, a verse drama unperformed professionally since the 1600s, with Brave Spirits Theatre, as part of the 2015 Capital Fringe Festival. You can check out tidbits of my other work via my website, at www.ryandalusung.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.
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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!