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 Sarah Olmsted Thomas, who plays the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda, the Good Witch of the South. Please enjoy!
JACQUELINE LAWTON: To begin, why did you decide to get into theater? Was there someone or a particular show that inspired you?
SARAH OLMSTED THOMAS: My family inspired me to go into the performing arts. My mother was a dancer with the New York City Ballet and ran her own studio in Charlottesville, Virginia. She was my teacher. Her father was a Tony Award nominated actor and her grandfather was a double bassist with the New York Philharmonic. I wanted to inherit their dreams.
JL: What excited you about working on the world premiere production of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz at Adventure Theatre-MTC?
SOT: Every component excited me. I loved that it was an Adventure Theatre MTC production directed by Roberta Gasbarre and that it was a brand new adaptation by Jacqueline Lawton starring Paige Hernandez as Dorothy. It's the Wizard of Oz I've always wanted to see and somehow I'm a part of it, too.
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?
SOT: The story of Oz is relevant because of its emphasis on simple truths. Dorothy and her friends long for qualities that they already have and it takes the experience of friendship and shared adventure to make them feel complete.
JL: Who are you playing? What, if anything, do you have in common with this character’s passions, values, intentions or belief system?
SOT: I'm playing the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch of the South. In order to inhabit the characters, I treat them as elements. The Wicked Witch is fire; combustible, smoldering. Glinda is the sunrise; numinous and golden. I also see them as different roles in the family unit. The Wicked Witch is the orphaned child; Glinda is the nurturing mother.
JL: What’s next for you as an actor? Where can we follow your work?
SOT: I'm a company member with Happenstance Theater and we have two shows coming up this summer; a remount of our circus "IMPOSSIBLE!" and a new clown show about the apocalypse at the Capitol Fringe called "Brouhaha." www.SarahOlmstedThomas.com
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!