Press Release: The Wizard of Oz adapted by Jacqueline E. Lawton Receives World Premiere Production
From April 3 to May 25, 2015, Adventure Theatre MTC (ATMTC) will present the world premiere of the WIZARD OF OZ, based on the novel by L. Frank Baum, adapted by Jacqueline E. Lawton under the direction by Roberta Gasbarre with dramaturgy by Otis Cortez Ramsey-Zoe. This brand new play recommended for all ages will star Paige Hernandez.
A modern take on the beloved classic! 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.
ATMTC's Producing Artistic Director Michael J. Bobbitt says of the season, "Three world premieres, some of our most important literary characters of all time, renowned playwrights, a national tour and a favorite classic two-act family musical! I know this year will turn thousands of children into life-long theatre goers!"
Adventure Theatre MTC (ATMTC) cultivates new generations of artists and life-long audiences by creating memorable theatrical productions and experiences and by providing young people the highest quality training in musical theater and theater.
About the Artists
JACQUELINE E. LAWTON was named one of 30 of the nation's leading black playwrights by Arena Stage’s American Voices New Play Institute. Her plays include: Anna K; Blood-bound and Tongue-tied; Deep Belly Beautiful;The Devil’s Sweet Water; The Hampton Years; Ira Aldridge: the African Roscius; Lions of Industry, Mothers of Invention; Love Brothers Serenade (2013 semi-finalist for the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference); Mad Breed; Noms de Guerre; and Our Man Beverly Snow. Ms. Lawton received her MFA in Playwriting from the University of Texas at Austin, where she was a James A. Michener Fellow. She is a 2012 TCG Young Leaders of Color award recipient, National New Play Network (NNPN) Playwright Alum, and member of Arena Stage's Playwrights' Arena. She is also a proud member of the Dramatist Guild of America.
With more than 35 years in the field of educational theatre, ROBERTA GASBARRE is recognized as a leader incultural and arts-based learning. A Fulbright Scholar whose primary interest is in heritage and traditional arts, she has created a museum theatre form that weaves the factual and the imaginative into exciting, interactive experiences for audiences of all ages. Roberta’s professional theatre career includes work at most Washington, DC-area theaters. She worked with the groundbreaking Living Stage Company, Arena Stage’s improvisational community outreach company; served as choreographer and movement stylist for six seasons with Michael Kahn at The Shakespeare Theater; and created movement and dances for such organizations as Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Roundhouse Theater, Studio Theatre, and Washington Jewish Theatre. Fluent in sign language, she served on the faculty at Gallaudet University, and has also taught at George Washington University, American University, Montgomery College (Rockville,MD), and in Poland at the University of Poznan. A presenter and creator of plays and performances for the Smithsonian Institution for many years, Roberta became Discovery Theater director in 2000, deepening the theater’s commitment to educational enrichment and broadening its connection to the museums on and off the National Mall. As Artistic Director of the Washington Revels, Roberta guides a performance community in multi-generational singers, dancers, mummers, and tradition bearers in a variety of performances, workshops, festivals, parades and other celebrations honoring the turning of the year, the passages of life and the creation of community. Roberta received her BA from the Catholic University of America and an MFA from Towson University, specializing in interdisciplinary world experimental theatre and art. She is an active member of the International Museum Theater Alliance, the Association of American Museums, and ASSITEJ-USA (The United States Center for the International Association of Theater for Children and Young People). Roberta has served on grants panels in educational theatre for many years, including the NEA, DC Commission on the Arts, and Prince George’s County Arts Council.
OTIS CORTEZ RAMSEY-ZOE (Dramaturg) is a Lecturer of Theatre Arts at Howard University, Future Classics Program Coordinator at The Classical Theatre of Harlem, Series Editor for NoPassport Press’s Dreaming the Americas Series, a freelance dramaturg, and a Company Member of banished? productions. He has developed new works with such organizations as The Sundance Institute, Kennedy Center, Arena Stage, Centerstage and Black Women Playwrights’ Group and by such writers as Colman Domingo, Tarell McCraney, Noah Haidle, Kirsten Greenidge and Tim Acito. He has directed readings including Jacqueline E. Lawton’s The Hampton Years and Blood-bound and Tongue-tied, James Webb’sThe Contract and David Emerson Toney’s Kingdom. Previously, he was Literary Manager and First Look Coordinator at Centerstage and an Allen Lee Hughes Dramaturgy and Literary Senior Fellow at Arena Stage. Mr. Ramsey-Zöe holds degrees from New York University and the University of Notre Dame.