In this production of The Wiz, I strove to use fantasy as a vehicle to bring awareness to the reality of tough life produced by social injustice in today’s urban centers. Dorothy, an average girl from the Kansas Projects in search of love and direction, learns how to live with integrity with the help of her friends Scarecrow, Tinman, and Lion. Each of the friends are inspired by hood “characters" that we are quick to condemn: a dope boy stuck on his corner with no agency, a player who heartlessly seduces girl after girl, and a pimp whose perceived power over others gives him illusions of grandeur. However, alongside Dorothy and with help from the magnificent Wiz, they learn "how to live with “intelligence, compassion, and courage in today’s tough cities” (Lili-Anne Brown).
Music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls, Book by William F. Brown
Directed by Lili-Anne Brown
Musical Direction by Jimmy Morehead
Choreography by Breon Arzell
Set Design by Arnel Sancianco
Light Design by Alex Ridgers
Photos by Michael Brosilow