Virginia Varland

Costume Design

The wiz

Music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls, Book by William F. Brown

Kokandy Productions

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


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).