Click your heels together three times! It's time to follow the Yellow Brick Road as THE WIZARD OF OZ - ARENA SPECTACULAR makes its way into entertainment centres across the country in 2019.
The cast for this all new arena production has been announced today, with newcomer Carly Bettinson taking on the coveted role of Dorothy. At 19 years of age, Carly is a recent graduate of the Brisbane Academy of Musical Theatre (BAMT) and is no stranger to arena productions, having performed last year as part of the mass ensemble in GREASE - THE ARENA EXPERIENCE. "I was just pinching myself the whole time that I got to be part of such a huge production. I never dreamed that a year later I'd be leading the principal cast of a major arena show. It really is a dream come true!"
Joining Carly on her journey down the Yellow Brick Road will be Chris Geoghegan in the role of Scarecrow, Michael Nunn in the role of Tinman and Josh Whitten in the role of Lion.
Aurelie Roque will play the role of Glinda the Good Witch, and Bil Heit will strike fear in the hearts of children all over Oz when she plays the role of the Wicked Witch of the West.
Rounding out the principal cast will be Matty Johnston, Zane Powell, Joanna Nash, Bethany Wilson, Kamara Henricks alongside a large mass ensemble of over 500 young performers who will play Munchkins, Poppies, Emerald City Citizens, Winkie and Jitterbugs throughout the show.
This all-new arena production will be directed by Tim O'Connor and choreographed by Callum Mansfield, with Music Direction by Dennett Hudson, Set Design by Frances Hannaway, Sound Design by John Taylor and Lighting Design by Trudy Dalgleish. Illustrations by Elizabeth Botteand Animations by Optikal Bloc.
Says Director Tim O'Connor "Our vision for this production is quite different to the Oz we've seen on stage before. The original 1939 film is one of my favourite movies of all time, but we don't just want to replicate the movie on stage. Playing in the arena gives us the chance to full re-imagine the land of Oz, so our interpretation is a bit grungier and more moody, a little less pantomime and little more steampunk. The technology we're using to bring Oz to life for this production is state-of-the-art and totally breathtaking. There's 9-metre tall LED screens wrapping around the entire set playing wall-to-wall animations throughout the whole show so we really will feel transported into the fantastical land of Oz."
THE WIZARD OF OZ - ARENA SPECTACULAR opens at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre in April 2019, before heading to Brisbane Entertainment Centre in July 2019, Adelaide Entertainment Centre in October 2019 and Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney in January 2020. More cities to be announced soon.