THE WIZARD OF OZ Runs Through Aug 16 at JBK Theatre

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THE WIZARD OF OZ Runs Through Aug 16 at JBK Theatre

A community collaboration between Maryland Ensemble Theatre's (MET) MET-X and Frederick Community College's Theatre FCC will produce the World Premiere of "The Wizard of Odd". In this re-interpretation of the classic tale, "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz", outsider Dee finds himself in an odd fantastical world filled with strange creatures. In his journey to find his way home, he meets a trio of misfits who help him discover the true meaning of friendship, home and self worth. The "Wizard of Odd" is coming to the JBK Theatre at Frederick Community College (7932 Opossumtown Pike, Frederick) from today, August 8 through 16.

The partnership between Theatre FCC and MET-X, a division of MET that produces work outside of its professional Mainstage season like this community theater project, last summer produced "Peter Pan" and the previous summer produced another World Premiere, "Robin Hood: Occupy Sherwood". The show will be directed by Julie Herber, The Artistic Director of The Fun Company (Maryland Ensemble Theatre's family theater), who has directed the previous two collaborations. The play is penned by Caitlyn Joy who is a graduate of the theater program at Towson University and an alumni of MET's Ensemble School where she currently teaches. She most recently wrote "The Star Stealer" and "The Pirates of Pelican Point" which were both produced by The Fun Company. "Caitlyn has come up with a delightful script that takes us in to a quirky fantasy world that honors the beloved Baum classic," said Herber. "Because the world is fantastical we get to create fun and interesting characters, innovative landscapes, playful puppetry and more. Reimagining the story of "The Wizard of Oz", gives us the opportunity to infuse some more modern ideas and concerns that our audience is really going to eat up!"

"Once again we have a wonderfully eclectic mix of performers from Frederick and surrounding metropolitan areas," said Herber. "These collaborations give young performers the priceless experience of working alongside seasoned performers, directors and designers, which is always an exciting venture. We have so many talented young people lending their efforts to the show, including high school student Connor Cochran (who also plays the Wizard) and college sophomore Brandon Kayda (who also plays a knight) composing original music for the soundtrack of the show. It's definitely not to be missed. The whole family will enjoy the ride." These collaborations really do try to engage the community as is evidenced by the large cast that features Quinn Cochran, Alex Borlo, Su Das, Dakota Rossell, Ken Poisson, Jamar Brown, Toks Oriola, Grace Silva, Renee Gerrard, Alex Harrington, Rose Kelly, Brandon Kayda, Russell Sorbello, Johnny Aldermand, Kevin Dolan, Kristen Proffitt, Madeline Summers, Caitlyn Allen, Faith King, Lexi McKenzie, Dottie Hager, Jemma Przybocki, Shaylee Chubin, Bailey McKenzie, Mellany Zahn, Lilianna Griffen, Wilson Seltzer, Evan Smedley, Elena Johnston, Katya Peters, Jarrod Celeste, Katiebelle Thompson, Kaz Stronge, Elora Paul-Martin, Merrick Summers, Sabrina Griffee and Ysabel Seltzer. The design team includes Herber herself designing the costumes and her sister Joanne Lee is returning as scenic designer. The lighting designer is Paul Shillinger, the sound designer is Steve Younkins and Vanessa Strickland is designing the puppets that will be used in the show.

The show will play on Friday and Saturday at 8pm between August 8 and 16 at JBK Theatre at Frederick Community College (7932 Opossumtown Pike, Frederick). Tickets to "The Wizard of Odd" are $15 (Adults), $12 (Seniors/Students) and may be purchased online at marylandensemble.org, by phone at (301) 694-4744, in person at the MET box office or beginning one hour prior to each performance at the JBK Theatre.

Photo Credit: Joann Lee

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