Originator of the National Oz Museum, Willard Carroll, to Speak at Freeport Players' Matinee of WIZARD OF OZ, 7/20

Originator of the National Oz Museum, Willard Carroll, to Speak at Freeport Players' Matinee of WIZARD OF OZ, 7/20Freeport Players announces an exciting addition to its blockbuster July production of The Wizard of Oz, on the 75th anniversary of the beloved 1939 MGM movie. Willard Carroll, the premier collector of original Wizard of Oz memorabilia and originator of the National Oz Museum, will speak before the matinee performance on Sunday, July 20, at 12:30 pm. Carroll will also answer questions about his collection and the museum, and will show a brief video. He began collecting Oz items as a child, and owns thousands of them, including the hourglass used by the Wicked Witch, an original costume worn by one of the Lollipop Guild Munchkins, and a dress worn by Judy Garland. He also has toys, posters, lunchboxes and more. Carroll will bring an original poster to show. The talk and performances are at Freeport Performing Arts Center, Holbrook St., Freeport.

Willard Carroll is an Emmy Award-winning producer, writer, and director with more than 200 hours of motion picture and television credits. His films include the all-star drama Playing by Heart and the musical-comedy Marigold. As an author, Carroll's books include I, Toto: The Autobiography of the Dog Who Was Toto. Together with Tom Wilhite, he has established the National Oz Museum (www.nationalozmuseum.com) to house the world's most comprehensive collection devoted to The Wizard of Oz. It will open in Camden, Maine, in the near future.

Freeport Players is marking its own 25th anniversary this year, and the grand scale of The Wizard of Oz production, in collaboration with Freeport Family Performing Arts, is part of the celebration. Audiences will see fabulous costumes and sets, the giant talking Wizard head, the tornado, the Wicked Witch melting into the floor, the exciting revelation of "Technicolor" when Dorothy arrives in Oz, and more. Performances are July 17 to 27, at 7 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 pm on Sundays, with ticket prices of $10 adult and $5 child under 18. The pay-what-you-want preview on July 17 is at 7:30 pm. Tickets can be purchased at the door, or in advance at Freeport Community Services Thrift Shop, by mail with check payment to Freeport Community Players, PO Box 483, Freeport, ME 04032 or at www.fcponline.org.

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