BWW Q&A: Beth Stockill – Dorothy; Emily Searle – Dorothy; Paul Barker – The Wizard of THE WIZARD OF OZ at Brampton On Stage

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By: Nov. 09, 2023
BWW Q&A: Beth Stockill – Dorothy; Emily Searle – Dorothy; Paul Barker – The Wizard of THE WIZARD OF OZ at Brampton On Stage

Presented by: Brampton Music Theatre By L. Frank Baum With Music and Lyrics by Harold Arlen and E. Y. Harburg Background Music by Herbert Stothart Dance and Vocal Arrangements by Peter Howard Orchestration by Larry Wilcox Adapted by John Kane for the Royal Shakespeare Company Based upon the Classic Motion Picture owned by Turner Entertainment Co. and distributed in all media by Warner Bros. Lions, Tigers, and Bears... oh my!

The yellow brick road is winding it's way to The Rose with Brampton On Stage and Brampton Music Theatre's production of THE WIZARD OF OZ! This wonderful stage adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s beloved tale about Dorothy Gale of Kansas and her journey over the rainbow to the magical Land of Oz features the iconic musical score from the MGM film. Sure to whisk you away like a house in a twister, don't miss this colourful production that's full of magic and music for the whole family!

Presented by Brampton On Stage and Brampton Music Theatre running at The Rose Brampton.

What drew you to your respective roles in The Wizard of Oz?

Beth: The beauty and innocence of Dorothy's disposition. The way she goes through Oz and is captivated by every aspect of the wonderful world. I thought it would be fascinating to play such a pure character to develop my skill in embodying a role and grow my knowledge of becoming one with their personality.

Emily: I grew up watching the movie and completely fell in love with Judy Garland’s portrayal of Dorothy so being given the chance to play such an classic character meant everything.. I think Dorothy is one of those characters that on face value seems to be your average 12 year old girl but her character arc throughout the show & the obstacles she overcomes in Oz are nothing short of amazing.

Paul: I had played the Tinman in a production in 1995 and I loved the production. At my age now, I felt it quite easy to slip into the role. I always look for ‘meaty, juicy’ lines that I can sink my teeth into and make my own. I use the mantra ‘Talking is singing’. You have to add cadence, inflection and other vocal tricks to make the words stand out and mean what the author intended.

Can you talk about any challenges you faced while preparing for this production

Beth:I have never had a lead role in an onstage production before so this is my first time with learning and memorizing a script. With my prior knowledge in dance and music those parts of the process came easy to me. Where I struggled the most was taking all the time to learn a script, trying new tactics of memorization and on top of that, keeping up with the good quality performances in the other areas of the show. It was quite the balancing act but I am here and ready to become the Dorothy everyone knows and loves.

Emily: I guess the first one would be the accent! I am from England so nailing the Kansas accent took some time, especially as I also knew I would need to alter my voice to sound younger.

Paul: There were no real challenges for me. Theater is my ‘happy place’ and I enjoy every aspect of the production from start to finish.

Emily, as a newcomer to BMT, what has been your experience working with the company?

Emily: Everyone at BMT is such a joy to work with. They are one of the most professional community theatre companies i have ever come across, I was blown away by the talent, professionalism and kindness present in every single cast & creative member. Our creative team Joe, Vince & Cassie gave me the freedom to make Dorothy my own whilst also providing incredible direction and advice. I felt so welcomed as a newcomer and I know this will be my first show of many with this wonderful company. And a special shout-out to my Dorothy double Beth - at the age of 14 she is already a force to be reckoned with and definitely one to watch!

Beth, how does it feel to be performing your dream role as Dorothy?

Beth: I am very excited to make my debut as a lead with the character of Dorothy Gale. This has been a wonderful learning experience and has helped me grow so much as an actor and a performer. I am also extremely honored to work beside Emily who has brought so much support and experience to the journey.

Paul, with your extensive experience in theatre, how does The Wizard of Oz compare to the other productions you've been part of? 

Paul: This part is very straightforward and simple for me to perform but I give it my full effort. Every production is different. I do have my favourites but with a happy show like this, you can’t help but leave the rehearsal with a smile on your face.

What do you hope the audience takes away from this production?

Beth: I hope the audience leaves this show with even more of a love for theater. When I watch a show I leave with a sparkle in my eye and new inspiration, all I hope is that they feel that way too.

Emily: I hope it reminds them to hug their loved ones a little tighter because the grass is rarely greener! And that magic can be found anywhere, not just in the bright lights and action of a fantasy land like Oz.

Paul: A smile, a memory, a feeling. It’s about friendship, courage, heart, using your brain.

Why should audiences come see The Wizard of OZ?

Beth: The atmosphere, the joy and the love that this show creates should be something that everyone gets to experience. You may laugh or cry, smile or frown but when you leave you will be delighted that you came.

Emily: This show is such a spectacle, full of memorable songs, electric choreography and such a moving storyline. It is a classic and a family favourite for a reason and BMT brings it to life in a wholly new and unique way. And you don’t want to miss Milo’s debut performance as Toto - the cutest little pup to ever grace the yellow brick road!

Paul: It’s timeless. It will be how you remembered it when you were young. In today’s world, this is the perfect escape to find something positive and uplifting.

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