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Full Creative Team and Open Auditions Announced For THE WIZ at Manchester's Hope Mill Theatre

Casting will be announced at a later date.

Full Creative Team and Open Auditions Announced For THE WIZ at Manchester's Hope Mill Theatre

Hope Mill Theatre in association with Ameena Hamid Productions has announced the full creative team for its new production of The Wiz: The Super Soul Musical "Wonderful Wizard of Oz" plus details of open auditions being held in London and Manchester.

As previously announced, this Christmas Hope Mill Theatre will stage the first new UK production of The Wiz, in 10 years, running from Wednesday 24th November 2021 to Sunday 16th January 2022.

Hope Mill Theatre is thrilled to be co-producing alongside producer Ameena Hamid Productions and bringing on board ChuChu Nwagu Productions, bringing vital voices to this important and genre-defining musical.

With music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls, book by William F. Brown and original orchestrations by Harold Wheeler, The Wiz is a joyous modern retelling of L. Frank Baum's classic children's novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz reflecting contemporary African-American culture.

After Dorothy gets swept up in a tornado, she finds herself in the fantastical world of Oz. There, she makes new friends, battles evil witches, and seeks the aid of the all-powerful and mysterious Wiz. Ultimately, Dorothy finds that, if you believe with all your heart, you can always find your way home. With an infectious soul score, dynamic numbers, and endearing cast of characters, The Wiz is a joyous explosion of music, dance, magic, and heart to delight audience members of all ages.

The Wiz opened on 21 October 1974, at the Morris A. Mechanic Theatre in Baltimore, and then moved to Broadway's Majestic Theatre on 5 January 1975, winning seven Tony Awards including Best Musical.

Open auditions are being held in London on Saturday 19th June and in Manchester on Saturday 26th June. To apply email Hope Mill Theatre is committed to fair and inclusive casting and to ensuring the rich diversity within our society is represented on its stage. Submissions from Trans and Non Gender Conforming Actors are encouraged as producers recognise they are under-represented in the industry at this level.

The Wiz will be directed by Actors Touring Company's Artistic Director and previous Royal Exchange Associate Artistic Director Matthew Xia (Into the Woods, The Royal Exchange), Musical Supervision and Orchestrations by Sean Green (Get Up Stand Up, Lyric Theatre) and Choreography by Leah Hill (Assistant Choreographer Disney's Aladdin).

The show will have Design by Simon Kenny (Sweeney Todd, Harrington's Pie & Mash Shop, West End and Off Broadway), Associate Costume Design by Maybelle Laye (Intimate Apparel, RADA), Lighting Design by Simisola Majekodunmi (Associate Lighting Designer, Herding Cats, Soho Theatre) and Sound Design by Tony Gayle (Get Up Stand Up, Lyric Theatre). Casting by Anne Vosser Casting with Associate Casting Director Ryan Carter.

Director Matthew Xia said: "I can't wait to return to Manchester, my former home, to create the all singing all dancing extravaganza that is The Wiz at the exceptional Hope Mill Theatre. We're pulling together an outstanding team including musical supervisor Sean Green and choreographer Leah Hill to reimagine this classic funk, soul (and now afrobeat!) infused story of self-discovery, determination and Black joy. Everybody rejoice!"

Musical Supervisor Sean Green said: "I'm overjoyed to be working on the music of this iconic musical. I have a long history with The Wiz and I'm proud to be part of the team bringing this new exciting production to the stage"

Choreographer Leah Hill said: "The Wiz is one of my favourite musicals and to be involved in this production is just so magical. To be working with such an awesome creative team, and getting to help create a "brand new day" is something I feel we all want & need to see."

Casting Director Anne Vosser said: "I am thrilled to be casting director of this much awaited revival of The Wiz. I am also equally as thrilled to be working alongside Ryan Carter to bring an important voice to the casting team and representation across all departments. I have long been passionate about open castings and now more than ever and with this show, can't wait to welcome new and exciting individuals into the room."

Associate Casting Director Ryan Carter said: "The creating of black theatre can be just as rewarding as the watching of it. What we're offering performers to be part of is such a rare and exciting opportunity and we're really excited to throw the net as far and wide as possible. Many professional iterations of The Wiz draw from the current generation of artists, and allow them to artistically imprint on their characters, which is why we're so keen to see black excellence from every possible iteration of our art form."

Hope Mill Theatre will be operating with any current covid measures that are in place at this time.

Casting will be announced at a later date.

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