Oz in the News 11.10.15

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Elements Of Oz  The Builders Association has created a new 75-minute work, Elements Of Oz, directed by Marianne Weems, in which the classic film, The Wizard Of Oz, becomes what the company calls “a lighthearted 21st-century mash-up featuring YouTube fanatics, heavy metal, and a heartfelt recreation of the iconic film.” Not to mention that audience members are asked to turn on their phones and tablets, having downloaded the OZ App, for an extra layer of visuals on their handheld screens during the performance in a display of augmented reality, and an increased shared experience, with everyone looking not only at the stage but also at their phones. “It all started with looking at The Wizard Of Oz. The film represented new, groundbreaking reality at the time, and that led to our using augmented reality and developing the app for the performance,” says Switser, who has worked with this company for over eight years. He points out that augmented reality is a term developed for marketing or real estate, and using your cell phone to reveal another reality or way to see things. In this case, additional visual layers with poppies and flying monkeys can be seen through the app, which also displays videos and triggers sound effects. Jesse Garrison served as the video associate and worked on how the augmented reality would trigger people’s phones.

See the Wizard! Broadway Balances America Pulls Back the Curtain on New Wizard of Oz Tour  Pay all of your attention to the people behind the curtain! Broadway Balances America, the special six-part series airing on The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television, continues its second season on November 17 (the episode will re-air on November 24) with an exclusive look at the new touring production of The Wizard of Oz. Tune in as The Balancing Act takes viewers behind the scenes of the reimagined musical, featuring interviews with the show’s cast and creatives. In this episode, correspondent Amber Milt visits the production’s costume shop in Baltimore, where Sarah Lasko— the young actress playing Dorothy and a Maryland native—talks about the meaning of “no place like home” before embarking on the U.S. tour. Viewers will see the transformation as Lasko is fitted into her iconic costume for the first time, while exploring what’s behind these famous female characters and the shoes they wear, and how new musical numbers penned by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice bring a classic back to life.

Amazon Orders Trio of Kids’ Originals  Amazon has placed an order for three new original kids’ series, Dino Dana, The Kicks and Lost in Oz, as well as the half-hour special Shaun the Sheep: The Farmer’s Llamas. All three titles will become available for Prime members in the U.K., U.S., Germany and Austria next year. Lost in Oz is an animated adventure comedy that is a contemporary reimagining of The Wizard of Oz.

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