How The Woodsman’s Latest Treatment of Oz Has Us Re-thinking Everything About the Tinman “We’re used to this image of the Tinman being a bulky, boxy thing from the movie,” explains Ortiz. “In most interpretations, it’s almost always an actor in a suit. But the way he’s described in the novel, there’s a sense that you can see daylight through his joints. The only thing holding him together is his own will power. There’s the idea that he’s quite spindly — that’s in most of the early illustrations of him. It was important for me that he be fragile in appearance. His earlier form is a very sensitive young man who is in the midst of trying to figure out what’s best for the person he loves,” he continues. “It was important that he had a fragility that could also be reflected in this other version of him.”
Review: In ‘The Woodsman,’ a Love Lost in Oz Under a Witch’s Spell The moment you step through the door, enchantment envelops you. Flocks of Mason jars hang suspended, glowing with amber light. Bare branches sprout from walls in the orchestra or reach scraggy arms across the ceiling, almost into the balcony. Thunder rumbles under birdsong. This magical environment is the world of James Ortiz’s “The Woodsman,” which uses puppets and actors, chorus and a lone violin (Composed by Edward W. Hardy) to reimagine the corner of L. Frank Baum’s Oz where the Tin Man came to be. This is what happened before he rusted, before that perky girl from Kansas fell from the sky.
Play Explores Tin Man’s Backstory The most unique aspect of this production is that Ortiz’s opening narration is one of the last spoken words the audience hears. Ortiz and Karpen employ wordless storytelling, puppetry and stylized physical acting to tell Nick Chopper’s story. The Wicked Witch, a beast in the forest and ultimately the Tin Man are portrayed through life-sized puppets, operated and voiced by actors.