Oz in the News 4.12.16

MC-OZ-at-Nevendon-Manor043Wickford youngsters take part in Wizard of Oz-themed events  Youngsters took part in a Wizard of Oz-themed experience during the Easter holidays last week. The immersive, one-hour show, titled ’Oz – The Search for Toto’ – ran several times per day at Nevendon Manner. As visitors navigated the ’yellow brick road’ around an outdoor trail, they encountered actors playing the Lion, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow and other memorable characters, including the Munchkins.

Finding wisdom through The Wizard of Oz  Like the film and subsequent stage musical adaptations, Baum’s fairytale chronicles the adventures of a young farm girl named Dorothy in the magical Land of Oz, after she and her pet dog Toto are swept away from their Kansas home by a cyclone. The book’s themes of virtue, friendship, good and evil, are still relevant, more than a century on, and over the past 40 years the author’s great-granddaughter Dr Gita Morena has travelled the world helping people tackle the complexities of life using her great-grandfather’s enchanting tale. “Finding inner peace and happiness in a world that is filled with so many challenges,” should be our number one goal says the San Diego-based psychologist, author, and certified sandplay therapist, who will be visiting Dungannon and Belfast later this month to help inspire both young people and adults to “follow their own yellow brick road”. This will be the second visit to Ireland by Dr Morena who, having already visited Taiwan this year, will go on to tour Australia, Singapore and South Africa in the autumn. She is delighted that there are now a number of therapists using sandplay therapy in the north of Ireland, helping people access their unconscious to help address trauma and conflict. She will also speak at an evening seminar, Travelling Through Oz, hosted by Queen’s University School of Education in Belfast on April 25. For further information and booking visit art-therapy-works.com.

The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry to Present THE WIZARD OF OZ  In this classic heart-warming tale, beautifully adapted for marionettes by Martin Stevens and Dan Raynor, children of all ages will watch with bated breath as a Kansas cyclone whisks Dorothy off to Oz, where she befriends the Scarecrow, who wants brains; the Tin Woodman, who wants a heart; and the Cowardly Lion, who wants courage. Together they set off on a journey to find the mysterious Wizard of Oz while evading the delightfully silly Wicked Witch of the West. World leaders in puppetry arts for over 80 years, the Stevens Puppets bring this tale to life with artfully hand-carved wooden marionettes and a musical score you are sure to be humming all the way home. Martin Stevens created this version of THE WIZARD OF OZ in 1966. It closely follows both the book and movie versions. In the spring of 2012, THE WIZARD OF OZ went through an extensive renovation, with all-new scenery, newly painted and costumed marionettes, a new digital soundtrack, and all new props.Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, by calling 860.486.8580, or online at bimp.ticketleap.com/the-wizard-of-oz.

Adventure Time makes a bold visual shift for its Wizard Of Oz pastiche  The Wizard Of Oz is a film full of iconic moments, but none are quite as magical as Dorothy’s first steps into the land of Oz, discovering a world of color when before her life was black and white. Adventure Time is already a bright, colorful series, so it offers a different kind of visual shift for its Wizard Of Oz pastiche “Beyond The Grotto,” which sees Finn and Jake traveling into a crudely rendered, dramatically altered version of their usual surroundings. Guest directors/animators Lindsay and Alex Small-Butera (best known for their Baman Piderman Mondo series) handle the majority of the episode, and they do fantastic work reinterpreting the show’s setting and characters in a rougher style that is still extremely bold and imaginative. Just like in The Wizard Of Oz, Finn and Jake encounter new characters inspired by people they know when they pass through the grotto, and a big part of this episode’s appeal is seeing what these characters are turned into. Princess Bubblegum is a pink pond that this world’s versions of Finn and Jake (a rabbit and tadpole, respectively) drink from early on; Marceline is a flower that sings about wanting to escape her plant body and see the sea; Ice King is Princess Purple Patch, the guardian of a field of purple that shares similar qualities withThe Wizard Of Oz’s poppies. The purple patch is where the danger of this setting becomes clear, and Finn and Jake begin to forget their identities and their motivations as they spend time in it.


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