The Wizard of Oz (R.S.C. 1987)

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This beloved tale, in which a Kansas farm girl travels over the rainbow to discover the magical power of home, has been entertaining audiences for generations.

There are two versions of THE WIZARD OF OZ: MUNY and RSC. Both include the songs “Over The Rainbow,” “Munchkinland (Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead),” “If I Only Had A Brain/A Heart/The Nerve,” “We’re Off To See The Wizard (Follow The Yellow Brick Road),” “The Jitterbug,” and “The Merry Old Land of Oz.” The MUNY version also has “Evening Star.” The RSC version also includes “Poppies (Optimistic Voices)” and “If I Were King Of The Forest.”

The MUNY version is the more theatrically conservative, utilizing its set, props, actors, singers, dancers and musicians in traditional ways. Using L. Frank Baum’s book – and not the MGM film – as its source, this version employs story and songs as elements of a classic stage musical. This version also includes the characters of Gloria and Lord Growlie.

This RSC version is a more faithful adaptation of the film. A more technically complex production, it recreates the dialogue and structure of the MGM classic nearly scene for scene, though it is adapted for live stage performance. The RSC version’s musical material also provides more work for the SATB chorus and small vocal ensembles.

Music samples provided courtesy of Jay Records and Sony/ATV
Production Photos courtesy of Community Theatre of Greensboro

[NEW] The Tams Rehearsal Aid is now available for both your rehearsals and performances of The Wizard of Oz (RSC).  This customized software allows you to rehearse and perform the complete show using your computer and gives you the power to control the tempo and make internal cuts or repeats. Watch the video below or click HERE to learn more!

Our blog now contains How-To Guides, illustrating advanced editing features of Tams Rehearsal Aid.

Authorized performance and rehearsal tracks for THE WIZARD OF OZ (R.S.C. 1987) are available from The MT Pit. For more information, visit themtpit.com.

  • Synopsis
  • Credits
  • Orchestration
  • Rehearsal Materials
  • Cast List
  • Brief History
  • Upcoming
  • Dorothy Gale, a young girl living on a Kansas farm with her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry, dreams of escaping her mundane life (“Over The Rainbow). The family’s mean neighbor, Miss Gulch, threatens to impound Dorothy’s cherished dog, Toto, so Dorothy and Toto run away. They meet up with kindly Professor Marvel, who subtly convinces Dorothy to return home. Suddenly a cyclone hits, and Dorothy and Toto, seeking shelter in the house, are transported to the Land of Oz.

    In Oz, Dorothy meets Glinda, the Good Witch of the North (who has an uncanny resemblance to Aunt Em). Apparently, Dorothy’s house has landed upon – and fatally stricken – the Wicked Witch of the East. The Munchkins, now freed from the Wicked Witch of the East, celebrate and hail Dorothy as their new heroine (“Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead/Munchkin Musical Sequence”). The celebration is interrupted as the Wicked Witch of the West suddenly appears, seeking vengeance. Unable to reclaim her sister’s shoes, which are now on Dorothy’s feet, the Witch vows to return and disappears in a cloud of smoke. Dorothy, seeking a way back home to Kansas, sets off to see the Wizard of Oz (“Follow the Yellow Brick Road”).

    Along the way, Dorothy meets three new friends, each of whom lacks a crucial characteristic: The Scarecrow (“If I Only Had A Brain”) The Tinman (“If I Only Had A Heart”) and the Lion (“If I Only Had The Nerve”). Together, the four new companions make their way towards Oz (“We’re Off To See The Wizard”). The Witch attempts to sedate the travelers with a poisonous field of poppies, but Glinda reverses the spell with healing snowflakes (“Poppies/Optimistic Voices”).

    The travelers, arriving at the Emerald City, are delayed by a stubborn Gatekeeper, but Dorothy’s tears convince him to relent and let them in (“Merry Old Land Of Oz”). As the group awaits its audience with the Wizard, the Lion boasts he is “King Of The Forest.” Finally, they meet the imposing and irritable Wizard, who demands the broomstick of the Wicked Witch of the West.

    The four friends travel deep into the haunted forest. Suddenly, they encounter jitterbugs, who make them dance until they collapse from exhaustion (“Jitterbug”). The Wicked Witch’s flying monkeys swoop down, capturing Dorothy and Toto. At the castle, the Witch vows to take Dorothy’s life. Meanwhile, the Lion, Scarecrow, and Tinman infiltrate the castle disguised as Winkie guards. The foursome and Toto are reunited, but the Wicked Witch interferes, threatening the Scarecrow with fire. Dorothy, dousing the flames with a bucket of water, accidentally strikes the Witch, who smolders and melts into nothing (“Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead – Reprise”). The four friends, triumphant, take the Witch’s broom back to the Wizard.

    The Wizard remains imperious and imposing, but Toto pulls aside a curtain to reveal a meek and ordinary man speaking into a microphone. The Wizard, revealed to be a “humbug,” nonetheless grants each traveler’s request, giving the Scarecrow, the Tinman, and the Lion each a token of his newly-acquired ability. The Wizard offers to take Dorothy back to Kansas in his hot-air balloon, but the balloon accidentally takes off, and Dorothy is left alone and crestfallen. Glinda appears and explains that Dorothy has always had the power to return home. All she has to do is close her eyes, tap her heels together three times, and repeat to herself, “There’s no place like home.”

    Back in Kansas, Dorothy awakens, confused, with a bump on her head. Reunited with all her loved ones, and relieved to learn the storm has left Miss Gulch incapacitated by a broken leg, Dorothy shares the tale of her miraculous journey, celebrating the joy and healing power of home.

  • THE WIZARD OF OZ
    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.

    Except for the credits for John Kane, Peter Howard and Larry Wilcox, the above credits for all purposes shall be in type size equal to that of any other credits except for those of the star of the show. The credits for John Kane, Peter Howard and Larry Wilcox shall at all times be in a type size two thirds of the size of the credit afforded to the other authors of the play as set forth above. In the programs, the credits shall appear on the title page thereof. No name of any person or company except the Licensee, principal sponsors and/or the star(s) of the Licensee’s production shall appear above the title or above the foregoing credits to the authors. The name of Herbert Stothart must be included in the authors’ credits.

    The title page of the program shall contain the following announcement in type size at least one-half the size of the authors’ credits:

    THE WIZARD OF OZ
    is presented by arrangement with
    TAMS-WITMARK MUSIC LIBRARY, INC.
    560 Lexington Avenue, New York, New York 10022

  • NOTE: Authorized performance and rehearsal tracks for THE WIZARD OF OZ (R.S.C. 1987) are available from The MT Pit. For more information, visit themtpit.com.

    Full Orchestration

    2 Violin I
    1 Violin II
    1 Viola
    1 Cello
    1 Bass

    1 Flute, Piccolo and Recorder
    1 Oboe and English Horn
    1 Reed I – Alto Sax, Clarinet & Bass Clarinet
    1 Reed II – Tenor Sax, Flute & Clarinet
    1 Reed III – Baritone Sax, Flute & Clarinet

    2 Horn I & II
    2 Trumpet I & II
    1 Trombone (doubles Tuba for #22 only)

    1 Harp
    1 Piano, Celeste & Synthesizer
    (Keyboard Synthesizer with registration for Honky-tonk Piano, Vibraphone, Strings, Celeste, Harpsichord, and Contrabass Clarinet.)
    2 Percussion I & II
    Mallet Instruments:
    Timpani (2 Pedal Drums), Bells, Xylophone, Vibraphone, Chimes, Suspended Cymbal, Bass Drum/Cymbals Combo, Triangle, Tambourine, Ratchet, Spook Noises – ad lib. (or low Timp.), Siren, Temple Blocks (2 pitches), Mark Tree, Whistle, Anvil, Klaxon Horn, Gong, Steel SFX, Steel Drum (various pitches) and Metalic Objects (or Steel Drum ad lib.).
    Trap Drum Set:
    Snare Drum (brushes & sticks), Bass Drum, Tom Tom (2 pitches), Wood Block (2 pitches), Cow Bell (3 pitches), Triangle, Tam Tam, Spook Noises-ad lib., Cymbals-Hi-Hat, suspended, crash & ride, Metalic Objects (opt: various Cow Bells), Hollow Cylinder (opt: low pitch Cow Bell) and Chimes (Bb Eb F).

    Piano-Conductor’s Score & Rehearsal Piano Score sent with Rehearsal Material

    Optional additional materials are available

    See list under Rehearsal Materials.

  • 1       Piano Conductor’s Score
    1       Prompt Book with Vocal Parts for Director
    1       Rehearsal Piano Score
    30     Prompt Books with Vocal Parts for Cast

    Original Cast CD, if available, is sent with perusal material.

    Optional Additional Materials

    1       Tams Rehearsal Aid (now available as a Performance Aid as well) 
    1       Keyboard Synthesizer part as substitute for the upper Strings (Violin I, Violin II, Viola and Cello). Requires rental of the full orchestration.
    1       Full Score (Partitur) in 2 volumes is available, at an additional charge, with the rental of the full orchestration. [SAMPLE]

    NOTE: Authorized performance and rehearsal tracks for THE WIZARD OF OZ (R.S.C. 1987) are available from The MT Pit. For more information, visit themtpit.com.

  • Principals

    (2 female; 4 male)

    Dorothy Gale
    Glinda (doubles as Aunt Em/Emily Gale)
    Scarecrow (doubles as Hunk — a farmhand)
    Tinman (doubles as Hickory — a farmhand)
    Lion (doubles as Zeke — a farmhand)
    Emerald City Guard (doubles as Uncle Henry/Henry Gale)

    From the Chorus

    Three Crows — male trio
    Three Trees — female trio

    Munchkin Mayor
    Munchkin Coroner
    Munchkin Fiddler

    Three Munchkin Tots
    Three Tough Munchkin Kids

    SATB Chorus

    Ozians
    Jitterbugs
    Munchkins
    Nikko — commander of monkeys
    Popikins, Beauticians, Manicurists and Offstage Voices with the Orchestra — girls
    Snowmen, Polishers and Winkies — boys

    Non-singing

    Miss Almira Gulch (doubles as Wicked Witch of the West)
    Professor Chester Marvel (doubles as Wizard of Oz)

    FOLLOWING IS FROM PROMPT BOOK CAST LIST FROM “MUNCHKINS” DOWN:
    Munchkins: Citizens of Munchkinland
    Mayor
    Coroner
    Barrister
    3 City Fathers
    3 Tots
    3 Tough Guys
    Fiddler
    Braggart
    2 School Teachers

    (Glinda)
    (West Witch)
    (Scarecrow) (Tinman)
    Three Crows (MEN)
    Three Trees (GIRLS)
    (Lion)

    Poppies & Snowmen (Chorus)
    Ozians (Chorus)
    Beauticians
    Polishers
    Manicurists
    2 Oz Men
    2 Oz Women
    (Wizard of Oz)

    Winkies (male chorus)
    Winkie General
    Nikko (Commander of Monkeys)
    Jitterbug (Lead Dancer)
    (Chorus) Jitterbugs & Ghosts

  • This stage version of THE WIZARD OF OZ was first presented by the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Barbican Centre in London in 1987. Featuring book adaptations by John Kane, this RSC Version follows the famous motion picture even more closely than its predecessor.

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