Thoroughly Modern Productions (TMP) is in the midst of rehearsals for a production of The Wizard of Oz on a scale that Central Oregon has never seen before. It’s all in preparation for the curtain going up for six shows August 22-31 at Bend’s Summit Theater, on the campus of Summit High.
With a cast of nearly 70 actors, singers, dancers and musicians, The Wizard of Oz will fill nearly every inch of Summit’s massive stage and state-of-the-art theatre with excitement. The driving force behind the production are members of the same creative team that delivered Monty Python’s Spamalot to record-breaking audiences at the Tower Theatre last Fall: David DaCosta, the show’s director and TMP’s artistic director, Musical Director Scott Michaelson and Dakota Weeda, choreography director. Together, they are working with a cast of some of Central Oregon’s most seasoned talent to bring this classic, now celebrating its 75th anniversary, to life.
Along with a cast of adults, The Wizard of Oz will feature some of Central Oregon’s most talented youth. Currently enrolled in TMP’s Wizard of Oz Summer Theater Camp, nearly 40 children ages five to 16 will join the cast of adults in roles ranging from munchkins to flying monkeys to the lead role of Dorothy.
Skylar Adams, a 16-year-old member of TMP’s Summer Theater Camp, earned the role of Dorothy by auditioning alongside the adults. “Skylar came out of nowhere, much like Dorothy herself when she landed in Oz, and surprised every one of us with her talent, spirit and energy,” says the show’s Producer, Gary Fulkerson.
“It was quite a magical moment when we all looked across the table at each other and realized that our Dorothy was coming right out of the camp itself.”
With several shows already on her resume and as the reigning Miss Teen Central Oregon competing this year for the title of Miss Teen Oregon, Skylar is no stranger to the stage. She will be featured as Dorothy singing the National Anthem at the Bend Elks home closer on August 10.
Thanks to the theatre camp element, The Wizard of Oz will feature a number of Central Oregon families sharing the stage together for the first time. “It’s an amazing story on so many levels,” says DaCosta. “Our goal is always to bring people together by producing the highest level of theater in Central Oregon for them to enjoy. But with so many families coming together on stage for this classic show, we’ve taken it to a whole new level.”
There is no shortage of storylines or talent with this production. Says DaCosta, “We are incredibly excited at Thoroughly Modern Productions to have developed a true partnership with the amazing people at Summit Theater. Expect the highest quality show. Expect surprises at every turn. Expect the time of your life enjoying this timeless classic.”
A local production company that has grown rapidly since its debut in 2013, Thoroughly Modern Productions strives to inspire, nurture, challenge, educate and empower artists and audiences alike. TMP is an alternative performance company with a commitment to helping develop original theatre artists locally, serving the community by providing a wealth of theatrical experiences to people of all ages and abilities, fostering new works that examine our present through the past, and presenting theatre that is experienced actively, not passively.