Rochester Children's Theatre & Nazareth College Arts Center to present "The Wizard of Oz" starting December 14

Delightful musical celebrates the 75th anniversary of one of the most famous films ever made!

ROCHESTER, NY (11/22/2013)(readMedia)-- In celebration of the 75th anniversary of the iconic film, Rochester Children's Theatre (RCT) and Nazareth College Arts Center are pleased to present The Wizard of Oz, their second co-production of the 2013-2014 Season! Performances are at 2 p.m. Saturday December 14, Sunday December 15, Saturday December 21, and Sunday December 22** (**final performance interpreted for the deaf and hard of hearing); as well as 7 p.m. Friday, December 20.

The show is suggested for children ages 5+ and their families, and runs 2 hours (including one intermission). Audience members will be able to meet the characters after each performance.

MEDIA PLEASE NOTE: Interviews and photo/footage preview opportunities can be arranged. Visit for photos.


The Rochester Children's Theatre/Nazareth College Arts Center co-production of The Wizard of Oz promises to be a delightful musical, true to the classic tale that inspired countless productions. Like so many girls her age, little Dorothy Gale of Kansas dreams of what lies over the rainbow. When a twister hits the family farm and carries her to another world, Dorothy-along with her beloved dog Toto and new friends the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion-travels the universe of her imagination down the fabled yellow-brick road. Along her journey, Dorothy learns how magical friendship can be and how wonderful it is to return home.

RCT and the Arts Center previously presented The Wizard of Oz in 2007, and it has been brought back by patron request.

"We're thrilled to bring this show back, not only by popular demand from our patrons but also to be a part of the iconic musical's 75th anniversary celebration," said RCT artistic director, Danny Hoskins. "One of our goals is to bring families together through classic stories that reach both parents and children. What better show to do that than The Wizard of Oz? Growing up, it was a family tradition in my household-and in so many others-to share the story with the entire family. We look forward to sharing it with the Rochester community this holiday season!"

The RCT/Arts Center production is based on the book by L. Frank Baum; adapted by Frank Gabrielson; with music and lyrics of the MGM motion picture score by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg; and background music by Herbert Stothart. The goal of the cast, crew, and production team–under the direction of SUNY Geneseo professor of theatre, Melanie Blood-–is to create a musical that looks and sounds like the famous film, and to treat the audience to some of its most popular songs, including "Over The Rainbow," "Munchkinland (Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead" "We're Off To See The Wizard (Follow The Yellow Brick Road)," and "If I Were King Of The Forest."

"The challenge for me as a director is to make a production that lives up to the images and the fond memories everyone has of the film while creating our own unique production, one that highlights the talents of our superb cast and artistic staff and the excitement of live theatre," Blood explained. "For me, The Wizard of Oz is a terrific adventure story as well as a modern day fairy tale–the latter being what L. Frank Baum set out to write. I still remember being scared of the Wicked Witch as a child and identifying with Dorothy–the little girl who could march fearlessly down the unknown yellow brick road, make great friends and face that fearsome witch."

The RCT/Arts Center production of The Wizard of Oz features a cast of seven adult actors cast in multiple roles: Mark Almekinder (Miss Gulch/Wicked Witch), Terry Browne (Professor Marvel/Wizard of Oz), Marissa Davis (Hunk/Scarecrow), Elliot Fox (Zeke/Lion), Rob Kuhn (Uncle Henry/Emerald City Guard, Gregory Maddock (Hickory/Tin Man), and Esther Winter (Auntie Em/Glinda). Julia Rossi and Angela Syrett share the role of Dorothy, and 29 area children join Maya Daniels, Lauren DePuy, Meghan Halley, Rob Kellogg, Jaimi Miller, Julie Sandler, and Liam Von Berg in the ensemble.

The artistic team includes Blood (director), Steve Hoskins (musical director), Heather Stevenson (choreographer), Mark Almekinder (scenic designer), Lana Momano (costume designer), Beth LaJoie (lighting designer), Dan Roach (projection designer), Austyn Taylor and Allison Roberts (backdrop artists), D.J. Stevenson (stage manager), Sue Kenyon (RCT company manager), and Hoskins (RCT artistic director).


Tickets to The Wizard of Oz are $17 and $20. For tickets, call – or visit – the Box Office: 585-389-2170; or order tickets online:

Subscriptions to the Nazareth College Arts Center 2013-2014 Season are still available through the Box Office; subscribers receive a 20% discount off single ticket prices and additional benefits when purchasing tickets to five or more different shows.

The Nazareth College Arts Center Box Office is located on campus at 4245 East Avenue, Rochester, New York, 14618. Regular box office hours are Monday-Friday, 11am-5pm and 11am until curtain time on performance days.


M&T Bank, Wendy's Restaurants of Rochester, and the New York State Council on the Arts sponsor the Nazareth College Arts Center's 2013-2014 subscription series. Rochester Children's Theatre receives funding from Monroe County.


Rochester Children's Theatre is a professional company of adult actors that brings literature to life for children of all ages. RCT offers high-quality, entertaining, literature-based experiences that follow New York State Learning Standards and foster enrichment, communication, and positive values to audiences throughout the region. Since 2003, RCT has been in residence at Nazareth College Arts Center, where they offer co-produced public performances as part of the Arts Center's Subscription Season, as well as weekday RCT/Arts Center co-productions as part of the Arts Center's School Performance Series.

RCT also tours to New York State urban, suburban, and rural schools with its curriculum-based PLAYS ON TOUR. Voted the "Family Favorite Children's Theatre in Rochester" four years in a row by Genesee Valley Parent Magazine, RCT is also a "Kids Out and About Top 20 Places" to take your children in Rochester for the third time in three years. RCT contact information: 585-385-0510,,,, and


For more than 40 years, the Nazareth College Arts Center has served as a venue and educational resource for students, educators, visual and performing artists, and audiences to create, study, and experience all areas of the arts. These cultural programs support the College's curriculum in music, art, and theatre arts, and provide area residents with opportunities to experience exceptional dance, children's theatre, and international entertainment.

The Arts Center's 2013-2014 Season features spectacular contemporary dance, including two story ballets, and a multi-media production with aerial artistry; music that celebrates centuries-old Japanese traditions, African vocalists, and American and British pop artists; family entertainment that includes electroluminescent creatures, large-scale puppetry, and musical storytelling from Scheherazade to Shrek; popular political satire on New Year's Eve; and an astonishing performance by one of the country's most sought-after illusionists.

The Nazareth College Arts Center

• is a nonprofit institution.

• attracts more than 80,000 adults and children annually.

• is the premier presenter of world-class dance, children's theatre, and international entertainment in Rochester.

• is the performance home of Rochester City Ballet and world-renowned Garth Fagan Dance, as well as the home of Rochester Children's Theatre and Bach Children's Chorus.

• is the only area performing Arts Center located on a College campus.

• houses the Nazareth College departments of art, music, and theatre arts, which present exceptional theatre productions, musicals, operas, recitals, and art exhibitions each year (events are open to the public).

• serves as a venue for auditions, art classes, music lessons, recitals, fundraisers, lectures, community theater productions, camps, workshops, and graduations.

• provides access to arts and arts-in-education experiences for area youth.

For more information, visit