The Gospel According to ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ Parts 1 & 2

In our production of “The Gospel According to the Wizard of Oz,” Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, the Lion – and even the Wicked Witch of the West — found the wisdom, compassion and courage to follow their true natures. See Gallery →

This full-scale production was written, directed and produced by Susan Smith and featured Maddie Dohrer, Katie Smith, Marion Horna, Leslie Chevalier, Jean Chevalier, Ben Smith, Tim Sharp and Pastor Gage Church in the cast, supported by a Munchkin chorus.

Ben Smith interviewed his mother, Susan Smith about writing the play.

Ben: Was producing the play frustrating at all?

Susan: It wasn’t frustrating. It was challenging to figure how to use the whole sanctuary and use up all of the space. That was about it.

Ben: How did you come up with the great ideas?

Susan: Gage gave me scriptures, and I watched the actual movie about a billion times. I tried to have our characters speak the way the movie characters did, for example, with the Lion character, “Ain’t no way, ain’t no how!” and actual quotes from the movie.

Ben: How much time did it take, in all?

Susan: I started writing the first script in September of 2012. Most of the work was in the month of January. I finally finished the script the day before the stage production of “The Gospel According to the Wizard of Oz” (Act 1).

Ben: How many people were involved?

Susan: About 32, but only 14 of those were actors or actresses.

Ben: Did you want it to look like the original film?

Susan: No. So many people are familiar with the movie that our characters only needed to remind the audience of the movie for the audience to know the characters. Remember, the play took place a good 10 years after the movie and when Dorothy first traveled to Oz.

Ben: Did you enjoy it altogether?

Susan: Very much! I didn’t know I could pull something like this together. To know people enjoyed it is the best feeling in the world!

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