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Friday, November 21, 2008

Kansas

For my often talked about Witch in Literature class, I was assigned to do a presentation of Gregory Maguire's book Wicked.

We all know from L. Frank Baum's book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz with Judy Garland that the Wicked Witch is truly wicked.

The book (which turned into the musical of the same name) is about how the Wicked Witch of the West became wicked. Maguire offers an explanation as to why a green-skinned girl becomes a witch who is angry with the world. I loved the book and was excited to do a presentation on it.

I decided I should do a musical with a similar theme.

I wanted to write about someone who is seemingly innocent at first and through their circumstances are suddenly known as evil, much like Elphaba. And I wanted to tie this in to the actual witch-hunts, where you only needed one accusation against you to be hanged as a witch.

So I thought of these characteristics of witches during the witch-hunts:

-Having a familiar (a pet that is in league with the devil)
-Following the instructions of a powerful man
-Killing others
-Having 'strange dreams' that involved much dancing and merriment as well as horrors

And I realized that if this one girl were really alive during the times of the witch-hunts, she'd DEFINITELY be called a witch:

Yes, beloved Dorothy Gale.

So I wrote the musical (the script and the songs) about how Dorothy 'comes home' from Oz and is accused of being a witch and eventually is hanged for her experiences in Oz. After all, Toto is her familiar, she took orders from the wizard (all-powerful man), killed TWO people (Wicked Witch of the East and West), and had a dream where she was dancing (with a talking animal and a heartless man I might add)!

I put all the info in a cool Playbill for the class. The cover:
And the back cover was an ad, much like in real Playbills:

And then it happened!
My class really liked it and I think my teacher was impressed! So I'm very pleased with the outcome. In the play, I was Uncle Henry, who is the one who accuses Dorothy and Em of being witches. Here I am with Toto!

And because people probably are curious as to how it went, here's a video of me singing (awfully) the final song of the play.

Please note that I DO NOT like acting. I like singing (when I'm by myself), but acting is not my forte. So you'll have to forgive the way I'm just standing around while I accuse my wife and niece of being witches.

And yes, I did warn my class that none of us in the musical are actually singers. haha.

: )





Oh, the things I'll do for an A...

4 comments:

Travis said...

And you said there wouldn't be a video!!

john said...

I have to say, that is pretty damn impressive.

Michelle said...

Oh my god - Maybelgreen! That made me happy : ).

Interesting take on Dorothy.

hoteltuesday said...

There shouldn't have been a video... haha. I was going to add another piece of the video where you hear my teacher say "To sing in front of the class when you aren't really singers takes SO much courage!"
What a back-handed compliment! lol.

And I am a fan of Maybelgreen. We were going to do "Hovergirl" as a play on "Covergirl" but went with Maybelgreen in the end cause we liked the "Maybe she's born with it" part.