- by Jacob Coakley
Tams-Witmark has made their first foray into “junior” or “young players” editions of shows, with scripts modified for the skills and attention spans of younger performers. The first title of their “Young Performers’ Edition” line is the classic Wizard of Oz. The Young Performers’ version is an hour-long and was adapted by iTheatrics under the supervision of its founder and CEO, Timothy Allen McDonald, in collaboration with Deena R. Harburg. It is currently available for schools and musical theatre groups to license.
TAMS-WITMARK MUSIC LIBRARY PREMIERES WIZARD OF OZ YOUNG PERFORMERS’ EDITION
Students Nationwide Will Show Their Brain, Heart and Nerve When They Take Audiences ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’
New York and OZ – Lions and Tigers and Bears, OH MY! Tams-Witmark Music Library has launched its Young Performers’ Edition collection of titles with the release of The Wizard of Oz, Young Performers’ Edition, now available for licensing, it was announced today by Sargent L. Aborn, President of Tams-Witmark Music Library, Inc. The hour-long musical was adapted for young performers by iTheatrics under the supervision of its founder and CEO, Timothy Allen McDonald, in collaboration with Deena R. Harburg. Schools and musical theater groups interested in licensing the musical should visit the Tams-Witmark website, www.tamswitmark.com, or phone 212-688-2525 or 800-221-7196.
“The Wizard of Oz is a beloved story that teaches a beautiful lesson: sometimes your heart’s desire is in your own backyard. It seems only appropriate that this musical treasure should be the first Young Performers’ Edition title in Tams-Witmark’s new collection for children,” says Aborn. “We are looking forward to seeing the creative ways in which children and educators will tell this wonderful story from their own backyards,” he adds.
Tams-Wimark selected iTheatrics to create the student version of the show as well as accompanying support resources for educators – which are designed to make sure that anyone, anywhere has the tools and information necessary to successfully stage a musical production with students. These resources include a production guide for directors, a sing-along recording for rehearsal, a recording of the performance music and a choreography DVD which takes schools and educational groups step-by-step through the process of creating and staging engaging musical numbers.
“The launch of Tams-Witmark’s collection of Young Performers’ Edition musicals will offer even more young people the opportunity to experience the transformative power of musical theater, and it will give more schools the ability to create cost-effective and sustainable musical theater programs,” says McDonald.
iTheatrics is currently working with Tams-Witmark to develop a student version of Bye Bye Birdie as its next Young Performers’ Edition title.
The Wizard of Oz Young Performers’ Edition is based on the MGM movie The Wizard of Oz, which won three Academy Awards and was one of the first films to be named to the National Film Registry. The movie was adapted from the book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum. The musical features music and lyrics of the MGM picture score by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg and background music by Herbert Stothart.
In The Wizard of Oz, a young girl named Dorothy is separated from her family when she and her dog Toto are carried away in their house by a tornado. They arrive to a vivid, technicolor world named Oz; making Dorothy very aware that they are “not in Kansas anymore.” Surprisingly, the house has landed on top of, and therefore killed, the Wicked Witch of the East, much to delight of the land’s local inhabitants the Munchkins and also Glinda, the Good Witch of the North. Rewarded with the deceased witch’s ruby slippers, Dorothy soon becomes the target of the mean Wicked Witch of the West, who promises to “get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too.” Eager to return to Kansas, Dorothy and Toto start down the Yellow Brick Road to find the mysterious and revered Wizard of Oz, who will know how to help them get home safely. On their way they gain the friendship and companionship of a Scarecrow in search of a brain, a Tin Man hoping for a heart, and a cowardly Lion who yearns to be brave. Together the five friends set off “to see the Wizard” in hopes that he will grant their wishes.
About Tams-Witmark Tams-Witmark Music Library, Inc. (tamswitmark.com) was founded in 1925 and its catalog of musical shows includes The Wizard of Oz, Bye Bye Birdie, Oliver!, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Anything Goes, Hello, Dolly!, My Fair Lady, and Crazy for You. Its roster of authors covers every era from many of the greatest writers of the 1920s and 1930s to some of the best-known authors writing for Broadway today. In addition to schools, Tams-Witmark is engaged in worldwide licensing for all other types of theatrical organizations and is often involved in the licensing of Broadway and West End productions.
About iTheatrics iTheatrics (iTheatrics.com) uses the transformative power of the arts to make the world a better place. The company adapts existing Broadway and West End musicals for students of all ages—including elementary, middle and high school—to perform. In addition, iTheatrics also creates a teacher's tool chest of resources which provides educators with enhancements such as choreography DVDs, accompaniment CDs, director's guides and curriculum connections. iTheatrics' clients include The Jim Henson Company, NBC’s hit series “Smash,” Music Theatre International, Disney Theatrical Group, the Roald Dahl Estate and McMillan/McGraw-Hill. Likewise, iTheatrics also develops new musicals for family audiences such as The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley, The Phantom Tollbooth and Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach. Junior Teaching Intensives from iTheatrics provide professional development for teachers in the area of musical theater. The iTheatrics Junior Theater Academy provides young artists with an innovative outlet for developing their skills as performers and artists, and its Junior Theater Festival (held annually over the Martin Luther King Junior holiday weekend in Atlanta, GA) is the largest festival in the world dedicated to young people performing musical theater.