The Wizard of Oz (R.S.C. 1987)

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This beloved tale, in which a Kansas farm girl travels over the rainbow to discover the magical power of home, has been entertaining audiences for generations.

There are two versions of THE WIZARD OF OZ: MUNY and RSC. Both include the songs “Over The Rainbow,” “Munchkinland (Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead),” “If I Only Had A Brain/A Heart/The Nerve,” “We’re Off To See The Wizard (Follow The Yellow Brick Road),” “The Jitterbug,” and “The Merry Old Land of Oz.” The MUNY version also has “Evening Star.” The RSC version also includes “Poppies (Optimistic Voices)” and “If I Were King Of The Forest.”

The MUNY version is the more theatrically conservative, utilizing its set, props, actors, singers, dancers and musicians in traditional ways. Using L. Frank Baum’s book – and not the MGM film – as its source, this version employs story and songs as elements of a classic stage musical. This version also includes the characters of Gloria and Lord Growlie.

This RSC version is a more faithful adaptation of the film. A more technically complex production, it recreates the dialogue and structure of the MGM classic nearly scene for scene, though it is adapted for live stage performance. The RSC version’s musical material also provides more work for the SATB chorus and small vocal ensembles.

Music samples provided courtesy of Jay Records and Sony/ATV
Production Photos courtesy of Community Theatre of Greensboro

[NEW] The Tams Rehearsal Aid is now available for both your rehearsals and performances of The Wizard of Oz (RSC).  This customized software allows you to rehearse and perform the complete show using your computer and gives you the power to control the tempo and make internal cuts or repeats. Watch the video below or click HERE to learn more!

Our blog now contains How-To Guides, illustrating advanced editing features of Tams Rehearsal Aid.

Authorized performance and rehearsal tracks for THE WIZARD OF OZ (R.S.C. 1987) are available from The MT Pit. For more information, visit themtpit.com.

  • Synopsis
  • Credits
  • Orchestration
  • Rehearsal Materials
  • Cast List
  • Brief History
  • Upcoming
  • Dorothy Gale, a young girl living on a Kansas farm with her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry, dreams of escaping her mundane life (“Over The Rainbow). The family’s mean neighbor, Miss Gulch, threatens to impound Dorothy’s cherished dog, Toto, so Dorothy and Toto run away. They meet up with kindly Professor Marvel, who subtly convinces Dorothy to return home. Suddenly a cyclone hits, and Dorothy and Toto, seeking shelter in the house, are transported to the Land of Oz.

    In Oz, Dorothy is greeted by Glinda, the Good Witch of the North (who has an uncanny resemblance to Aunt Em). Apparently, Dorothy’s house has landed upon – and fatally stricken – the Wicked Witch of the East. The Munchkins, now freed from the Wicked Witch of the East, celebrate and hail Dorothy as their new heroine (“Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead/Munchkin Musical Sequence”). The celebration is interrupted as the Wicked Witch of the West suddenly appears, seeking vengeance. Unable to reclaim her sister’s shoes, which are now on Dorothy’s feet, the Witch vows to return and disappears in a cloud of smoke. Dorothy, seeking a way back home to Kansas, sets off to see the Wizard of Oz (“Follow the Yellow Brick Road”).

    Along the way, Dorothy meets three new friends, each of whom lacks a crucial characteristic: The Scarecrow (“If I Only Had A Brain”) The Tinman (“If I Only Had A Heart”) and the Lion (“If I Only Had The Nerve”). Together, the four new companions make their way towards Oz (“We’re Off To See The Wizard”). The Witch attempts to sedate the travelers with a poisonous field of poppies, but Glinda  reverses the spell with healing snowflakes (“Poppies/Optimistic Voices”).

    The travelers, arriving at the Emerald City, are delayed by a stubborn Gatekeeper, but Dorothy’s tears convince him to relent and let them in (“Merry Old Land Of Oz”). As the group awaits its audience with the Wizard, the Lion boasts he is “King Of The Forest.” Finally, they meet the imposing and irritable Wizard, who demands the broomstick of the Wicked Witch of the West.

    The four friends travel deep into the haunted forest. Suddenly, they encounter jitterbugs, who make them dance until they collapse from exhaustion (“Jitterbug”). The Wicked Witch’s flying monkeys swoop down, capturing Dorothy and Toto. At the castle, the Witch vows to take Dorothy’s life. Meanwhile, the Lion, Scarecrow, and Tinman infiltrate the castle disguised as Winkie guards. The foursome and Toto are reunited, but the Wicked Witch interferes, threatening the Scarecrow with fire. Dorothy, dousing the flames with a bucket of water, accidentally strikes the Witch, who smoulders and melts into nothing (“Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead – Reprise”). The four friends, triumphant, take the Witch’s broom back to the Wizard.

    The Wizard remains imperious and imposing, but Toto pulls aside a curtain to reveal a meek and ordinary man speaking into a microphone. The Wizard, revealed to be a “humbug,” nonetheless grants each traveler’s request, giving the Scarecrow, the Tinman, and the Lion each a token of his newly-acquired ability. The Wizard offers to take Dorothy back to Kansas in his hot-air balloon, but the balloon accidentally takes off, and Dorothy is left alone and crestfallen. Glinda appears and explains that Dorothy has always had the power to return home. All she has to do is close her eyes, tap her heels together three times, and repeat to herself, “There’s no place like home.”

    Back in Kansas, Dorothy awakens, confused, with a bump on her head. Reunited with all her loved ones, and relieved to learn the storm has left Miss Gulch incapacitated by a broken leg, Dorothy shares the tale of her miraculous journey, celebrating the joy and healing power of home.

  • THE WIZARD OF OZ
    By L. Frank Baum
    With Music and Lyrics
    by Harold Arlen and E. Y. Harburg
    Background Music by Herbert Stothart
    Dance and Vocal Arrangements by Peter Howard
    Orchestration by Larry Wilcox
    Adapted by John Kane for the Royal Shakespeare Company
    Based upon the Classic Motion Picture owned by
    Turner Entertainment Co. and distributed in all media by
    Warner Bros.

    Except for the credits for John Kane, Peter Howard and Larry Wilcox, the above credits for all purposes shall be in type size equal to that of any other credits except for those of the star of the show. The credits for John Kane, Peter Howard and Larry Wilcox shall at all times be in a type size two thirds of the size of the credit afforded to the other authors of the play as set forth above. In the programs, the credits shall appear on the title page thereof. No name of any person or company except the Licensee, principal sponsors and/or the star(s) of the Licensee’s production shall appear above the title or above the foregoing credits to the authors. The name of Herbert Stothart must be included in the authors’ credits.

    The title page of the program shall contain the following announcement in type size at least one-half the size of the authors’ credits:

    THE WIZARD OF OZ
    is presented by arrangement with
    TAMS-WITMARK MUSIC LIBRARY, INC.
    560 Lexington Avenue, New York, New York 10022

  • NOTE: Authorized performance and rehearsal tracks for THE WIZARD OF OZ (R.S.C. 1987) are available from The MT Pit. For more information, visit themtpit.com.

    Full Orchestration

    2 Violin I
    1 Violin II
    1 Viola
    1 Cello
    1 Bass

    1 Flute, Piccolo and Recorder
    1 Oboe and English Horn
    1 Reed I – Alto Sax, Clarinet & Bass Clarinet
    1 Reed II – Tenor Sax, Flute & Clarinet
    1 Reed III – Baritone Sax, Flute & Clarinet

    2 Horn I & II
    2 Trumpet I & II
    1 Trombone (doubles Tuba for #22 only)

    1 Harp
    1 Piano, Celeste & Synthesizer
    (Keyboard Synthesizer with registration for Honky-tonk Piano, Vibraphone, Strings, Celeste, Harpsichord, and Contrabass Clarinet.)
    2 Percussion I & II
    Mallet Instruments:
    Timpani (2 Pedal Drums), Bells, Xylophone, Vibraphone, Chimes, Suspended Cymbal, Bass Drum/Cymbals Combo, Triangle, Tambourine, Ratchet, Spook Noises – ad lib. (or low Timp.), Siren, Temple Blocks (2 pitches), Mark Tree, Whistle, Anvil, Klaxon Horn, Gong, Steel SFX, Steel Drum (various pitches) and Metalic Objects (or Steel Drum ad lib.).
    Trap Drum Set:
    Snare Drum (brushes & sticks), Bass Drum, Tom Tom (2 pitches), Wood Block (2 pitches), Cow Bell (3 pitches), Triangle, Tam Tam, Spook Noises-ad lib., Cymbals-Hi-Hat, suspended, crash & ride, Metalic Objects (opt: various Cow Bells), Hollow Cylinder (opt: low pitch Cow Bell) and Chimes (Bb Eb F).

    Piano-Conductor’s Score & Rehearsal Piano Score sent with Rehearsal Material

    Optional additional materials are available

    See list under Rehearsal Materials.

  • 1       Piano Conductor’s Score
    1       Prompt Book with Vocal Parts for Director
    1       Rehearsal Piano Score
    30     Prompt Books with Vocal Parts for Cast

    Original Cast CD, if available, is sent with perusal material.

    Optional Additional Materials

    1       Tams Rehearsal Aid (now available as a Performance Aid as well) 
    1       Keyboard Synthesizer part as substitute for the upper Strings (Violin I, Violin II, Viola and Cello). Requires rental of the full orchestration.
    1       Full Score (Partitur) in 2 volumes is available, at an additional charge, with the rental of the full orchestration. [SAMPLE]

    NOTE: Authorized performance and rehearsal tracks for THE WIZARD OF OZ (R.S.C. 1987) are available from The MT Pit. For more information, visit themtpit.com.

  • Principals

    (2 female; 4 male)

    Dorothy Gale
    Glinda (doubles as Aunt Em/Emily Gale)
    Scarecrow (doubles as Hunk — a farmhand)
    Tinman (doubles as Hickory — a farmhand)
    Lion (doubles as Zeke — a farmhand)
    Emerald City Guard (doubles as Uncle Henry/Henry Gale)

    From the Chorus

    Three Crows — male trio
    Three Trees — female trio

    Munchkin Mayor
    Munchkin Coroner
    Munchkin Fiddler

    Three Munchkin Tots
    Three Tough Munchkin Kids

    SATB Chorus

    Ozians
    Jitterbugs
    Munchkins
    Nikko — commander of monkeys
    Popikins, Beauticians, Manicurists and Offstage Voices with the Orchestra — girls
    Snowmen, Polishers and Winkies — boys

    Non-singing

    Miss Almira Gulch (doubles as Wicked Witch of the West)
    Professor Chester Marvel (doubles as Wizard of Oz)

    FOLLOWING IS FROM PROMPT BOOK CAST LIST FROM “MUNCHKINS” DOWN:
    Munchkins: Citizens of Munchkinland
    Mayor
    Coroner
    Barrister
    3 City Fathers
    3 Tots
    3 Tough Guys
    Fiddler
    Braggart
    2 School Teachers

    (Glinda)
    (West Witch)
    (Scarecrow) (Tinman)
    Three Crows (MEN)
    Three Trees (GIRLS)
    (Lion)

    Poppies & Snowmen (Chorus)
    Ozians (Chorus)
    Beauticians
    Polishers
    Manicurists
    2 Oz Men
    2 Oz Women
    (Wizard of Oz)

    Winkies (male chorus)
    Winkie General
    Nikko (Commander of Monkeys)
    Jitterbug (Lead Dancer)
    (Chorus) Jitterbugs & Ghosts

  • This stage version of THE WIZARD OF OZ was first presented by the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Barbican Centre in London in 1987. Featuring book adaptations by John Kane, this RSC Version follows the famous motion picture even more closely than its predecessor.

  • Find upcoming performances near you.

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    Organization City, State First Performance Last Performance
    Roxy Productions, Inc. CLARKSVILLE, TN 09/08/2017 09/30/2017
    Lakeshore Players Inc. WHITE BEAR LAKE, MN 09/14/2017 10/01/2017
    West Jones Middle/High School LAUREL, MS 09/26/2017 09/30/2017
    Bishop Kelley High School TULSA, OK 09/27/2017 10/01/2017
    Morton Ranch High School KATY, TX 10/05/2017 10/08/2017
    Theatre Cambrian SUDBURY, ON 10/05/2017 10/21/2017
    Scottsdale Preparatory Academy SCOTTSDALE, AZ 10/05/2017 10/07/2017
    Bishop Gorman High School LAS VEGAS, NV 10/06/2017 10/08/2017
    Pittsburg Community Theatre PITTSBURG, CA 10/06/2017 10/15/2017
    American Heritage Academy HENDERSON, NV 10/18/2017 10/20/2017
    Variety Children's Theatre ST. LOUIS, MO 10/20/2017 10/22/2017
    The First Academy ORLANDO, FL 10/26/2017 10/28/2017
    North Bullit High School SHEPHERDSVILLE, KY 10/27/2017 10/29/2017
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    Chariton High School CHARITON, IA 11/03/2017 11/05/2017
    North Crawford High School SOLDIERS GROVE, WI 11/03/2017 11/11/2017
    Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School WITTENBERG, WI 11/03/2017 11/05/2017
    Habersham School SAVANNAH, GA 11/03/2017 11/04/2017
    St. Ursula Academy CINCINNATI, OH 11/08/2017 11/12/2017
    Bay Path University LONGMEADOW, MA 11/09/2017 11/12/2017
    Cameron High School CAMERON, MO 11/09/2017 11/11/2017
    Carrollton High School CARROLLTON, MO 11/09/2017 11/12/2017
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    Raytown South High School RAYTOWN, MO 11/09/2017 11/17/2017
    University of North Dakota GRAND FORKS, ND 11/09/2017 11/18/2017
    Lutheran High School North MACOMB, MI 11/09/2017 11/11/2017
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    Douglass High School DOUGLASS, KS 11/10/2017 11/11/2017
    Hobart High School HOBART, IN 11/10/2017 11/18/2017
    Shenandoah High School SHENANDOAH, IA 11/10/2017 11/12/2017
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    First English Lutheran Church GROSSE POINTE WOODS, MI 11/10/2017 11/12/2017
    Binghamton University BINGHAMTON, NY 11/10/2017 11/19/2017
    St. Catherine of Siena School FORT THOMAS, KY 11/10/2017 11/18/2017
    California High School CALIFORNIA, MO 11/11/2017 11/12/2017
    Adair-Casey Guthrie Center High School GUTHRIE CENTER, IA 11/11/2017 11/12/2017
    Mount Markham Middle School WEST WINFIELD, NY 11/15/2017 11/17/2017
    Haynes Academy METAIRIE, LA 11/15/2017 11/19/2017
    Fort Morgan High School FORT MORGAN, CO 11/16/2017 11/18/2017
    Community Christian School BRADENTON, FL 11/16/2017 11/17/2017
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    United High School ARMAGH, PA 11/16/2017 11/19/2017
    Bayless High School ST. LOUIS, MO 11/16/2017 11/19/2017
    Episcopal Academy NEWTOWN SQUARE, PA 11/17/2017 11/18/2017
    Winters Theatre Company WINTERS, CA 11/17/2017 12/03/2017
    St. Patrick's School STATEN ISLAND, NY 11/17/2017 11/19/2017
    Taylor High School CLEVES, OH 11/17/2017 11/19/2017
    Tracy Area High School TRACY, MN 11/17/2017 11/19/2017
    Alta High School SANDY, UT 11/21/2017 11/27/2017
    Actors Cabaret of Eugene EUGENE, OR 11/23/2017 12/22/2017
    Greenbelt Arts Center GREENBELT, MD 11/24/2017 12/17/2017
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    StoryBook Theatre CALGARY, AB 11/24/2017 12/30/2017
    Syracuse University SYRACUSE, NY 11/29/2017 01/07/2018
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    Stamford Public School STAMFORD, CT 12/02/2017 12/10/2017
    Conservatory of Perf Arts Orange County SAN CLEMENTE, CA 12/02/2017 12/03/2017
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    Ward Melville High School EAST SETAUKET, NY 12/07/2017 12/09/2017
    Memorial Middle School ALBANY, OR 12/08/2017 12/16/2017
    Abbotsford Traditional Secondary School ABBOTSFORD, BC 01/16/2018 01/20/2018
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    Hutto High School HUTTO, TX 01/19/2018 01/21/2018
    Northridge High School MIDDLEBURY, IN 01/27/2018 01/28/2018
    McDonell Central High School CHIPPEWA FALLS, WI 02/02/2018 02/04/2018
    Pond Road Middle School ROBBINSVILLE, NJ 02/02/2018 02/03/2018
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    Port Colborne Operatic Society PORT COLBORNE, ON 02/17/2018 03/04/2018
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    Lawrence Arts Center LAWRENCE, KS 02/23/2018 03/04/2018
    Layton High School LAYTON, UT 03/01/2018 03/10/2018
    Concord High School ELKHART, IN 03/01/2018 03/04/2018
    Watertown Middle School WATERTOWN, MA 03/01/2018 03/02/2018
    Jamaica Bay Little Theatre FORT MYERS, FL 03/02/2018 03/04/2018
    Cornerstone Youth Theatre RED DEER, AB 03/02/2018 03/11/2018
    Gallery Theater MCMINNVILLE, OR 03/02/2018 03/24/2018
    Mitchell High School BAKERSVILLE, NC 03/07/2018 03/18/2018
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    Central Montcalm High School STANTON, MI 03/08/2018 03/10/2018
    Palo Verde High School LAS VEGAS, NV 03/14/2018 03/16/2018
    Wayzata Community Church WAYZATA, MN 03/14/2018 03/18/2018
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    St. Charles County Community College LAKE ST. LOUIS, MO 03/16/2018 03/25/2018
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    California Regional Theater CHICO, CA 03/30/2018 04/08/2018
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    Randolph School HUNTSVILLE, AL 04/14/2018 04/16/2018
    Portland Christian High School PORTLAND, OR 04/19/2018 04/22/2018
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    Choate Rosemary Hall WALLINGFORD, CT 04/20/2018 04/21/2018
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    Woodrow Wilson High School BECKLEY, WV 04/20/2018 04/29/2018
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    Looking Glass Playhouse O'FALLON, IL 05/03/2018 05/13/2018
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    R. C. Palmer Secondary School RICHMOND, BC 05/14/2018 05/18/2018
    Sinclair Secondary School WHITBY, ON 05/30/2018 06/02/2018
    Harlem Repertory Theatre NEW YORK, NY 06/09/2018 06/14/2018
    Honors Choirs of Southeast Minnesota ROCHESTER, MN 06/21/2018 06/24/2018
    Northport Community Arts Center NORTHPORT, MI 07/22/2018 07/30/2018
    Downriver Actors Guild TAYLOR, MI 07/27/2018 08/05/2018
    Denton Community Theatre DENTON, TX 08/11/2018 08/19/2018
    Coaster Theatre Playhouse CANNON BEACH, OR 11/16/2018 12/23/2018
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