Character Breakdown

ZTP’s The Wizard of Oz
Character Breakdown

Director’s Notes:

Thank you for your interest in Zilker Theatre Productions’ The Wizard of Oz.
As you are considering your audition, please keep a few things in mind…
Although the characters should be reminiscent of the movie, please focus on telling the story yourself, rather than re-enacting the film. We are looking for storytellers with strong emotional and physical commitment to the characters, rather than detached copies of the film.
Many of the Kansas roles have counterparts in Oz. The audience should see similarities in the Kansas inhabitants that would lead to more exaggerated characterizations in Oz. (For examplea clumsy farm hand becomes a stumbling scarecrow.)
The ZTP team and I look forward to seeing you at the WOZ Auditions in March!
Break a leg!
- J. Robert Moore

 


Principal Roles:

Dorothy Gale

(Plays mid-teens)
A young girl from Kansas, innocent and seemingly helpless, but loyal and protective of those she holds dear. She is a dreamer, yearning to escape her troubles. Loving and trusting, but lonely at home. She becomes our heroine, discovering her strengths as she conquers her obstacles in OZ. A dog person.

Toto

Dorothy’s dog, played by an actual dog in this production. If you have a dog you’d like to submit, please let us know on your audition form. He/she should be small and docile, as Dorothy will be carrying him/her around the stage for most of the show.

Aunt Em / Glinda

(Female 40s/50s)
Aunt Em: Dorothy’s aunt and guardian, who lives on the Kansas prairie. She is a farmer’s wife, concerned with the daily tasks of running the farm. Warm and caring, but no-nonsense. An honest, hard worker, with a strong moral compass. Bakes cookies for the workers, but makes them work while they eat.
Glinda: The Good Witch of the North. A caring and protective fairy godmother type. Graceful, optimistic and cheerful. Elects to help Dorothy learn a valuable lesson about herself, rather than sending her home. Think of her as the kindest and dearest kindergarten teacher ever.
(Although written to pair with Aunt Em, these roles may be split between two actors.)

Uncle Henry / Oz Guard

(Male 40s-50s)
Uncle Henry: Dorothy’s uncle. Head of the farm on the Kansas prairie. A task master, but kind, fair, and loving. An honest man. He is proud, with a wry sense of humor.
Oz Guard: Dorothy’s tour guide through Oz and The Wizard’s official guard. Initially put-upon and tough, he becomes exuberant and welcoming. He is thrilled to introduce Dorothy to the sights and sounds of the beautiful city. Takes his small job as a guard very seriously.
(Although written to pair with Uncle Henry, these roles may be split between two actors. The guard could also be played by The Wizard.)

Hunk / Scarecrow

(Male 20s/30s)
Hunk: A farmhand. Something of a know-it-all, but also a clumsy jokester.
The Scarecrow: Dorothy’s first friend in Oz. A vaudeville-esque character comic. Silly, but loyal and caring. Seeks a brain, but already smart and inquisitive. Creative physicality and strong comic timing are a must. Any tumbling is a plus, but not required.

Hickory / The Tin Man

(Male 20s/ 30s)
Hickory: A farmhand. Jovial, friendly, and handsome. He seems insensitive at times.
The Tin Man: Dorothy’s second friend in Oz. A crooner and a hopeless romantic. Kind, with a lyrical quality. Polite and gentlemanly, he seeks a heart, but is already a tender spirit. This role will most likely require extensive make-up.

Zeke / Lion 

(Male 20s/30s)
Zeke: A farmhand. He is a big talker, but really a softie. While he puts on a show of being a strong man, he frightens easily, and readily obeys orders.
The Cowardly Lion: Dorothy’s third friend in Oz. An endearing animal with image and self-esteem issues. He is a comic and a scaredy cat. He puts on a masculine front, but is a lover, not a fighter. He seeks courage, but he already stands up for his friends and faces his fears. Creative physicality and strong comic timing are a must. This role will most likely require extensive make-up.

Miss Gulch / The Wicked Witch

(Male or Female 30s-50’s)
Miss Gulch: Local spinster and busybody. Prudish and sharp with a sarcastic wit. In a position of power because of her money. Self-righteous, used to being respected and unchallenged. A cat person, and a really mean lady. She seeks to punish Dorothy and hurt Toto.
The Wicked Witch: Vengeful, mean, and green.  She is angry and ruthless in her attempt to hurt Dorothy and steal back the ruby slippers. In this version, there are also elements of camp comedy to contrast with her wickedness. Strong stage presence and committed physical and emotional characterizations are a must. This role will most likely require extensive make-up. This is a non-singing role.

Professor Marvel / The Wizard

(Male 50s/60s)
Professor Marvel: A lovable con-man and fortune teller. He is a bumbling grandfather type, with a good heart, and jolly sense of humor. He is a crafty showman, with an actor’s flair for the dramatic.
The Wizard: A regular man behind a big charade. He uses theatricality to fool the people of Oz.  Educated, resourceful, and quick-witted, he is a very good man, but a very bad wizard. There should be a stark contrast between the “powerful wizard” persona and the everyday “man behind the curtain.” This is a non-singing role.

 


 

Ensemble Roles:

Featured Dancers: (4 Men 4 Women)
As part of the ensemble, this production will feature 4 dance couples in numbers like “Merry Old Land of Oz” and “Jitterbug.”

The Munchkins:
The exuberant and childlike inhabitants of Munchkinland. Full of joy, celebration, and wonder at being set free from the Wicked Witch of the East. They are like lively little dolls. All ages will be performing as munchkins. Specific singing roles may be given to children.
 Singing roles include:
  • The Mayor – Declamatory and pompous
  • The Coroner – Scientific and sure of himself
  • The Barrister – Nit-picky
  • City Fathers – Official
  • Lollipop Guild – (Male children’s roles) Industrious and tough
  • Lullaby League – (Female children’s roles) Sweet and serene
  • Braggart, Fiddler, School Teachers

The Ozians:
Citizens of the bustling Emerald City. Fast paced, sophisticated, and exciting, the Ozians welcome and spruce up Dorothy and her friends before they meet The Wizard. These roles will include featured dancers.
Singing roles include:
  • Beauticians, Polishers, and Manicurists: Bright, helpful, and efficient while making over Dorothy and her friends.
  • Oz Men and Women: Confused and scared of the Witch’s message in the sky
The Winkies: The guards at the Wicked Witch’s palace. Stoic, orderly, and dim witted.
 Speaking role includes:
  • Winkie General: Matter-of-fact, and simple

The Flying Monkeys:
The Witch’s henchmen who kidnap Dorothy and rattle her friends. Strong physicalization required.
Speaking” role includes:
  • Nikko, Commander of the Monkeys: The witch’s collaborator, he speaks in gibberish.

The Jitterbugs:
Sent by The Witch to dance Dorothy and her friends to death. There are ensemble roles for all ages, and will include featured dancers.
Speaking role includes:
  • The King of the Jitterbugs: Jocular, a mischief maker, a great dancer, and a loud whistler.

 

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