Teacher Resource Guide - Reif Center

Teacher Resource Guide - Reif Center

Teacher Resource Guide and Lesson Plan Activities Featuring general information about our production along with some creative activities which will he...

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Teacher Resource Guide and Lesson Plan Activities Featuring general information about our production along with some creative activities which will help you make connections to your classroom curriculum, before and after the show. The production and accompanying activities address North Carolina Essential Standards in Theatre Arts, Goal A.1: Analyze literary texts and performances. Look for this symbol throughout the resource guide for other curriculum connections.

About the Play The audience is in the middle of the action in this fun, experiential show as Dorothy and her friends battle the Wicked Witch to find the brains, the heart and the courage they never knew they had. Inspired by L. Frank Baum’s original stories, this clever adaptation puts the audience front and center -- really! In this version of the classic tale, actors pick audience members to come on stage and play different beloved characters.

About the Playwright and Director

Journey To Oz Written and Directed by Christopher Parks Based on the works of L. Frank Baum and W. W. Denslow Journey to Oz was commissioned by Florida Repertory Theatre, Fort Myers Florida; Robert Cacioppo, Producing Artistic Director; John Martin, Managing Director.

About Children’s Theatre of Charlotte Founded in 1948, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte has been opening young minds to the wonders of live theatre for over half a century. Today it continues to be one of the most technically imaginative and resourceful theatres in the country. Annually it reaches nearly 300,000 young people and their families with multiple program areas: Mainstage productions, a professional Touring Company and a full scope of Education classes for both schools and the community. Children’s Theatre of Charlotte is housed in ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center. The facility is shared with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library: www.cmlibrary.org.

Christopher Parks is the Artistic Director of The Experiential Theater Company, which brings immersive, interactive theater to young audiences throughout the United States, Ireland, and United Kingdom. His TYA work has been seen at theaters all over the country and abroad, including Alaska Junior Theater; McCarter Theatre Center; The John F. Kennedy Center (New Visions/New Voices 2010); Children’s Theatre of Charlotte; New Jersey Renaissance Kingdom; Long Island Children’s Museum; Maryland Publick Playhouse; Goodwill Theatre; Acadiana Center for the Arts; Tricycle Theatre for Youth; Gateway Playhouse, Rose Bruford, London; Roscommon Arts Center; Lime Tree Theater; The Black Box; and Florida Repertory Theatre. Past director/playwright TYA productions include The Odyssey Experience; Sunjata Kamalenya; The Adventures of Perseus; Aesop’s Fables; The Tempest, a Puppet Play; Arabian Nights; Lucky Girl (co-wrote); The Scottish Play; Briar Rose; Healthier Ever After (playwright only); and Quest for the Holy Grail. A prolific Shakespearean director, among his credits are A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, As You Like It, Winter’s Tale, Othello, and the film Hal (an adaptation of Henry IV, parts I and II) for Muse of Fire Films. Christopher created the interactive style of performance called experiential theater and has been a guest lecturer on the subject at such places as New York University; Rose Bruford College, London; Manhattanville College; and Columbia University. His company, Experiential Theater Company, has the unique distinction of being the first-ever American theater company to be invited to perform at both the prestigious Babaró Internaional Festival for Children in Galway, Ireland and the Bualadh Bos Children’s Festival in Limerick. Christopher led the Education Department at the McCarter Theatre Center for more than a dozen years and is a graduate of Mason Gross, School of the Arts. He is extremely grateful to Adam Burke, Michelle Long, and the entire creative team here at CTC for inviting him into this wonderful family of collaborators. Much love to the ladies in his life, Emma, Molly, and wife, Jamie.

Children’s Theatre of Charlotte • Teacher Resource Guide • www.ctcharlotte.org

“And Dorothy rose up, joyful once more, for all of her wonderful adventures.” - from Journey to Oz

L. Frank Baum is considered to be one of the most significant American authors who ever lived, largely in part because of his canon of stories about the amazing and fantastical world of Oz. Baum wrote fourteen books about Oz, but the most popular by far was his first in the series: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz which was written in the year 1900. The story has been reprinted on numerous occasions and in multiple languages, often under the shortened title, The Wizard of Oz. In addition to the Oz series, Baum wrote a multitude of other fantasy novels, short stories, poems and scripts. Prior to acquiring fame as an author, Baum worked in a wide variety of jobs including salesman, a department store owner, a newspaper editor, the manager of an Opera house and breeder for prize-winning chickens! Baum’s variety of experiences and adventures surely enhanced the sense of imagination and wonder that emerged in his writing. The theatrical production of Journey to Oz includes hints of several of the Oz stories, but focuses predominantly on the familiar journey of Dorothy and Toto following the yellow brick road to seek the Wizard. Journey to Oz is set within an Oz-inspired library, paying homage to Baum’s tremendous contribution to the world of literature for young people.

Children’s Theatre of Charlotte • Teacher Resource Guide • www.ctcharlotte.org

Questions for Discussion 1. It’s been reported that L. Frank Baum suffered from a heart condition as a child that prevented him from being able to actively play outdoors. As a result, he spent much time inside: reading, drawing and using his imagination. How do you think these early experiences might have impacted his writing? 2. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was written in 1900; a time when women had far fewer rights and privileges than men did. L. Frank Baum supported rights for women and represented his support by writing stories that featured strong, independent female characters. Who were some of the strong girl characters in the Oz stories? What inspiring characteristics do these females display? 3. Author L. Frank Baum and illustrator W.W. Denslow worked collaboratively to create the characters and images of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz. What does it mean to “collaborate”? Why is collaboration important? What are some other professions that rely on effective collaboration? How well do you collaborate with others? 4. Throughout Journey to Oz, newspaper articles and periodicals are referenced to connect the story to current events of the 1900’s. Why do you think the playwright chose to incorporate periodicals as part of the story? 5. How was the audience involved in telling the story? Why do you think the audience was invited to be part of the play? How did the audience involvement impact your experience in the theatre? What was your favorite part about being an audience member for Journey to Oz? 6. During the show, Dorothy is put on trial. During the performance you witnessed, did Dorothy plead guilty or not guilty? Do you think this was the correct plea? Why or why not? 7. Considering that the Oz stories were written nearly 100 years ago, do you think the themes and messages of the story are still relevant today? What makes the story timeless?

Cast of Characters in the Play In Journey to Oz, five actors play a variety of characters. What are some of the ways that one person can create different characters? Discuss the actors and the characters they portrayed. Player 1 - Glinda and various characters Player 2 - The Wicked Witch, Aunt Em, the Emerald City Doorman Player 3 - The Scarecrow, Uncle Henry, The Flying Monkey Lawyer Player 4 - The Tin Woodman, the Wizard and various characters Player 5 - The Cowardly Lion and various characters

Theatre Corner Every play produced by Children's Theatre of Charlotte is created in the city of Charlotte by a talented team of designers, carpenters, stitchers, props masters and lighting technicians. As a class, discuss what you experienced when you went to the theatre. 1. Name three things you noticed about the set. How did the set help tell the The characters of Glinda and The Wicked Witch in story? Which piece of scenery was your favorite? Was the set what you Journey to Oz. Photo by Donna Bise. expected to see? Why or why not? 2. Discuss the special effects that were used in this production. Which did you find most interesting or fascinating? How do you think the effects were achieved? 3. The costumes in the play were designed to transform the actors into a variety of a characters. How were layers of fabric used to help achieve different appearances for each person? If you could design a costume for an Oz character, what would it look like and how would you create it? 4. Improvisation refers to acting without scripted lines. Was improvisation used in this production? When? 5. How was this production different from other plays you have seen? Common Core Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy SL2: Ask and answer questions about key details in a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media. North Carolina Essential Standards in Theatre Arts 3.A.1.2: Evaluate formal or informal theatre productions. Children’s Theatre of Charlotte • Teacher Resource Guide • www.ctcharlotte.org

Elements of a Fairy Tales and Folktales The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum has been called “the first American Fairy Tale”; in Journey to Oz the story is considered “the greatest American Folktale.” Review the following elements of Fairy Tales and Folktales. Decide if the story leans more toward the genre of Fairy Tale or Folktale, or if it’s a combination of both! Fairy Tales are stories about magical and imaginary beings and lands which typically include the following:

Folktales are stories forming part of an oral tradition which typically include the following:

1. Special beginning/ending words (such as “Once Upon a Time...”) 2. The main character has to solve a problem 3. Good prevails over evil 4. The story contains a component of royalty 5. The story contains a component of poverty 6. Magic elements or enchantments 7. Recurring patterns or numbers (often 3’s and 7’s) 8. Offers a lesson or universal truth

1. 2. 3. 4.

Vocabulary Enrichment tyrant stern solemn anxiously legion succinct

demise revenge screech fiend cowardice dazzle

official decree sorceress guild mourn confront antagonist

5. 6. 7. 8.

Are passed down from generation to generation Used to help explain the world around us Hero or heroine is usually young Hero or heroine is usually caring, honorable and courageous Main character has to rely on brains to solve a problem rather than relying on magic The action of the story follows a pattern Author is often unknown Tells of universal truths, lessons and values

enchantment oppressed horrid trial cohort wonderment

The play references the slippers that appear on Dorothy’s feet after her house lands in Oz. Are they red or are they silver? In the original book, the slippers are silver. The film adaptation made in 1939 was one of the first movies to use Technicolor. To emphasize the use of color in the movie, the silver shoes became bright red ruby slippers.

Common Core Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy SL2: Ask and answer questions about key details in a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media. SL.K-5.4: Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases.

Book Illustrations on the Stage

Illustrator and caricaturist W.W. Denslow lived from 1856 to 1915. He created the illustrations for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz book; several of his illustrations are featured in the stage production of Journey to Oz. Denslow worked with L. Frank Baum on two other books before their professional relationship dissolved following an argument over the royalties for the 1902 stage adaptation of Oz. After their collaboration ended, Denslow went on to purchase a small island in Bermuda and crown himself King Denslow I. In almost every picture in Oz and other works, Denslow includes a picture of seahorse next to his signature. Similarly, a talented scenic painter at Children’s Theatre of Charlotte includes the name of his cat (Simoon) on every theatrical set he paints. Both the seahorse and the word Simoon are painted on the set of Journey to Oz.

Children’s Theatre of Charlotte • Teacher Resource Guide • www.ctcharlotte.org

Natural Disasters in Oz Stories In Journey To Oz, the players explore the idea that “there is no other way for people to travel to this mystical land of Oz except through some violent and dangerous means. The start of an adventure is an adventure in and of itself.” Examples of natural disasters that propelled characters into the Land of Oz include: Book 4—The earth split into a great crack… (an Earthquake) Book 8—They fell through a volcano… Book 10—Swept away by a tidal wave… Book 13—They spied a cave after the dust had cleared from the harrowing avalanche… What other natural disasters brought characters to the Land of Oz? Why do you think L. Frank Baum used this convention in many of his stories? Brainstorm other events that could transport characters to a fantasy world.

Geography Activity: Map of Oz The Map of the Marvelous Land of Oz was drawn by (the fictional) Professor H. M. Wogglebug, T.E., in 1914. The most curious aspect of this map is the little known fact that East and West are reversed in Oz. You will notice that Munchkin Country is in the East, but is also on the left hand side of the map--while the western Winkie Country is on the right hand side. In 1980, the map was recreated by James Haff and Dick Martin, with Munchkin Country on the right side of the map and Winkie country on the left side of the map so that Oz would have familiar east/west orientation. For purposes of this activity, we will refer to the original map which is pictured below. Note the compass rose which indicates east to the left and west to the right.

Questions: 1. What is the name of the lake located within the boundaries of the Emerald City? 2. Name the desert located to the north of Gillikin Country. 3. In which country is Jinxland located? 4. Within which country lies the Truth Pond? 5. Directly south of Emerald City lies a Forest. What is the name of this Forest?

North Carolina Essential Standards in Social Studies: 1.G.1: Use geographic representations, terms and technologies to process information from a spatial perspective.

Children’s Theatre of Charlotte • Teacher Resource Guide • www.ctcharlotte.org

The Ozian Pledge Recite the Ozian Pledge that was introduced in the performance of Journey to Oz.     

I am Baum by honor I will do my best To have the courage to help others The heart to be kind to them And the brains to think before I act. And above all, Love Green!

What do you think it means to be “Baum by Honor?” Why are courage, kindness and common sense important character traits? Do you think one is more important than the others? What are benefits of good citizenship? Which people in your life are good citizens? What things do they do to make you admire them? Do you think you are a good citizen? Explain your response.

A Message from the Director and playwright If You’re in the Room, You’re in the Show! In the early 20th century, dozens of adventures about Oz were written, and author L. Frank Baum was known for including ideas from children who wrote letters to him in these stories. It is befitting, therefore, that we invite you, our audience, to insert your own ideas into this performance as you go with us on a Journey to Oz. This play is a piece of experiential theater, which is a style of immersive participatory theater I began developing in 2008 with colleagues at the McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, N.J. The objective is to put you, the audience, at the center of the action. Instead of watching the story unfold, you’ll become a part of it. You will be invited to sing, dance and act alongside our professional actors. Sometimes, some of you will be chosen at random to play individual roles and create lines in an improvised manner. At other times, the entire audience will be invited to portray large groups of characters. You will also be called upon to create sound effects, engage in discussions with the actors and you may even be responsible for guiding the outcome of the story. It should feel a little dangerous; none of us ever know exactly what’s going to happen next. It’s an environment where everyone in the room is subconsciously aware there has been no rehearsal for the audience participants and no preparation. Actors who act in these plays often comment about how peculiar it is to rehearse when the other half of their cast (the audience) isn’t there yet. But the techniques we’ve developed to facilitate these productions hopefully prepares the actors to deal with any circumstance as they empower their new cast-mates and give you all a strong collaborative voice. Audience members who are enlisted to perform something individually should be reassured you can participate as much or as little as you feel comfortable. This theater you’ve entered into today is a safe place where you should feel like you’re among friends. The actors will enjoy the experience just as much as you do, as you collectively create a completely unique performance. Welcome to the acting company, and we hope your trip to the magical land of Oz is a wonderful experience!

Christopher Parks Director and playwright

Children’s Theatre of Charlotte is sincerely grateful to our generous sponsors and supporters: Children’s Theatre of Charlotte is supported, in part, with funding from the Arts & Science Council and the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources. Children’s Theatre of Charlotte • Teacher Resource Guide • www.ctcharlotte.org