Designing for The Wiz

As I’ve mentioned in a previous article, I have a weakness for all things Oz-related. However, that over-the-rainbow mania had never extended to The Wiz, the 1970s “Super Soul Musical” that ran long and hard on Broadway to great accolades and sparked a film version with Diana Ross and Michael Jackson in 1977. In fact, despite my youthful obsession with Oz, I never even saw the film – or the play, for that matter – until recently, when I curled up with my son Zoran to watch it in preparation for his role as the Gatekeeper of the Emerald City in his elementary school’s production of the musical.

Following last year’s costume design adventures with the school’s version of Oliver, I swore to myself that I would never again let myself be sucked into the massive undertaking that is children’s theater costuming. It’s not that it wasn’t delightfully fun – I could, in fact, see myself spending the rest of my life doing such things – but that it ate into every moment of free time that I had (and really, there aren’t many such moments for this busy mama).

Despite my best intentions to avoid roping myself into another go at volunteer costuming, I couldn’t help but be enticed by the funky Munchkins peeling themselves off the urban concrete walls like walking graffiti art, the rusty tin can Tin Man, the highly fashionable Emerald City Citizens vogueing around in green, silver and gold. The original costume illustrations by renowned set and costume designer Tony Walton were ridiculously inspired and inspiring. So I took it on again, but this time with a co-coordinator parent who is helping to keep it all organized.

And I got to do some fun design illustrations – my favorite part of it all. The play opens in about a month’s time at the San Anselmo Playhouse, so the construction of the costumes is still underway. But the illustrations are complete, so enjoy!


Munchkin, Good Witch Addaperle, Crow


Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion


Aunt Em, Uncle Henry, Dorothy, Toto


Lord High Underling, Bad Witch Evillene, Winkie, Winged Monkey


Emerald City Citizens, Gatekeeper


Quadlings, Good Witch Glinda, Poppy


Kalidah, Yellow Brick Road, Field Mouse, Soldier Messenger

2 Responses to “Designing for The Wiz”
  1. Holly says:

    These are amazing! Your creativity abounds! The production is so lucky to have you. I love the funky, hip-hop looks…

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