STORY WRITTEN BY TARA LYNN JOHNSON
For 21st Century Media
Follow the Yellow Brick Road to three locations — two in Montgomery County and one in Bucks — to see a classic tale told in a new way.
Family Stages performs “The Wizard of Oz” in Ambler, Trappe, and Newtown. It’s the first production in a series of five. All the usual characters will be there — Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, the Scarecrow. But there are only two actors: Lara Lamb plays Dorothy and Steve Seyfried plays everybody else, including the witches.
That’s the norm for this family-friendly theater company, which has been producing plays around the region since 1980. The one-hour productions feature lightning-quick costume changes as actors portray many characters in classic stories.
Seyfried, of Oreland, has been making many costume changes in “The Wizard of Oz” since the company’s founding. It was the first show they produced and has been performed often since then.
How do they pull it off? While Dorothy ambles down the yellow brick road a bit and tells more of the story, Seyfried runs off stage and changes into the next character she’ll interact with.
“It’s a real rush. “It’s great fun,” he said. “It’s a terrific story and a favorite story. The audience knows it and loves it.”
Lamb, of Bethlehem, has played Dorothy for about five years (she uses a stuffed Toto). She was obsessed with “The Wizard of Oz” as a kid and liked to dress like Dorothy. As an actor, this part is challenging.
“With two actors on stage, I’m out there constantly,” she said. “You always have to be on your toes.”
Her favorite part: the narrations while Seyfried is changing costumes.
“I get to take my time with setting the scene for a new character to enter, and giving Steve enough time,” she said. “I can get more involved with the audience. The kids love that you’re telling a story to them.”
And she loves what she’s doing: “I love making a story come to life.”
The most fun for Seyfried is seeing families enjoy themselves.
“It’s a family show, not just a kids’ show,” he said. “It’s great to have parents and kids laughing at the same thing at the same time.”
IF YOU GO
What: “The Wizard of Oz” By Family Stages
Where: At the Ambler Theater, 108 E. Butler Ave., Ambler, at 11 a.m. Nov. 8 and 10 a.m. Nov. 12.
At Augustus Lutheran Church, 717 W. Main Street, Trappe, at 2 p.m. Nov. 9 and 10 a.m. Nov. 10.
At Newtown Theater, 120 N. State Street, Newtown, at 11 a.m. Nov. 15.
Admission: Ticketsa re $12; seniors/grandparents $10; younger than 3 free.
Info.: Call (215) 886-9341 or visit www.familystages.org.