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October 28, 2009

Media Contact: Beverley Golden
News and Information
The University of Texas at Tyler
903.566.7303 or 903.330.0495 (cell)

Local Children to Audition for Roles in 'The Wizard of Oz' at UT Tyler Cowan Center

Wizard of Oz graphic from Cowan Center

Twelve Tyler area children will be cast as munchkins in the upcoming national tour of “The Wizard of Oz,” which is a presented by The University of Texas at Tyler R. Don Cowan Fine and Performing Arts Center Broadway Series, Susan Thomae-Morphew, Cowan Center executive director, announced.

UT Tyler is working with the Tyler Civic Theatre Center to cast the children. Auditions will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14 at Tyler Civic Theatre Center.        

Sponsored by Southside Bank, ‘The Wizard of Oz’ will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010 and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 17. Media sponsors are KLTV, East Texas Radio Group and Lamar Advertising.

“The Cowan Center is thrilled to bring ‘The Wizard of Oz’ here for two performances in January. As soon as we learned of this opportunity for local children to perform with a national touring Broadway show, we immediately thought of Tyler Civic Theatre Center. We know they have some great young talent, and it's important to collaborate with local arts organizations when we can,” said Thomae-Morphew.

The audition is open to anyone:

  • between ages 8 and 13.
  • less than five feet tall and less than 100 pounds (due to costume requirements there will be no exceptions).
  • who has dancing and singing skills.

The parents of all children who are cast must play a role backstage at both performances.

“Tyler Civic Theatre Center enthusiastically embraces this opportunity to blend local talent with national artists on the UT Tyler Cowan Center stage. Truly, there’s no place like Tyler,” said DeAnna Hargrove, TCTC’s education director.

Pre-registration is required, and the deadline to pre-register is noon Sunday, Nov. 8. The children who are selected will be notified at the end of the audition day.

Each participant should prepare ‘Ding Dong the Witch is Dead’ prior to the audition. The audition form and music are available for download at www.cowancenter.org/oz.html.

Participants will learn a section of the Munchkinland dance the day of the audition and perform in groups in front of judges.

Following the auditions, the 12 local munchkins will rehearse 10 a.m. – noon Saturdays, Dec. 5, 12 and Jan. 9 at TCTC. There will be one additional rehearsal 6 – 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 14.

The munchkin cast must be available at 1 p.m. on show days, Jan. 16 and 17, through the end of the show, Thomae-Morphew added.


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