What drew you to work on this show?
The Wizard of Oz is my all-time favourite movie. Because of this, I wanted to be somehow involved in the show. It didn't matter to me if it was on stage in the wings or whatever. I just wanted to be part of the show. I also have been an audience member for a few "Secondary Characters"shows, so I knew I'd be joining a group that would be taking L. Frank Baum's work seriously.
What is your past experience with theatre, and what has been your favourite previous project?
I have a Bachelor of Science degree in speech and theatre. I have been on stage, in the sound booth, the lighting booth, directed, and have done a lot of wing work with Csopa. Just this year I was lucky enough to be one of two people responsible to fly Mary Poppins in Csopa's production of the same name.
In grade 6, our school did a production of The Wizard of Oz and, strangely enough, I played the role of Uncle Henry, the same role I'm playing in this production. Is it being typecast to play the same role 36 years apart?
As much fun as it is being on stage, my favourite theatre experience has been the last four years in the wings working with my kids who were on stage in various productions. Those are special and very proud moments.
Who is your favourite character from The Wizard of Oz and why?
My favourite character from the Wizard of Oz is the cowardly lion. Why? Two words: Bert Lahr.
What was your first show ever?
If you're asking what my first show was as an audience member, it was in 1977 at the Rainbow Theatre in Winnipeg, Manitoba. It was a production of "Oliver". After that, I was hooked
What was your primary introduction to the story of The Wizard of Oz, the movie, or the books? And what is your memory of your first impression of the story?
Magical was my first impression. I was a little kid and I can't for the life of me remember how old I was. It just seems The Wizard of Oz has always been a part of my life. I've always been a fan. As a kid, I was even a fan of the awful cartoon that was on TV. I still remember the theme song to this day.
What is the most exciting element of this story for you?
For me, I think it's the rising action of the four of them, and Toto of course, headed towards the witch's castle to retrieve the broomstick and all of the hurdles that get in their way. I think the intensity is just so thick.
How long have you been working in your field for?
I have been in Education for a little over 20 years. I have been an Administrator for 12 years.
What is your favourite musical of all time, and why?
Boy, this is a tough one, I've been lucky enough to see so many. I've seen The Phantom of the Opera four or five times, so I must really like that one. But, I think I would have to say that Les Miz is my all-time favourite. I think a big part of why I love this musical is the soft spot in my heart for Javert. I think his emotions are pulled in so many directions that he literally just can't live with himself. Poor Javert. My wife will get that one.
Then again, how can you not be wowed by the helicopter on the stage of miss Saigon? See… That's a tough question. Les Miz! I'm going with Les Miz!