During the first weekend of October, the former Land of Oz Theme Park is open to the public due to the high demands of those wanting to revisit the closed attraction. For the last eleven years, I have played one of the Scarecrows at the Annual Autumn at Oz Festival, also casting other actors from New York City to play Dorothy, the TinMan, and the Cowardly Lion.
The following Monday after the event, we perform a 45-minute walk-through interactive show for local school children. This tends to be the children’s first theater experience, and it is amazing to see their reactions as well as their positive responses. We feel honored to be a part of being their first exposure to this area of performing arts.
Last year, a snow and ice storm hit the festival, causing attendance numbers to drop, and resulting in budget cuts for this year. Unfortunately, some of our personal costumes were ruined in the weather as well.
We are looking to raise the money that the event coordinator would normally give to us for our travel expenses and to repair our damaged costumes. This way, we will still be able to make the weekend event and perform for the locals schools this year. Otherwise, Monday’s performances will be cancelled if we are unable to attend.
We want to take the financial stress off of the coordinator so that the money lost from last year’s blizzard can stay with the park to help with further repairs needed so that Oz will still be around for future generations.
Dorothy – Ashley Thorpe
Scarecrow – Sean Barrett
TinMan – Nolan McKew
Cowardly Lion – Dustin Cross