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The Wizard of Oz comes to the PAC

Posted: June 24, 2009 8:55 p.m.
Updated: June 25, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Actors portraying the Cowardly Lion, Tin Man, Dorothy and Scarecrow perform Wednesday night at the dress rehearsal for "The Wizard of Oz" at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center.

Thousands of local theater visitors will follow Dorothy’s journey along the yellow-brick road listening to those famous words: “There’s no place like home.”

Two hundred and forty-five actors, ages 5 to 19, from E.S.C.A.P.E Theatre will perform the “The Wizard of Oz,” starting Friday evening at

The Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons. The center hosts 7 p.m. performances Friday through Sunday and additional 2 p.m. showings Saturday and Sunday.

“I love the show because of the munchkins, the jitterbugs, the flying monkeys and just all the fabulous color and costumes,” said Elizabeth Burson artistic director for E.S.C.A.P.E. Theatre. E.S.C.A.P.E. stands for Experience Santa Clarita’s Actor’s Performing Ensemble. “And who wouldn’t want to be Dorothy, Toto, the Tin Man, Lion, Scarecrow and Wicked Witch?”

Burson runs E.S.C.A.P.E. with her husband and show director Kyle Burson.

She said the tornado scene is the performance “specialty.”

“Dorothy runs on stage and grabs hold of the house and they fly her up and she flies off stage,” Burson said, describing the beginning of the scene with the entrance of the Wicked Witch.

The actors have rehearsed for the last four months. Parents of the performers also assist with behind-the-scenes roles, such as audio and selling flowers in the lobby.

“It’s one big, busy family,” Burson said.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the theater had sold 4,200 tickets. About 250 tickets are still available, Burson said.

The theater is also selling tickets for their August performance of “Grease” at Hart High School.  




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