Oz Finds Home Online
As Covid19 limits travel for Oz fans, online opportunities work to fill the void. In May, Ryan Jay Reviews interviewed Oz celebrities including performer Todrick Hall, authors Gregory Maguire and Danielle Paige, actresses Shanice Williams and Emma Ridley, and voice actors Rob Paulsen and Kari Wahlgren. OzCon International filled a July Saturday with prerecorded and live-via-Zoom programming.
Then in August, the International Wizard of Oz Club collaborated with other Oz organizations for To Oz! Both the Oz Museum and Wamego’s Oz Winery provided programming for the free weekend event. Tours, talks, interviews, crafts, demonstrations, and activities filled three days—and further introduced fans to event-style Oz programming online.
Tours particularly take advantage of today’s situation. Participants could see the new Wizard of Oz sculpture installations in Holland, Michigan, visit the Chittenango, NY, birthplace of L. Frank Baum, and follow the Yellow Brick Road in North Carolina all without leaving the safety of home. Collectors could see Oz collectibles in the homes of private collectors. The All Things Oz Museum and Wamego’s Oz Museum shared material from their collections.
Some tours dug deeper. Knowledgeable speakers served up in-depth presentations about iconic places in the San Diego area that influenced the Oz books, the script development behind Disney’s 1985 live-action film Return to Oz, suffrage leader and “mother of Oz” Matilda Joslyn Gage, The Wiz, Shirley Temple’s Oz connections, and Chicago’s Oz Park. One presentation was a fantasy trip to the land of Oz itself, styled as travelogue to the castles that dot the landscape of that magical country. From Oz embroidery patterns to collectible Oz comics, the eclectic mix of Oz held something for everyone.
All the prerecorded content remains available at OzConvention.org. Whether you’d like to hear from the cast of the 1998 Madison Square Garden production of The Wizard of Oz or hear author Danielle Page read from her best selling Dorothy Must Die books, click over and dive in! You’ll find fun crafts and cooking demonstrations, playlists, short stories
, and digital puzzles. You are sure to get a feel for the breadth and depth of what the Oz community
has to offer. W
hile you're there create a personal profile on the site where you can ask questions, post photos, and get in on the ground floor of future online Oz activities from the International Wizard of Oz Club.
Article by The International Wizard of Oz Club