Quintessence Theatre Group Extends Stay in Oz

Mount Airy Company’s  L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz set to close January 5

Quintessence Theatre Group, Philadelphia’s professional classic repertory theatre, has a holiday hit on its hands. The second production of its tenth anniversary season of progressive classic theatre will now be extended.  L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz has opened to full houses and rave reviews.  This classic work will run through January 5th. Tickets range from $25-$65.  All performances are at Quintessence’s home at the Sedgwick Theater, 7137 Germantown Ave., Mt. Airy, Philadelphia, 19119.  To purchase tickets, visit www.QTGrep.org or call 215.987.4450.

Swept away from her Kansas farm by a cyclone, Dorothy lands in Oz and on top of an evil witch. An epic adventure follows as Dorothy tries to find the illusive Wonderful Wizard of Oz and convince him to show her the way back to Kansas. On the way she meets munchkins, flying monkeys, a Scarecrow searching for his smarts, a Tinman searching for his heart, and a Cowardly Lion who wants to be brave. Dorothy discovers she needs to help her new friends in order to face her fears and find her way home. Quintessence’s production explores L. Frank Baum’s original fantasia and takes audiences into Depression-era Kansas and into an unforgettable Oz.

“We are so excited that Baum’s fantastical fairy tale of a little girl discovering her own power to lead a group of friends and find home continues to fill the Sedgwick Theater and delight audiences from across the Delaware Valley,” said Quintessence Artistic Director Alexander Burns. “This timeless tale of courage, brains and heart is the perfect musical holiday adventure for the whole family.”

Dates of Extension Performances
Tuesday, December 31 at 12 pm
Thursday, Jan. 2 at 7:30 pm
Friday, January 3 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, January 4 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, January 5 at 3 p.m.

Leigha Kato, who was Barrymore nominated for Quintessence’s My Fair Lady plays Dorothy Gale. She journeys into Oz with three Quintessence favorites, Andrew Betz as The Scarecrow, Barrymore Award winning Doug Hara (Colonel Pickering in My Fair Lady) as The Tinman and Jered McLenigan (Stanley Stubbers in One Man, Two Guvnors) as The Lion. After just appearing in multiple roles in Quintessence’s Synge Festival, E. Ashley Izard is back playing The Wicked Witch of the West. Izard won a Barrymore Award for her lead role of Winnie in Happy Days at Quintessence. Playing opposite her as Glinda is Leah Gabriel (Frankenstein and Mother Courage). Playing the titular Wonderful Wizard of Oz is John Basiulis (Lucifer in Doctor Faustus)Susannah Hughes (Children’s Ensemble in Oliver!) will be playing Dorothy’s trusty companion Toto. Jessica MoneyMichael Liebhauser and Chloe Mollis-McBride round out the ensemble playing the many magical residents of Oz.

This production honors both the classic MGM film and the original L. Frank Baum novel. With music and lyrics from the film by Harold Arlen and E. Y. Harburg and background music by Herbert Stothart. This stage adaptation by John Kane originally appeared at the Royal Shakespeare Company. The production is directed by Quintessence Artistic Associate Lee Cortopassi who directed and adapted the group’s very successful Aesop’s FablesTom Fosnocht is returning as Music Director and Adrienne Maitland is the Choreographer.


Brian Sidney Bembridge transformed the theatre into sepia-toned  Kansas and the multi-colored Oz as the Set and Lighting Designer. Kelly Myers is the Costume Designer. Quintessence Artistic Director Alexander Burns is the Sound Designer. Maggie Davis is the Production Stage Manager and her Assistant Stage Managers are Michael Depp Hutchinson and Emily McGregor.


Public Transportation & Parking

The Sedgwick Theater is readily accessible via SEPTA Regional Rail to either the Allen Lane Station (Chestnut Hill West) or the Sedgwick Station (Chestnut Hill East). The SEPTA 23/45 Bus also services the Sedgwick Theater, connecting South Philadelphia to Chestnut Hill. Free parking is available behind the theatre and in the municipal parking lot across Germantown Avenue.

About Quintessence Theatre Group
Founded in 2009, award-winning Quintessence Theatre Group uses the classics to explore the fundamental question of what it is to be human in today’s world. Through intimate, visceral, and innovative productions of epic theatre, Quintessence pursues its vision to become the Delaware Valley’s center for progressive humanism and an engine for radical empathy through the classics.

Quintessence’s home is the historic Sedgwick Theater, an Art Deco movie palace designed in 1928 by William Lee and located in the Mt. Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia.


Photos by Linda Johnson

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