|TONY AWARD-WINNING MUSICAL "THE WIZ" ANNOUNCES DESIGN TEAM|
|Last Edit: Official_Press_Release 10:29 am EST 01/31/23|
|Posted by: Official_Press_Release 10:26 am EST 01/31/23|
|THE DESIGN TEAM
BEHIND THE ALL-NEW
NATIONAL TOUR TO LAUNCH THIS FALL
AHEAD OF ITS HUGELY ANTICIPATED RETURN TO BROADWAY
IN THE 2023-24 SEASON
SCENIC DESIGN BY ACADEMY AWARD-WINNING HANNAH BEACHLER
COSTUME DESIGN BY EMMY AWARD-WINNING SHAREN DAVIS
LIGHTING DESIGN BY BARRYMORE AWARD-WINNING RYAN J. O'GARA
WIG DESIGN BY ACADEMY AWARD-WINNING MIA NEAL
DIRECTED BY SCHELE WILLIAMS
CHOREOGRAPHED BY JAQUEL KNIGHT
New York, NY (January 31, 2023) – Producers Kristin Caskey, Mike Isaacson, Brian Anthony Moreland, and Ambassador Theatre Group announced the design team today for an all-new production of the groundbreaking, Tony Award-winning musical The Wiz. The Wiz will launch a national tour in Fall of 2023 in Baltimore, MD before returning to Broadway for a limited engagement in the 2023/24 season.
The Wiz design team will include scenic design by Academy Award-winning Hannah Beachler (Black Panther, Beyonce's Black is King and Lemonade), costume design by Emmy Award-winning and two-time Academy Award-nominated Sharen Davis (Ray, Dreamgirls), lighting design by Barrymore Award-winning Ryan J. O'Gara (Thoughts of a Colored Man) and wig design by Academy Award-winning Mia Neal (Ma Rainey's Black Bottom).
Featuring a book by William F. Brown and a Tony Award-winning score by Charlie Smalls (and others), director Schele Williams ( The Notebook, revival of Disney's Aida ), choreographer JaQuel Knight (Beyonce's "Single Ladies"), Amber Ruffin (additional material), and Joseph Joubert (music supervision, orchestrations, & music arrangements) are conjuring up an Oz unlike anything ever seen before. A dynamite infusion of ballet, jazz, and modern pop brings a whole new groove to easing on down the road. So everybody rejoice! An all-new 21st-Century Wiz is sliding into an emerald city near you.
The Wiz will launch its national tour in the Fall of 2023 in Baltimore, MD, home of the 1974 world premiere of the musical. Following its run at the Hippodrome Theatre, the tour will slide into Emerald cities across the country before it begins its limited engagement on Broadway in the Spring 2024.
Based on L. Frank Baum's children's book, "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz", The Wiz takes one of the world's most enduring (and enduringly white) American fantasies, and transforms it into an all-Black musical extravaganza for the ages.
The Wiz premiered on Broadway in 1975 and became an instant sensation, going on to win seven Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Ted Ross), Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Dee Dee Bridgewater), Best Choreography (George Faison), and in a Broadway first, Best Direction of a Musical and Best Costume Design (Geoffrey Holder). "Ease on Down the Road" became the show's break-out single, and "Home" has since become a bona fide classic. That original production ran for four years (first at The Majestic Theatre and later at The Broadway Theatre) – and 1,672 performances – on Broadway. A 1978 film adaptation starred Diana Ross, Ted Ross, Mabel King, Richard Pryor and Lena Horne, and marked Quincy Jones' first collaboration with Michael Jackson.
Casting, to be announced, is by Tara Rubin Casting.
HANNAH BEACHLER (scenic design) is a renowned prolific production designer with an affinity for evocative designs and visuals as she crafts unique emotional landscapes for every story she touches. Multi-hyphenate global icon, Beyonce called on Beachler to be the production designer for her musical film Black Is King, mega successful OTRII Tour and her concept album Lemonade.
Beachler made history as the first African American to be nominated for and win an Academy Award for her work on Marvel's Black Panther, directed by frequent collaborator Ryan Coogler. Black Panther box office receipts grossed over $1.3 billion worldwide. She returned for its highly anticipated sequel, Marvel's Black
Panther Wakanda Forever. Beachler is the first ever female production designer of a Marvel film franchise.
She previously collaborated with Coogler on Creed, the spinoff from the Rocky film series starring Sylvester Stallone and his directorial debut Fruitvale Station starring Michael B. Jordan, the Sundance Film Festival winner of The Grand Jury and Audience Award. The film also won the Prix de L'Avenir in the Un Certain Regard
competition at the Cannes Film Festival. Director Barry Jenkins chose Beachler to design the production sets for his Best Picture Oscar-winning film Moonlight.
Her many credits also include Academy Award-winning director Steven Soderbergh's No Sudden Move, Todd Haynes' docu-narrative feature film Dark Waters and The Collaboration directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah, which she designed both the feature film and the play at London's Young Vic. Beachler grew up in Centerville, Ohio and graduated from the University of Cincinnati where she studied fashion design. She also attended Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio where she studied film.
She lives in New Orleans.
SHAREN DAVIS (costume design) is an Emmy Award-winning and two-time Academy Award-nominated costume designer whose discerning eye for detail has created some of the most memorable costumes in film and television. She received her Emmy Award in the Fantasy/Sci-Fi Costume category for her work on HBO's critically acclaimed Watchmen, starring Regina King, Jeremy Irons, Jean Smart, and Louis Gossett, Jr. Her two Oscar nominations honored Davis's work in period costume design for the Ray Charles biographical film Ray, directed by Taylor Hackford and starring Jamie Foxx, Regina King, and Kerry Washington, and the 1960s-set musical feature Dreamgirls, directed by Academy Award-winner Bill Condon and starring Jennifer Hudson, Beyonce Knowles, and Jamie Foxx.
For her designs on HBO's critically acclaimed series "Westworld", Davis earned an Emmy nomination and went on to receive the Costume Designers Guild Award — the fifth such honor bestowed by her fellow designers following The Help, Dreamgirls, Watchmen, and Ray. The Costume Designers Guild even bestowed Davis with the Career Achievement Award in 2022.
RYAN J. O'GARA (lighting design) Broadway - Thoughts of a Colored Man. National Tour: Million Dollar Quartet - Christmas, Juke Box Hero, A Night with Janis Joplin, Vocalocity and The Little Prince. Various productions for Cirque du Soleil, Norwegian Cruise Line, Tokyo Disney Sea, New York City Opera, Paper Mill Playhouse, Walnut Street Theatre, Drury Lane- Chicago (2019 Jeff Nomination), TUTS, Baltimore Center Stage, Syracuse Stage, North Carolina Theatre, Bucks County Playhouse, Signature Theatre DC, Laguna Playhouse, New Victory Theatre, Lincoln Center Festival, Capital Repertory Theatre and Bristol Riverside Theatre (2016 Barrymore Award). Associate Lighting Designer for over 25 Broadway productions. O'Gara graduated from NCSA.
MIA NEAL (wig design) is a highly-praised hairstylist and wig designer for film, television and theater, who made history alongside collaborator Jamika Wilson as the first Black nominees and winners in the Best Hair and Makeup category at the Academy Awards for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. Credits also include Uncut Gems, The Humans, Tyler Perry's A Jazzman's Blues, "Pose", and Annie Live!, for which she won an Emmy. Graduate, The Juilliard School Professional Internship Program for Wigs and Makeup.
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