Musical company

Vital Theater Company to launch first production of Lancaster

Vital Theater Company has announced the launch of its first production in Lancaster County, one hour, six cast “The Wizard of Oz”. The production is directed by Stephen Sunderlin and choreographed by Rebecca Frazier, based on the original adaptation and direction by Vital Theater Company co-founder Michael Schloegl.

The one-time performance is Saturday, May 7 at 1:00 p.m. at Mickey’s Black Box, 101 Rock Lititz Blvd, Lititz, PA 17543. Tickets start at $20.00 and can be purchased by visiting www.vitaltheatre.org, calling ( 717) 723-8463 or by visiting Mickey’s Black Box one hour before the performance.

An hour-long adaptation of ‘The Wizard of Oz’, the classic tale that has entertained audiences for ages, features a cast of 6 actors, the Munchkins as puppets, a flying monkey and a funny witch. Perfect for an audience of 2 to 7 years old. Rediscover the joy of following the Yellow Brick Road with Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Iron Man and the Cowardly Lion as they journey through a reimagined world of Oz.

“We are thrilled to launch our first production here in Lancaster County,” said Stephen Sunderlin, Production Artistic Director of Vital Theater Company and Director of “The Wizard of Oz.” “I have traveled regularly to Lancaster since my daughter and son-in-law and their family moved here 4 years ago and fell in love with the area. After discovering the vibrant arts and cultural community, I felt our des Family theater productions, specifically aimed at children and their families, would be a welcome addition to the cultural arts scene here in Lancaster County.”

“It has been an incredible experience to be able to schedule such a variety of events here and the response from the community has been very gratifying.” says Dylan Evans, General Manager of Mickey’s Black Box. “Now, with the addition of Vital Theater Company’s ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ I can’t wait for this to be the start of programming more family events for the Lititz community.”

“The Wizard of Oz”, by By L. Frank Baum, with music and lyrics by Harold Arlen and EY Harburg, background music by Herbert Stothart, dance arrangements and vocals by Peter Howard, orchestration by Larry Wilcox, adapted by John Kane for the Royal Shakespeare Company, based on the classic film, owned by Turner Entertainment Co. and distributed in all media by Warner Bros.

Michael Schloegl (Adapter and Original Director) is an artist based in New York. He is a founding member of Vital Theater Company and helped launch Vital’s first season with his original show, “Three Bears and A Babe.” He works regionally and internationally as a director-choreographer (“Footloose”, “Grease”, “The Wizard of Oz”, “Bring it On!”, “Legally Blonde”.) Michael has performed at United States and Europe in shows. like West Side Story, Oklahoma, The Will Rogers Follies and A Chorus Line. He is also a costume designer, author/illustrator of children’s books and playwright. With his production company, Déjà Cast Productions, he toured the East Coast with his interactive history show, History Time Henry. As a theater and dance teacher, Michael has taught a wide range of performers, from professionals to elementary school students.

Stephen Sunderlin (Director) has extensive experience in running theaters on budget, supporting playwrights and bringing together talented and like-minded artists. He’s been planning Vital’s seasons since 1999 and running the theater to its current level of excellence. He was artistic director of the venerable summer theatre, Millbrook Playhouse, and formed a theater production company to produce and direct one-act evenings and other plays. He was previously resident director with The Pioneer Playhouse. He holds a BA in Theater from Bloomberg University in Pennsylvania, trained in the Stanislavski Technique with Sonia Moore, studied with Herbert Bergof, and completed the two-year Meisner Program with William Esper. Stephen has served as publicist for Jeffrey Richards Associates on numerous Broadway and Off-Broadway productions. He also branched out into advertising, marketing and publicity, representing many Off and Off-Broadway productions.

Rebecca Frazier (choreographer). Recent credits include: Zoe Hates “Green” (director, SOOP Theater SOOP to Nuts Festival) “Evita” (director/choreographer, Jean’s Playhouse) “You’re a good man, Charlie Brown!” (director/choreographer, Theater Barn, Berkshire Theater Award for Outstanding Musical nominee), “Bolyen”, A New Musical (featured choreographer, New York Theater Barn Choreography Lab), Dream short “No 37, 091” (choreographer , winner: Best Experimental Short at the AFAA Awards) and “Body Positive”, the debut music video from artist JR Price. @beccaa118 www.iamrebeccafrazier.com

Featured in the cast are Kevin Michael Buckley, Colton Colbert, Chris Godshall, Taylor Hadsell, Dylan Randazzo and Catherine Shelley.

Benjamin Stayner is the musical director, Holly Buczek is the casting director. Sharon Mejia, Lauren Jackson and Nicole Wilkowski are the costumed assistants. Ellie Parker is the stage manager.