Johnson County Community College
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Julie Haas, associate vice president, marketing communications, ext. 3120
Diane Carroll, writer/editor/media relations, ext. 3425
Tyler Cundith, sports information director, ext. 3122

"The Wizard of Oz"


"The Wizard of Oz"

Ballet Memphis shines new light on The Wizard of Oz

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – The beloved fairytale of Dorothy and all of her friends will come to life through the lens of Ballet Memphis when it presents The Wizard of Oz at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31, and Saturday, Feb. 1, at Johnson County Community College.

Tickets are $40 and $32 and half price for those under 18. They are available through the college box office at 913-469-4445 or online at

This children's classic, told through the eyes of company dancer and choreographic associate Steven McMahon, shines a new dimension on the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and everyone's favorite, the Cowardly Lion. And 10 local dancers from surrounding studios will portray the roles of Munchkins and Emerald City residents.
McMahon will provide a pre-show talk each evening at 7 p.m. in the Carlsen Center's Polsky Theatre. The performances will take place in the center's Yardley Hall.

Ballet Memphis was founded in 1986 by artistic director and chief executive officer Dorothy Gunther Pugh. She is one of only five female artistic directors of similar-sized American dance companies and often speaks in the media and on national panels about American dance and the role of women in dance leadership.

The company has performed in New York at both the Sylvia and Danny Kaye Playhouse and the Joyce Theatre. Its performances as part of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Ballet Across America II showcase were heralded in The New York Times and The Washington Post, as well as in national dance media. The Ford Foundation has called Ballet Memphis a "national treasure."

In The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and her dog Toto are caught in a tornado's path and somehow end up in the Land of Oz. There she meets some memorable friends and foes in her journey to meet the Wizard of Oz, who everyone says can help her return home and possibly grant her new friends a brain, a heart and courage.