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“Full of Wonder: L. Frank Baum’s stories behind the stories of the creator of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz”
Solo Stories on Stage! So many stories to tell- presentation may be tailored to the presenter and the event.
Written and performed: R. F. “Ray” Wohl
"The Real Wizard of Oz--stories and the life of L. Frank Baum" is a 60-minute solo event designed for libraries, parks, schools, and community centers. The solo theater program traces the life and times of L. Frank Baum, America’s first and foremost children’s storybook writer. The play is Full of Wonder--with story, song, music, archival photos of Baum, the memorable book illustrations and so much more. The story opens as Baum arrives in Chicago, Illinois in 1891 during the planning of the Columbian Exposition. Baum lived in Chicago, IL with his family from 1891-1910 and it is here where L Frank Baum wrote and published his most famous book, "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" in 1900. Audiences have a front row seat to American history and discover Baum's many talents- newspaper reporter, author, children's book writer, magazine publisher, shopkeeper, traveling salesman, and actor. Baum explores his power of imagination and discovers the American can-do spirit!
L. Frank Baum lived, traveled and toured throughout the United States from 1856 to 1919. His 14 Oz Books and nearly 70 other published stories, books, poetry, plays, scores of songs, and other writings are timeless. 2019 marks the centenary of Baum's passing and celebrate over 100 years of unique American storytelling. The solo play presents a fascinating American character, "The Royal Historian of Oz!" Each program has time for questions and answers in character and fun audience participation.
The humorous programt is performed in period costumes with a trunk of props, authentic music and some multi-media visuals and images (depending on the venue). Baum travels with artifacts and book illustrations, auto-biographical photography, and famous color book covers of one of America’s great children writers! The program can be adapted to any performance space and adjusted to fit the presenter’s theme or program. "The Real Wizard of Oz" is both fun and funny, and will inspire audiences of all ages with its honest, genuine and heartfelt message.
Author and actor, R. F. "Raymond" Wohl has worked in professional theaters, schools and community groups in 15 states and taught the performing arts in Chicago schools for nearly 25 years. “The Real Wizard of Oz” is Mr. Wohl’s fourth solo theater creation. The program is ready for touring in 2019. It was developed at Chicago Dramatists Workshop, previewed at a Solo Festival in Chicago and presented at the 2018 OzCon International convention in California where the program was enthusiastically received, and Wohl was invited to return for OzCon in Southern California and the International Oz Festival in Lousiana in 2019..
Our book club thoroughly enjoyed the performance by Mr. Wohl of L. Frank Baum. We had read the book Finding Dorothy by Elizabeth Letts about the life and writings of Frank Baum-particularly The Wizard of OZ. Mr. Wohl brought Frank Baum to "life" for us. He recounted the colorful history of the Baum family and then took questions from the group. He is very knowledgeable about details of the life of L. Frank Baum and also very entertaining!
What a delight! Mr. Wohl was interested, animated and captivating. The first part was his prepared presentation which drew us all in. The second half he allowed questions and moved in whatever direction our questions led. Mr. Wohl was so spontaneous and it really brought L. Frank Baum to life. Thank you!
Very entertaining. Very playful. Very informative. Wonderful performance! The knowledge shared and the performance was applauded by all!
Fascinating presentation, always ready to present facts in story-form.
Voice and demeanor brought the realness of the "Wizard of Oz" right
before us.Thank you.
Wow, Mr. Wohl comes across as a very lifelike portrayal of L. Frank Baum and exhibits an obvious love of all things for the world of Oz. Our entire group was enthralled with his online presentation and he added further depth by answering questions about L. Frank Baum with humor and depth. He was flexible to work with and timely in his responses and communication. Bravo!
Our book club enjoyed hearing and seeing L. Frank Baum, (Raymond Wohl), talk about his early life, family and inspiration for writing books, including the famous Wonderful Wizard of Oz. He was very in-character and able to answer impromptu questions about “himself” with insightful detail and enthusiasm! His portrayal of L. Frank Baum left us wanting to further investigate the author and his works.
Mr. Wohl joined our ladies Book Group (via Zoom) at the tail end of our discussion of Finding Dorothy, for about 35 minutes. As L. Frank Baum, he did a ten-minute presentation, then hosted a Q & A session, still in character. It was delightful!
It was such a pleasure to get a taste of what it would have been like to engage with Mr. Baum in person. He told us firsthand about some of the experiences we had read about in the book. Several women had questions, and his answers demonstrated a thorough knowledge of Baum’s life, career, family, and accomplishments.
Mr. Wohl has performed as Baum for various audiences, but to my knowledge, this was his first ladies book group appearance. This demonstrates his flexibility in adapting to any audience. He definitely enriched our book discussion.