The Wizard of Oz: A Musical Play or Reader's Theater

 
 

Did you know that in 1902 Frank Baum's book, The Wizard of Oz, was adapted into a broadway musical, and that Frank Baum, himself, helped to write the lyrics to some of the songs? It's true! Although you might be surprised by the content of the musical itself. In the early 20th century, musicals didn't really have much story, they were a series of songs strung together, and the 1902 adaption was more of a way to feature the vaudevillian performers playing the tin man and scarecrow, than an accurate representation of the story. In fact, Dorothy isn't accompanied by Toto in this version... she has a cow.

But Wizard of Oz songs written by Frank Baum himself! That's a gold mine! The songs from the musical and the book itself are now public domain, so I've taken the songs, edited the lyrics to take out anarchistic terms and to fit the story of the book better and put them together with an easy to read script. You can teach the songs to the children as you read them the book. You can perform the script and songs a a musical theater. You can add lines for higher grades or subtract for lower grades, and if you decide to go all out with costumes, props, and scenery, and use this as a class play, I promise it will be what your students remember about your class!

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