L. FRANK BAUM (Book, 1856-1919) was an American author chiefly known for his children’s books, particularly The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. He wrote thirteen novel sequels, nine other fantasy novels, and a host of other works (55 novels in total, plus four “lost works”, 83 short stories, over 200 poems, an unknown number of scripts and many miscellaneous writings), and made numerous attempts to bring his works to the stage and screen. His works anticipated such century-later commonplaces as television, augmented reality, laptop computers (The Master Key), wireless telephones (Tik-Tok of Oz), women in high risk, action-heavy occupations (Mary Louise in the Country), and the ubiquity of advertising on clothing (Aunt Jane’s Nieces at Work).
HAROLD ARLEN (Music, 1905- 1986) Born and bred in New York, Harold Arlen began his career as an accompanist in vaudeville and appeared occasionally as a band vocalist on records, often singing his own compositions. During his career he wrote over 500 songs, including “Get Happy”, “Let’s Fall in Love” and “Stormy Weather” (all with lyrics by Ted Koehler). He had a long and productive partnership with Johnny Mercer with many resulting hits, including “That Old Black Magic”, “Blues in the Night” and “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate-the-Positive”. Broadway musicals include Bloomer Girl, St. Louis Woman, House of Flowers, Jamaica and Saratoga. Films include The Pretty Girl, The Farmer Takes a Wife and Gay-Purree. With Ira Gershwin he wrote “The Man That Got Away” for Judy Garland to sing in A Star Is Born. He won an Oscar for the song “Over the Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz.
E Y HARBURG (Lyrics, 1896- 1981) known as Yip Harburg, was an American popular song lyricist who worked with many of the most famous composers of the 20th century, including George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Jule Styne and Burton Lane. His best known songs, apart from those in The Wizard of Oz, include the perennial standards “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?”, “April in Paris” and “It’s Only a Paper Moon”. Broadway musicals include Bloomer Girl, Finian’s Rainbow, Flahooley, Jamaica and Darling of the Day. Films include Gold Diggers of 1937, At the Circus, Cabin in the Sky and the animated film Gay-Purree. He won an Oscar for the song “Over the Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz.
HERBERT STOTHART (Original Background Music, 1885- 1949) was nominated for nine Oscars and won for Best Original Score for his work on the 1939 film of The Wizard of Oz. As a young man he studied music in Europe and at the University of Wisconsin where he also taught. He worked as a musical director for Arthur Hammerstein and later began writing music for the producer’s nephew Oscar Hammerstein II, including some for the operetta Rose Marie. In 1929 he was signed to a contract by Louis B. Mayer and spent the last 20 years of his life at MGM studios working on films including Rose Marie, A Night at the Opera, Anna Karenina, David Copperfield, Madame Curie, Idiot’s Delight, Northwest Passage, Mrs. Miniver, Mutiny on the Bounty, National Velvet and What Every Woman Knows.
DEAN SOBON (Director) has worked for Prather Entertainment Group for over twelve years. Recent directing credits include the national tours of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Fiddler On The Roof. Other directing credits include: Clue, the Musical, West Side Story, Oklahoma, Crazy For You, A Christmas Carol, How To Succeed In Business, A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline, The Wizard of Oz, Big River, The Sound of Music and Guys & Dolls. Acting credits: international tours of On the Town, West Side Story and Guys & Dolls. His national tours include Man of La Mancha with Ron Holgate, West Side Story and the 50th anniversary tour of Annie Get Your Gun. He is also a writer, acting teacher and a proud father to his most rewarding work of all: his daughter, Piper.
AMY MARIE McCLEARY (Choreographer) National Tours: Memphis (Director/Choreographer), The Wedding Singer (Choreographer). Regional Direction/Choreography: Jesus Christ Superstar, White Christmas, Footloose, Sister Act, I Love A Piano, Hairspray, 9 to 5, CATS, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Spamalot, The Wizard of Oz, Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical, Grease, Some Enchanted Evening. Favorite choreography credits: Peter Pan, Cabaret, Evita, The Pajama Game, Annie, Cinderella, All Shook Up, Godspell. Current projects include a daughter who loves dressing up like Dorothy and a son who loves to roar like the Cowardly Lion. BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. www.amymariemccleary.com.
EVAN ADAMSON (Set Coordinator) Broadway Associate Designs: The Iceman Cometh (‘18 Tony nom.), Hello, Dolly! (‘17 Tony nom.), Shuffle Along (‘16 Tony nom.), Hedwig and the Angry Inch (‘14 Tony nom.), Machinal (‘14 Tony nom.), A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder (‘14 Tony nom.), Matilda (‘13 Tony winner), and Once (‘12 Tony winner), Radio City Christmas Spectacular (associate designer 2007- 2016). He is an adjunct professor at Purchase College. EvanAdamson.com
JOHN P. WHITE (Costume Coordinator) costumed the national tours of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Fiddler on the Roof, The Wedding Singer, Beehive, The 60s Musical, Footloose, and All Shook Up. He has served as the National Costume Designer for the past eleven years for Prather Entertainment Group receiving many AriZoni and BroadwayWorld award nominations.
JP MEYER (Music Coordination) Serves as the Musical Director at the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre in Lancaster, PA. His orchestration and musical directing credits include Mary Poppins, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, A Christmas Story, A Wonderful Life, Funny Girl, Yeston and Kopit’s Phantom, Anything Goes, Les Miserables, Oklahoma! and West Side Story.
LIZZIE WEBB (Musical Director) is thrilled to return to the national tour of The Wizard of Oz with her little dog Murphy as Toto and her fiancé Scoob in the ensemble! Lizzie served as adjunct professor of Musical Theatre at The University of Montana, directing and writing shows for Zootown Cabaret and music directing mainstage shows. Select regional credits include Rocky Horror Show (MT Actors Theatre), The Drowsy Chaperone (Bigfork Summer Playhouse), Man of La Mancha (Fort Peck Summer Theatre), Carousel, Oliver, Funny Girl, Pageant (Arizona Broadway Theatre), A Christmas Carol (ABT/ Herberger Theatre Center), Little Mermaid Jr. (ArtisTree Music Theatre Festival), and Blood (NYMF – Off Broadway).
MARC CIEMIEWICZ (Company Manager) For over 25 years Marc has worked as an actor, director, stage manager, company manager, and production manager from coast to coast. Tours: Yeston and Kopit’s Phantom, It’s Swingtime!, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (directed and choreographed by Andy Blankenbuehler) and Footloose and The Wedding Singer with Prather Touring. Marc holds a BFA and an MFA in Musical Theatre from Shenandoah Conservatory and San Diego State University respectively. Let Art Live!
BETHANY SORTMAN (Production Stage Manager) National Tour: Cabaret (Asst. SM/Head Props, APEX Touring). Select regional production SM: A Chorus Line, Vanya & Sonia…, A Christmas Story (Engeman); Holiday Spectacular: On Ice!, Legends: In Concert (Gateway); Favorite regional Asst. SM: Young Frankenstein, White Christmas, Mary Poppins, Spamalot and more. Other production stage manager credits: Celtic Fyre (Busch Gardens Williamsburg), Gateway’s Haunted Playhouse. In addition to SM’ing, Bethany has served as the Company Manager for The Argyle Theatre and Gateway Playhouse. Countless thanks to the Prather team, Russell, friends, family and DH for the endless love and support.
BRIAN ENZMAN (Artistic Producer/Casting) 32 years with the Prather Company (APEX/Prather Touring/ Dutch Apple- Lancaster, PA and Broadway Palm- Ft Myers, FL). He has been involved in over 200 productions from the first show at the Dutch Apple in 1987 (A Chorus Line) to the 2018 national tour of Cabaret. As resident director, credits include Phantom, Les Miserables, The Civil War, Jekyll and Hyde, The Drowsy Chaperone, South Pacific, Hello Dolly, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Cabaret, Gypsy, Mame, The King and I, Damn Yankees, The Music Man and Annie to name a few. Graduate of Millersville University in Lancaster, PA.
LAUREN L. SOBON (Artistic Producer/Casting) Lauren has been with Prather Productions for over 28 years and has either produced, directed, choreographed, cast or performed in over 100 productions for the company. Recent credits include serving as the Associate Producer/Casting Director for the recent national tour of Pippin and Director/Casting for the 2016 national tour of Million Dollar Quartet. Other national tours: Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, Fiddler On The Roof, Gypsy, Annie Get Your Gun. Regional: A Wonderful Life, Shrek, Honky Tonk Angels, A Christmas Carol, How To Succeed …, The Wizard of Oz and The Sound of Music.
RUSSELL A. THOMPSON (Production Manager/Lighting Designer) Designs include the national tours of Pippin, Million Dollar Quartet, Memphis, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Hair, Fiddler on the Roof, All Shook Up, Footloose, The Wedding Singer, S’Wonderful and Beehive the 60’s Musical, the world premiere of Around the World in 80 Days and the regional premiere of The Civil War. Prather Productions designs include Jesus Christ Superstar, Hairspray, Rent, 9 to 5, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jekyll & Hyde, Yeston & Kopit’s Phantom, Swing!, Ragtime, Peter Pan, Buddy, Legally Blonde and Cats. His designs for West Side Story, Aida and Miss Saigon have earned him three awards. Prior to joining Prather Productions, Russell lived in New York where his credits ranged from Club MTV to Manhattan School of Music.
PRATHER TOURING/WILLIAM T. PRATHER (Executive Producer) Past national tours include Footloose, The Wedding Singer, BLAST, Fiddler on the Roof, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Memphis, Million Dollar Quartet, Pippin, The Wizard of Oz and the Tony Award winning musical, Cabaret. William T. Prather is the Executive Producer of Prather Touring and is a second-generation theatre producer following in the footsteps of his parents, Tom and Debbie Prather who produced live theatre for over 50 years. He is a graduate of the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University and returned to the family business in 1993 after spending a couple of years in the corporate world. As Executive Producer of Prather Productions, he produces more than 32 shows each year in their regional theatres in Pennsylvania and Florida.
APEX TOURING (Producer) Highlighting their third national tour season with the second year of Wizard of Oz, the 2018 tour of Cabaret and 2017 tour of Pippin. APEX has been created to serve the ever expanding need for high quality, Broadway caliber touring productions across America. Relying on the steady producing skills of its affiliates, APEX looks forward to many years of producing Broadway’s brightest new shows.