Take a journey to fabled Oz
June 9, 2008 · Updated 3:00 PM
"A creative kid is a resourceful creature - receptive to the wealth of possibilities that the treasure trove some teachers call history can yield.So proves the upcoming BPA production of Ozma of Oz, which fuses multi-cultural influences past and present into a place where garbage turns into jewelry and dreams become reality. For these kids, anything is possible, said costume designer Hollie Clark. We've made so much come from what looked like nothing. A crown adorned with an old toy in one hand and a colorful cloak in the other, she explained that the dreamings of the ancient aborigines informed her vision of the dream world Dorothy slips into when she falls from her boat on the way to Australia. Ozma of Oz, is a play loosely based on the film Return to Oz, and tells the tale of Dorothy's adventures as she ventures away from Kansas once more.The BPA production capitalizes on the ideas of the 23, 10-to-16-year-olds involved in the production class run by a professional adult crew including director Joanne Keegan, and puts Clark's experiences in theater, education and clothes design to use.Working in close collaboration with set designer Peggy McDonald, she said she taught the kids about all kinds of fashion trends from Kabuki make-up to current magazine fads.I really let my imagination go, said Clark, by way of explanation for Dorothy's 60s-style glitter red trainers, the camouflage costume of the deceptive evil guard and the circles the wheelers wear to compensate for the impracticality of rollerskates on stage. She says she couldn't have come up with these solutions without inspiration from the kids, who drew patterns on blank canvas for her to cut out and attach to their black body suits.Costume designing has also helped the young actors get to grips with the parts they play.I'd like to meet my character walking down the street with that big feathery headdress, said Rose Mackey, who plays Bill the big talking chicken. I love the material. Clark said she is happy to incorporate the kids' ideas into her designs, because they are so willing to recycle what others might be tempted to throw away. At first they thought we were just painting junk, she said, but we soon put our faith in each other. * * * * *Ozma of Oz will be performed at 7 p.m. June 8 (a pay-what-you-will performance), 7 p.m. June 9 and 2 p.m. June10, at the BPA Playhouse. Tickets are $9 for students or seniors and $12 for adults. Information/box office: 842-8569."