The man behind the curtain

By Kristi Casey Sanders

More than a decade ago, Gregory Maguire published Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, a novel that reconfigured pop culture’s perception of one of the most widely despised characters of American literature and cinema. By retelling The Wizard of Oz from the point of view of Elphaba — a smart, passionate girl who grows up to become the infamous and widely feared witch — Maguire allows readers to take a more complex look at the nature of truth, the value of beauty and the cost of moral behavior…

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The wizard behind Oz

“When you need kids, call Bill Newberry,” says Theater of the Stars [TOTS] Producer Christopher B. Manos. Newberry has carved out a niche for himself as a children’s director, teaching young cast members how to sing, dance and hit their marks like professionals. This month, you can catch his handiwork in TOTS’ production of The Wizard of Oz , in which several Atlanta children play the munchkins of Oz. Encore Atlanta spoke to him about the challenges and joys of working with children…

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