Carroll to speak on/at ‘The Wizard of Oz’

Jul 14, 2014
Willard Carroll of Camden, pictured at the recently Farnsworth Art Museum exhibition of selections from his collection, will address the July 20 matinee audience of Freeport Players’ “The Wizard of Oz.”

Freeport — Willard Carroll of Camden, premier collector of original “Wizard of Oz” memorabilia and originator of the National Oz Museum, will speak before the matinee performance Freeport Players’ production of “The Wizard of Oz” Sunday, July 20, at 12:30 p.m. The community theater show runs this weekend and next at the Freeport Performing Arts Center, in the high school on Holbrook Street.

Carroll also will answer questions about his collection and the museum, and he will show a brief video. He began collecting Oz items as a child and owns thousands of them, including the hourglass used by the Wicked Witch, an original costume worn by one of the Lollipop Guild Munchkins and a dress worn by Judy Garland. He also has toys, posters, lunchboxes and more. Carroll will bring an original poster to show.

Carroll is an Emmy Award-winning producer, writer and director with more than 200 hours of motion picture and television credits. His films include the all-star drama “Playing by Heart” and the musical-comedy “Marigold.” As an author, Carroll’s books include “I, Toto: The Autobiography of the Dog Who Was Toto.”  Together with Tom Wilhite, he has established the National Oz Museum to house the world’s most comprehensive collection devoted to “The Wizard of Oz.” Plans are to open the private museum, in Camden, in a couple of years.

Freeport Players is marking its 25th anniversary this year, and the grand scale of its “The Wizard of Oz” production, in collaboration with Freeport Family Performing Arts, is part of the celebration. Audiences will see fabulous costumes and sets, the giant talking Wizard head, the tornado, the Wicked Witch melting into the floor, the exciting revelation of “Technicolor” when Dorothy arrives in Oz and more. For more information, visit fcponline.org.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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