Open Arts Alliance to Hold Auditions for The Wizard of Oz; New Theater Venue Announced

The Open Arts Alliance has announced audition dates for its March 2023 musical production of The Wizard of Oz.

Auditions are December 12, 14 & 15 at 6:00 pm at River House. Callbacks will be December 16 at 6:00pm.

Follow the yellow brick road in this delightful stage adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s beloved tale, featuring the iconic musical score from the MGM film. The timeless tale, in which young Dorothy Gale travels from Kansas over the rainbow to the magical Land of Oz, continues to thrill audiences worldwide. Classic hits “Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead,” “If I Only Had A Brain,” and the iconic “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” have made this beloved score a family favorite since it debuted in 1939.

Performances of The Wizard of Oz will take place at the Westport Country Playhouse, which has a unique history. The original building on the property was a tannery dating back to the 1800s. By the 1920s it sat empty. The not-for-profit regional theater was founded in 1931 and today is on the Connecticut State Register of Historic Places.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for students to perform in the historic theater,” said Rocco Natale, Executive Director of Open Arts Alliance. With 578 seats, the playhouse accommodates a larger audience than previous OAA venues.

“One thing I’m most excited about is the kids are going to have a chance to learn from the professionals in one of the five big professional theaters in the state,” Natale added.

Also, Natale said, “There is a lot of connection between the theater and the original movie. So many of the film’s stars including Billie Burke (Glinda) and Bert Lahr (The Cowardly Lion) have all performed on the famous stage over the years.”

OAA has always created opportunities for diverse and underserved populations to enjoy live theater, and Natale said it was a big plus that Westport Country Playhouse is not only beautiful, but ADA compliant.

OAA plans to partner with community groups to offer tickets to local non profits.

“One of the things our board of directors is talking about is offering free tickets to families who work with Connecticut Adoptive Services, which is an agency we’ve worked with in the past. We always try to have a community outreach component to each show. We’ll be able to invite people who wouldn’t be able to have a chance to access live theater and enjoy it.”

“The theater was renovated and is state of the art,” Natale continued. “It allows us to have more accessibility for patrons who are hard of hearing, more accessibility for senior citizens, and there are better sight lines.”

All youth in the community ages 6-18 are encouraged to audition. Required audition registration can be completed at by December 11. Auditioners need only attend one of the scheduled audition dates.

Children auditioning should be prepared to sing a song of their choosing a cappella, and be ready to read from a portion of the script.

Natale said he was also excited that his non profit recently launched a newly redesigned and website.

“We hired a design firm to really help us look at our mission statement, and tell our story to our community,” he said. “It’s more intuitive and user friendly – and safer to access with a student and parent portals, including one for kids to have access to the material remotely.”

Audition location: River House, 125 River Road Extension, Cos Cob, CT 06807.
Westport Country Playhouse is located at 25 Powers Ct, Westport, CT 06880.

For more information, please visit
Open Arts Alliance, is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization.