The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: From Page to Stage & Screen

L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was published in 1900 and became an immediate success. Within two years it was adapted for the stage — which set off a long series of further adaptations for stage, silent and sound films, and a prequel novel, all continuing into this century. The most famous version is the 1939 MGM musical The Wizard of Oz, but the many other reinterpretations make for a fascinating history.

Exploring literature, music, cinema, stage, and possible political narratives, this seminar is built around the recent book Adapting The Wizard of Oz: Musical Versions from Baum to MGM and Beyond. Over the years the yellow brick road has had many remarkable twists and turns, many of which will be explored in this seminar.

Suggested reading:
Adapting The Wizard of Oz: Musical Versions from Baum to MGM and Beyond, ed. Birkett and McHugh (Oxford University Press, 2019);
L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900, various sources, including online).

  • Days: Tuesdays
  • Times: 3:30 - 5:30 p.m.
  • Start Date: 10/15/2019
  • End Date: 11/19/2019
  • Sessions: 6
  • Exceptions: none
  • Venue: The Engineering Center
  • Teaching Style: Lecture with questions
  • Weekly Preparation: None
  • Biography:

    Bradford Conner and Benjamin Sears have been performing together since 1989 and lecture regularly on the music they perform. Conner and Sears are leading scholars of Irving Berlin, with six recordings of his songs and print publications. Also opera and history lovers, both have taught at Beacon Hill Seminars and are recipients of the Jack Curtin Award. Sears, a graduate of Ithaca College and editor of The Irving Berlin Reader, wrote a chapter in Adapting The Wizard of Oz: Musical Versions from Baum to MGM and Beyond, and is in the early stages of developing The Fred Astaire Reader. Conner is a graduate of West Virginia University, having also studied at the University of Salzburg (Austria) and the American College of Salzburg. A renaissance individual with degrees in business, musicology, and foreign language, he has lectured and written on his interests in music and world history.

  • Address: 1 Walnut Street, Boston, MA 02108