We are thrilled to announce the commission of our own Public Works musical adaptation of The Wizard of Oz, based on the novels by L. Frank Baum. Seattle Rep’s most-produced living playwright Cheryl L. West (Shout Sister Shout!, Pullman Porter Blues) and a music director to be announced will bring to life the stunning world of Oz with a Pacific Northwest spirit, highlighting and embracing local artists, partner organizations, cameo groups, and community pillars.
Since 2016, Seattle Rep's Public Works has produced two joyful musical adaptations of world classics originally commissioned by our Public Works National cohort partners at The Public Theater, the founding home of the Public Works model. The creators developed these plays with a vision to build community by connecting people through participatory theater—both performing it and experiencing it—creating a more welcoming region for all.
We’ve always wanted to bring a project to the stage and to our community that not only worked in our region, but was written for us. We can’t wait to share Cheryl’s interpretation of the journey and the joy of this classic, and all the friends that are made along the way.
Meet the Playwright
Cheryl L. West
Cheryl L. West’s plays have been seen in England, off-Broadway, on Broadway (Play On!), and in numerous regional theaters including Minneapolis Children’s Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Seattle Rep, Arena Stage, Old Globe, Goodman Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Bay Street Theatre Festival, Syracuse Stage, Cleveland Play House, South Coast Rep, Merrimack, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, and off‐Broadway’s Manhattan Theatre Club, Second Stage, Atlantic Theater Company, and Primary Stages. Her plays include, Fannie, Shout Sister Shout!, Last Stop on Market Street, The Watsons Go To Birmingham, 1963, Akeelah and the Bee, Pullman Porter Blues, Motherhood Out Loud (co-author); Addie, American Girl Story (21-city tour); and Jar the Floor. She has written TV and film projects at Disney, Paramount, MTV Films, Showtime, TNT, HBO, CBS, and is the Webby-nominated writer for the original web series "Diary of a Single Mom." Ms. West is currently working on commissions for Chicago’s Goodman Theatre and Seattle Rep, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Minneapolis Children’s Theater, and Seattle Children’s Theatre.
Photo by Abe Booker
Seattle Rep's Public Works
Theater of, by, and for the people, rooted in the values of equity, imagination, and joy.
Interview with Cheryl L. West
Hear more from commission playwright Cheryl L. West about her inspirations, process, thoughts on creating art in the COVID era, and more in her Creative Conversation with Artistic Director Braden Abraham (July 2020).
Seattle Rep does not accept unsolicited scripts. We read material from a variety of sources including agent recommendations, colleague theater seasons, the Kilroys List, and more. We are dedicated to considering work by BIPOC and female identifying/trans/non-binary artists and commit to that work representing at least half of the scripts read by our season planning committee.
The cast of Seattle Rep's Public Works' As You Like It (2019). Photo by Bronwen Houck.