This Week in theater
Fantasyland comes to the Rouge Machine in DOROTHY, A Current Account
Thespian Virginia Carter (writer/performer) brings a rare solo treat to us cynical grownups. Chances are that the Wizard of Oz intrigued most of us as children, leaving a lasting impression of young Dorothy and her adventures with the characters she met along the way to Oz. But, what ever happened to her? Did she grow up to live happily ever after…and what would that look like in today’s world?
Carter explores Dorothy’s personal journey, as an adult. Her story is not in a forest, but comes to life in a homeless shelter where she is currently employed. I found it to be a fascinating and creative approach to this children’s fable so I took a little time to ask Virginia how it all came about.
Rose: I loved the Wizard of Oz. Personally I love the whole magic slipper thing. Can you tell me about your connection to the character?
Virginia: Thank you. Yes. Well, one of my all time favorite movies is The Wizard of Oz. I think Judy Garland brought such a sweetness and truthfulness to the character. I also read the Oz books and loved them very much too.
Rose: A homeless shelter is a far cry from an enchanted forest, how did that come about?
Virginia: I had an idea for a long time to take Dorothy Gale and place her in the present day. To imagine an adult Dorothy Gale in the present-day world. I stewed on it for a while about where she would be. What would she be doing? I envisioned playing the character myself, so at first I thought of making her an out-of-work actor. But, no, seriously, I wanted to find a way of juxtaposing the real sweetness and old-fashioned qualities that are so lovely in the movie with a present-day environment that might be a little rough. At the time I’d started to volunteer in a homeless shelter, for a very short while, so then it seemed like a natural fit…“there’s no place like home.”
Rose: Can you share a little about the character that you create in the story? How do you relate to her?
Virginia: Well I think this Dorothy, in the present day, struggles with a lack of faith in herself. She and I both have had times of feeling uncertain. And the play is an attempt to reclaim some of that self-assuredness.
Rose: How did you hook up with Rogue Machine?
Virginia: I have some long-time colleagues and friends who were part of the foundation of Rogue Machine. Matt Elkins, Elina DeSantos, Tracie Lockwood. But it was only recently that my friends Lillah McCarthy and Holly Fulger brought my play to Jennifer Pollono. I had been seeing shows that I loved there and knew John Flynn a little bit and met Jen in the last year or so. And I have loved the Off The Clock shows so much! I saw Small Engine Repair when it first debuted at Rogue, a few years ago! I feel so lucky to be part of Off The Clock!
Rose: Anything else that you would like to add?
Virginia: Yes! I’m grateful that you are in search of, writing about, encouraging, and discovering less commercial theater offerings in L.A. And drawing attention to pieces like mine. Thank you.
Rose: Well, thanks so much, see ya at the show. Oh Virginia in the play do you have little magic slippers, gosh I really wanted those shoes.
Virginia: Lolololol! If only we all had some little magic slippers. And they were so beautiful too!
Hey folks, I hope that this has served as some enticement for you to take a chance on a new show being offered at one of LA’s top theaters. Although it sounds like fun, knowing Rogue Machine, I am sure it will have a fair amount of intellectual value as well. I am curious to see what Rob Mersola, writer extraordinaire, does with this piece as a director.
Runs Thursdays at 8:00pm and Saturdays at 2:00pm through December 11, 2014
What: DOROTHY, A Current Account
Playwright: Virginia Carter
Director: Rob Mersola
ROGUE MACHINE (in Theatre/Theater)
5041 Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90019
Tickets are $20. Reservations: 855-585-5185 or at www.roguemachinetheatre.com