High Drama: Against All Oz debuts today on TheWB.com, bringing the drama of high school theater in all its teenage glory. The latest original web series made for the new Warner Brothers’ online portal, Oz takes us on a behind-the-scenes look at a real high school production of “The Wizard of Oz,” straight from the drama club at Cape Cod’s Barnstable High School.
We’re taken on the journey from ‘pitchy’ auditions through the ups and downs of this enormous cast and crew getting to know each other and bring the age-old play to life. The auditions deliver the public voyeurism matched only by American Idol, matched by a season’s worth of bonding and angst that couldn’t be written. The realism of Oz‘s awkward teenage drama gives you the feeling you just might stick it out and see just how this scrappy group can pull off this massive musical production. As WB.com head Brent Poer tells us, ” “It’s American Teen meets the drama club.”
Producers chose Barnstable High School after a nationwide search, settling on the school known for mega-productions featuring hundreds of cast members, professional-grade effects and knockout sets. Seriously, there are over 300 cast members, or “over one-sixth of the students at BHS,” says Barnstable High School Drama Club adviser John Sullivan, “ and that doesn’t count all the costume makers, backstage crew and musicians!”
Since “The Wizard of Oz” is after all, a Warner Brothers property, the studio granted special permission to use the 1939 film screenplay as the script for the production, which is apparently different from the stage version most schools are using. The play will also include two original songs cut from the final movie version.
Produced by Madison Avenue-based Bombo Sports & Entertainment in association with Warner Brothers’ digital production venture Studio 2.0, the series will run for 13-weeks, with new episodes out every Monday through November 17th. (See our Web TV Schedule for more.)
UPDATE: Episodes 1 & 2 are now up: High Drama on TheWB.com