Bloomington, Ind., January 30, 2023 — WFIU Public Radio is partnering with Starrynight Productions and Soundbooth Theater on a new four-part audio play series adapted from L. Frank Baum’s book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Writer/director Russell McGee (Big Finish Doctor Who plays) and producer/actor Michael Brainard (All My Children) are collaborating with Soundbooth’s Jeff Hays to produce The Wonderful Wizard of Oz as both a radio series and podcast. Previously, McGee and Brainard worked with WFIU on the podcast and radio series The Ernie Pyle Experiment!, released in 2020.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz follows the adventures of young Dorothy Gale and her dog Toto. After their Kansas home is swept away by a cyclone, Dorothy and Toto find themselves in a strange land called Oz. Here Dorothy meets the Munchkins and joins the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion on an unforgettable journey to the Emerald City, where lives the all-powerful Wizard of Oz. Along the way, Dorothy and her friends must fend off the Wicked Witch of the West.
The audio series features the talents of actors Franc Ross (Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, Deadwood), P.J. Ochlan (Emmy nominee for Young Sheldon, Little Man Tate, Police Academy: The TV Series), Greta Lind (Rudy, All My Children), Bert Rotundo (Silicon Valley, Marvel’s Agent Carter), and Leraldo Anzaldua (Gatchaman, Highschool of the Dead, Starship Troopers: Invasion), among others.
The first episode of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz airs Saturday, February 4 at 5 p.m. on WFIU2 and Sunday, February 5 at 6 p.m. on WFIU. Subsequent episodes will air Saturdays at 5 p.m. on WFIU2 on February 11, February 18, and February 25 and Sundays at 6 p.m. on WFIU on February 12, February 19, and February 26. The series will also be distributed by Soundbooth Theater as a podcast starting this May.
A special behind-the-scenes episode of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz will air Saturday, March 4 at 5 p.m. on WFIU2 and Sunday, March 5 at 6 p.m. on WFIU. The cast and crew reveal how the series was made and share what Oz means to them and why the story is relevant for today’s audience.
original artwork created for the series by artist, Susan Shorter
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is made possible with support from Indiana Public Broadcasting Stations.
WFIU is an NPR member station and south-central Indiana’s source for news and classical and jazz music, broadcasting from the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington. WFIU is available at 103.7 FM in Bloomington and Seymour, 100.7 FM in Columbus, 101.7 FM in French Lick/West Baden, 98.9 FM in Greensburg, 106.1 FM in Kokomo, and 95.1 FM in Terre Haute. WFIU2 is available at 101.9 FM in Bloomington and 100.1 FM in Seymour. Both stations also stream online at wfiu.org.
About Starrynight Productions
Starrynight Productions, LLC. is a small, independent film, television, audio theater, and theater production company dedicated to providing quality entertainment and professional work for area artists. More information is available at starrynight-productions.com.
About Soundbooth Theater
Founded by Jeff Hays, narrator of Dungeon Crawler Carl, Soundbooth Theater produces multi-cast audiobooks and Cinematic Audio, which are dramatizations that are enhanced with sound effects and music. In addition to its extensive catalogue on Audible, Soundbooth Theater publishes content directly to its website and apps. Learn more at soundbooththeater.com.