The Wizard Of Oz
The Wizard Of Oz

The Wizard Of Oz is a fantastic production. Frank L. Baum's Oz books are timeless and bringing a single one of them to life on stage is a treat. Our goal with making prosthetic pieces for this production is to try to keep things simple, since most productions use a quick change from farmers to fantasy characters, it can be a challenge if you're not prepared. If a more refined look is desired, consider casting separate actors to avoid double roles.

Because of the speed quick changes require, it's best to go with Hot Foam Latex prosthetic for all main characters.  This will eliminate the chance of some small part or edge of a slush cast piece not sticking if glued incorrectly.  Having more surface area to come into contact with the actor's faces means a better bond will happen.

When planning for how many copies of prosthetic pieces are needed this production, add up the total of not only the performances, but also makeup tests, dress rehearsals and any promotional photos or events you may be holding as each of these counts as an application of the latex prosthetic pieces.

The characters

The Wicked Witch of the West -  She is the first quick change. After Almyra is whisked off stage, costumers will need to hurry to help her change. An open face spandex hood will help speed up makeup application by skipping the need to colour her neck, and possibly even her ears if you attach some ears onto the hood portion. Attach a wig onto the hood and you'll have a decent head piece for her quick change. Our Witch Nose & Chin Set will give her the signature pointed nose and longer chin look. A hair dryer will help speed up Pros-Aide drying time. Don't fret over perfect blending edges; like in most theater productions, the audience is usually too far to notice. Quickly apply her typical green makeup (or skin tones if you go that route), adding some quick highlights and shadows. It's a good idea to use a water based makeup or regular cosmetic foundation for The Wicked Witch since they can go on the quickest and handle quick basic blending. She'll be needed on stage ASAP for the brick road scene; after which you can do some touch ups for her later scenes.

Since she doesn't have a quick change back into Almyra, take your time with removal to preserve the pieces. Expect the nose and chin to last about 3-4 applications before you need a new copy. It's the edges that will get worn out the quickest since they're thin and fragile. Since these pieces are so small, Pros-Aide or Spirit Gum can work well enough to adhere them into place.  Gentle removers like Ben Nye's Bond Off will work well.

Tin Man - Nick Chopper, he's 3rd in line for a quick change (after the Scarecrow.) You'll have far more time for him and the Cowardly Lion compared to The Wicked Witch. Our Tin Man Nose & Chin Set will suit the look nicely.  Since these pieces are also not very large, Spirit Gum can work as a decent adhesive, though Pros-Aide is a bit easier to work with. If you're going for a metallic silver look, it may be worth pre-painting these with some metallic pax paint (metallic silver acrylic paint mixed into Pros-Aide).  Blending edges on these shouldn't be necessary, the chin by design appear chunky and protrudes from the face anyway.

If your production has the farmhands return at the end of the show for when Dorothy wakes up, you may need to also do a quick change out of the makeup. You'll have less than 5 minutes to do it and will be bumping elbows with costumers helping him change costumes. By the end of the show, the actors are likely a bit sweaty, which helps naturally loosen the prosthetics. Using Ben Nye's Bond Off, you should be able to gently and carefully peel up the pieces.  Use a cotton swab of remover for any stuck areas.  Expect the nose and chin to last about 3-4 applications before you need a new copy; there's a chance they may only last once or twice if you have a quick change at the end of the show. It's the edges that will get worn out the quickest since they're thin and fragile.  After the pieces are off, your actor will need quickly scrub their face, keep foundation on hand in case of any chunks of glue are stuck on their face.  It's worth practicing the quick-change during dress rehearsals, if it takes too long, you can try using less adhesive, or putting adhesive in strategic places instead of all over the prosthetics.

The Cowardly Lion - The King of the Forest. He's 4th in line for a quick change (after the Tin Man.) You'll have even more time for him and the previous characters. Our Cowardly Lion Nose will work best if you're tying to go for the classic look.  Since he has some signing, and is very emotive, it's best to use Pros-Aide adhesive to get a secure bond to the actor's face. Blending edges on the top portion of the prosthetic can be hidden with makeup "eye bags', Blending edges on the bottom portion are well hidden by his jowly look. So once again, don't worry about blending edges too much.

The same goes for the Lion as mentioned under the Tin man about returning at the end of the show as a farmhand.

The Winged Monkeys - Depending on how casting is done for your show, these monkeys have a few scenes, and can be covered by our Winged Monkey Face, or the Lyonshel Monkey Face.  The Winged Monkey Face doesn't cover the actor's eyebrows leaving them open to be more emotive. If a quick change from Munchkins or crows into Monkeys is needed, the full face of the Lyonshel Monkey Face will speed up the change since you won't need to apply makeup on their foreheads; just around the eyes.

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