Here’s your kid’s chance to be in ‘The Wizard of Oz’

Mark Gavin

From November to January, the magic of “The Wizard of Oz” will enchant audiences at The Walnut Street Theatre — America’s oldest theater company. Between 60,000 to 80,000 people are expected to attend their shows during the holiday season, including children. What could be more memorable than experiencing theater for the first time? How about actually starring in a production?

On Wednesday, Sept. 7, The Walnut Street Theatre will be holding auditions for munchkins in “The Wizard of Oz.” Open to kids between the ages of 6 and 13, over 300 online applications have been submitted already to fill the 30 coveted spots for munchkins.

Casting director Brian Kurtus explains that they are looking for “kids with great personalities” who can not only be confident in front of thousands of people but also “hold their own” in a professional setting.

“Kids with that charm and X factor — it’s something that can’t be taught,” he adds.

Other show-specific requirements include height, dance and singing ability.

“Since the kids are playing munchkins in the production they can’t be taller than the adults. The shortest adult in the cast is 5-[foot]-2 so we wouldn’t be able to cast any kids over 5-[foot]-1.”

For group numbers like “The Lollipop Guild” and “Lullaby League,” singing and dance ability will be needed as well.

“Dancing skills are helpful for us,” says Kurtus. “We’re also looking for voices that are unchanged.”

To begin the audition process, fill out theonline applicationat the Walnut Street Theatre website. The open call is on Wednesday, Sept. 7 and callbacks are on Friday, Sept. 9.

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