The Media Theatre's one-act production based on the iconic musical "The Wizard of OZ" features all of the legendary songs from the 1939 film beloved by millions of viewers, both young and old. The cast is mostly made up of young aspiring actors, all students from The Media Theatre's New School and its acting classes. From ages 5 to 15, the youth performers follow The Yellow Brick Road.
But they are not alone in their journey on stage. The young actors are joined by two adult actors in the musical.
One of those 'more mature' actors is a lifelong resident of Delaware County, Mr. Jim Conte. He was seen this past summer on Media Theatre's stage in the comic musical "Nunsense Jamboree" and in the world premiere play "Death on the 16th Fairway". Now, he adds his charm to "The Wizard of OZ" as the title character-the man behind the curtain-and Professor Marvel.
Jim graduated from Penncrest High School, and fondly remembers going to the movies at the Media Theatre as a teenager.
Before pursuing his passion for performing full time, he was privileged to serve as a music educator in three southeastern Pennsylvania public school districts (Tredyffrin-Easttown, Upper Darby, Rose Tree Media), where he directed award winning bands, orchestras, choirs, taught music classes, directed/choreographed musical theatre productions and coached track.
Since retirement he has enjoyed singing in the Festival Chorus with Peter Nero and the Philly Pops in their Holiday Concerts; being a Supernumerary in "Aida" and "Turandot" with the Opera Company of Philadelphia; and being a background character in several films, including the Oscar winning "Silver Linings Playbook" as well as "Welcome to The Bates Motel".
Now enjoying his “encore career” as a character actor, he played Cap’n Andy in "Show Boat" at the Broadway Theatre of Pitman, NJ where he also performed in "Noises Off" and "Over the River and Through The Woods". He also tackled eight different roles in "Lucky Stiff" at the Centre Theater of Montgomery County and was seen in "Kiss Me Kate" with the Brandywiners at Longwood Gardens. His last time following the Yellow Brick Road was at the New Candlelight Theatre as Professor Marvel and OZ himself.
Jim has words of wisdom for all ages who may see him onstage in "The Wizard of OZ". "It's never too late to follow your dreams!" he said.
Jim Conte will follow his dreams and audiences may follow the Yellow Brick Road in "The Wizard of OZ" Saturdays at 11am and Sundays at Noon now through November 17. It's at The Media Theatre and is perfect for ages 4 and up. Call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org.