SPECIAL OZ GUESTS
BETTY ANN KA`IHILANI BRUNO
It’s with great joy and excitement that we welcome BETTY ANN KA`IHILANI BRUNO to her first appearance at OZ-Stravaganza! – and you’ll soon know why. Born in Hawaii, Betty Ann grew up in Southern California, and her memoir has just been published. She defines it as “a collection of stories about interesting, unusual things from my life,” beginning with her Hollywood childhood. The book — available at OZ-Stravaganza! — is affectionately titled THE MUNCHKIN DIARY/MY OWN YELLOW BRICK ROAD. That’s a phrase that honestly describes Betty Ann: she was one of the little girls (“MunchKids”) who filled in and appeared on-camera during the “Munchkinland” sequence” of MGM’s 1939 movie, THE WIZARD OF OZ. Now one of the few survivors of that eighty-three-year-old film, Betty Ann retains vivid recollections of dancing, singing, and working with “the little people” who appeared with her. Her writing is candid, too: she was “ecstatic” to meet adults her own size – despite the fact that “one of [the little gentleman] kept asking my mother if I could go to lunch with him!”
GABRIEL GALE (Right)
OZ Illustrator (Ages of Oz Series & The Art of Oz)
Gabriel Gale is the creator of the Ages of Oz series, the first two books of which were written by Lisa Fiedler and published by Simon & Schuster: A Fiery Friendship and A Dark Descent. His personal association with Oz and its citizens is described in his greeting at the onset of The Art of Oz, a new book of his illustrations, with text by John Fricke, afterword by Michael Patrick Hearn, and packaged by Jane Lahr for Rizzoli. Mr. Gale was born in Brooklyn, NY, where the Bay Ridge Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library provided his initial passage to Oz. He is a graduate of The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. His illustrated talks about Oz have delighted elementary, middle, and high school students from coast-to-coast; he has entertained all ages in similar appearances at bookstores throughout the country, as well as at the major national Oz festivals. When not working in Oz, Mr. Gale makes his home in New York City.
2022 marks Shawn's third appearance at OzStravaganza! Shawn Ryan has been making costumes for theater and special events for 15 years. He attended school for fashion design but has also been self-taught via his own research and creative experimentation. Currently, Shawn is the head costume designer for Penguin Point Productions in Orlando, FL, and also works alongside Pattycake Productions on YouTube to create some of their costumes. Among his theater credits are Chicago, The Producers, Into The Woods, Cinderella, Beauty & The Beast, Hello, Dolly!, and an original musical for Largo, FL’s Lost At Sea. Shawn interned with Susan Hilferty on the workshop of Wonderland: Alice’s New Musical Adventure. (Hilferty is the Tony and Drama Desk Award winner for Best/Outstanding Costume Design for Broadway’s Wicked.) In 2017 he recreated Ozma’s costume from Disney’s Return to Oz for original actress Emma Ridley. For exhibition at 2017's International Wizard of Oz Club national convention, Shawn recreated eleven classic Dorothy Gale costumes, ranging from her original illustration by W.W. Denslow and cataloguing every major production of Oz from stage, film, cartoon, theme park, and even ice. The All Things Oz Museum is the permanent home for some of Shawn's remarkable replicas, including 3 of the Dorothy costumes from the exhibit, and replicas of Glinda The Good Witch and the Wicked Witch of the West as seen in MGM’s The Wizard of Oz. This year for the first year back since 2019, Shawn plans to make a “wicked splash”!
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