On Friday, I had the chance to travel to Kansas, aka downtown LA, for the funeral of General Jinjur, following the revolt that took place a month earlier that resulted in the death of the Scarecrow King during his wedding to Ozma. With tension still in the air, and a special video message from Ozma asking us all to attend the funeral, those who came, came with trepidation and curiosity. This resulted in the next chapter of The Kansas Collection, “The Witch”, which was one of the most heartwrenching and mind-blowing chapters thus far.
For those who may not remember, I have been part of the blue path, otherwise known as Revolt. I was part of the group that was responsible for the death of the Scarecrow King, so much so that I stood next to Glinda and held the gun used to assassinate the King. At the time, I felt as though I was doing what was right, for the good of Gillikin and Emerald City. However, my faith and devotion was rocked while attending “The Witch” - and I wasn’t the only one. The show started off on a rather sad note, as the 6 of us in our party paid our respects to General Jinjur. However, the hardest part was seeing Glinda, in tears, as she said her goodbye to her dear, close friend. This made it even harder to take in once a shocking a reveal came to light.
I’ve loved everything that Speakeasy Society has done thus far with the Kansas Collection, but this was by far my favorite chapter in the series. I think this reason is because it made me question my allegiance, an allegiance that I wholeheartedly believed in. As the revelations of Dorothy, Ozma, General Jinjur, and more come to light, we as the audience were left to grapple with the consequences alongside Glinda. Speaking of Glinda, she is a shell of her former self, having lost so much more than just her close friend. She’s back in Kansas for a reason, a reason that you’ll all come to learn when you go through the experience, but that doesn’t mean she has zero contact with the Emerald City. Though hiding out in a secret location, she has been working steadily on figuring out ways to return to the EC through the use of portals. It’s at this point where she is interrupted with a message from Ozma.
One of the aspects that I loved so much about this performance was the fantastic use of space and minimalistic design approach. “The Witch” takes place, primarily, in the back of a store where we first see a small tribute to General Jinjur followed by the temporary housing space for Glinda. Lastly, we were brought up to the rooftop where we came face-to-face with, uh, a familiar face. I loved that all three of the areas where used to their maximum capabilities, my favorite being that of where Glinda has been residing. It signaled a woman that had started to come undone by the weight of her responsibilities and all that she has done. Each space is made to feel like a separate entity that houses a story, and as a designer by trade, that easily became one of my favorites parts of the show.
The show culminates with an ending that left a lot of us speechless. I don’t want to go into it too much, especially if you are planning on going (which you totally should), but what I can say is that it is jaw-dropping. I was legitimately surprised and confused by not only what was unfolding in front of me but also by how much it made me question where my allegiances lay. The ending was so effective because of its simple approach and the talent of the performers who made their characters feel realistic and believable through the emotions that they conveyed.
Overall, “The Witch” is easily my favorite chapter in Speakeasy Society’s The Kansas Collection. With beautiful set production, heart-wrenching performances, and a story that will stay with you long after it ends, I can’t recommend “The Witch” enough. If you have been following the blue path, I would love to know what your thoughts are on this performance and where you stand now, as it’s something that I’m still trying to figure out. For everyone else, Ozma is coming, and we best be prepared.
For more information, and to purchase tickets to “The Witch”, visit www.speakeasysociety.com.