No place like home: intertextual thresholds and the national mythmaking qualities of The Wizard of Oz

Rush, Adam (2016) No place like home: intertextual thresholds and the national mythmaking qualities of The Wizard of Oz. In: TaPRA Postgraduate Symposium 2016, 6th February 2016, University of Sheffield.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
Item Status:Live Archive


The twenty-first century musical is undoubtedly an intertextual landscape formed from fragments of past popular culture. From the recycling of mainstream films to the nostalgic use of popular music, musical theatre is an art form littered with familiar and popular works that ultimately extend the cultural myths fashioned within certain texts beyond their original source. This paper focuses on the 2003 hit musical Wicked as a dominant site for the appropriation and continuation of the cultural myths perpetuated within the iconic American film The Wizard of Oz (1939), and the countless other intermedial texts which surround it. Though there are direct references to the 1939 film within the musical, this paper traces and analyses the broader thematic and conceptual similarities between such texts in the most part. In particular, it considers how the comforting conceptualisation of ‘home’ resonates throughout the Oz canon to argue that the dialectic relationship between any source and its adaptation is considerably more nuanced than the direct referencing of specific texts. In drawing upon Benedict Anderson’s conception of an ‘imagined community’ and Will Wright’s claim that myths are the “social concepts and attitudes determined by the history and institutions of a society”, this paper considers how the notion of ‘finding’ and ‘returning’ home is central to both the formation of Oz, as a fantasy universe, and a national ideology which resonates across America through and between texts.

Keywords:Musical Theatre, Intertextuality, Nationhood, Myth, Wicked
Subjects:W Creative Arts and Design > W400 Drama
W Creative Arts and Design > W300 Music
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts (Performing Arts)
ID Code:19993
Deposited On:12 Jan 2016 10:54

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