Left on Yellow Brick Road was a one man show written, produced and performed by Sherif Amin. It was presented as part of the Springshot Festival at 18th & Union Theater in Seattle, WA.
“When a boy from Egypt unexpectedly finds himself in the Land of Oz. He ends up going to a place, past the Emerald City, where he stays. He starts to wonder is it better to stay in Oz or find his way back? “
I had the distinct pleasure of meeting and working with Sherif and my friend Kate Myre (Director) . I was Sherif’s Assistant Director and Stage Manager. This was the first solo show I had ever been a part of. Sherif’s writing is a textural journey of emotion, imagery, pain and laughter. I am proud to have been a part of the beginnings of this piece and I look forward to what happens next in its life cycle.
Created and Performed by Sherif Amin
Directed by Kate Myre
Composer: Evan Barrett
Assistant Director & Stage Manager: Heather Cook
Here are the Director’s Note by Kate Myre:
In the dark ages when I was growing up, The Wizard of Oz was broadcast once a year, and my brothers and I would collect around the huge console television in the living room to have the wits scared out of us by the Wicked Witch, the Flying Monkeys and those grumpy apple trees. Our mother was slightly younger than the character of Dorothy, but she grew up on a farm, and I at least imagined she possessed the same plucky qualities that enabled MGM to create a hero’s journey for that remarkable teenage girl in 1939.
Fast forward to 2019 when my friend and former student, Sherif, asked me if I would consider directing his solo performance show, which draws heavily on this iconic American movie. I can’t remember a time when I needed to deeply examine the cultural impact of a single piece of art, but directing Left on Yellow Brick Road did demand that I unpack some of the abundant cultural iconography of The Wizard of Oz and to contextualize it with Sherif. I came away from our work on this piece with a much more vivid understanding of how ingrained this movie is in the American mind, but more importantly, I was offered a chance to see it through the eyes of an young man raised in Egypt and to work with him to serve up these familiar characters in an entirely new light.
I have told my Cornish College students for many years that I am training them to be my peers. My job is to be obsolete to them, to deliver what skills they need while we are together and then to look forward to working together as colleagues when they graduate. Left on Yellow Brick Road had been a great honor to work on, and I am humbled by the strength of the text and the courage required to deliver it. This truth, at least, lives in light.