GREENSBORO — The COVID-19 pandemic will keep Dorothy, Toto, the Tin Man, Scarecrow and Cowardly Lion off the Yellow Brick Road this year.
Community Theatre of Greensboro will not stage its popular annual production of "The Wizard of Oz" this November.
"With the realities of Covid-19, there’s no way we could rehearse or perform with 100 actors onstage and 1,000 people in the audience," Roz Fulton, CTG's executive director, said in Wednesday's announcement.
CTG has followed the path of other theater groups, which have canceled live productions with large audiences to avoid spreading the disease.
But "Wizard" fans still can enjoy CTG's full slate of Oz-themed events that start this month.
Events will follow state and local social distancing guidelines.
This would have marked the 26th year for CTG's production of the musical at the historic downtown Carolina Theatre.
Now CTG plans the 26th annual production for 2021.
"The Wizard of Oz" tells the story of Kansas teenager Dorothy Gale and her little dog, swept by a tornado to the magical Land of Oz.
Befriended by the Scarecrow, Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion, Dorothy seeks out the Wizard of Oz, whom she believes has the power to send her home. But the Wicked Witch of the West has more sinister plans.
The show features such classic songs as "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and "We're Off to See the Wizard."
The 1939 film is the most watched movie in history, according to the Library of Congress, and has been a television staple since 1956.
CTG's planned activities will fill the void this year.
"There's something for everyone — hard-core 'Wizard' fans as well as families who are introducing their kids to the characters for the first time," Fulton said. "We’re excited about helping people experience 'Wizard' in different ways..."
• "The Wizard of Oz" Trivia Challenge (online), 6:30 p.m. Sept. 24 and Oct. 1.
• "The Wizard of Oz" Paint Party, 2-4 p.m. Oct. 4, Carolina Theatre parking lot, 310 S. Greene St.
• "The Wizard of Oz" Family-Friendly Trail, Crossmill Road, McLeansville, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 17, 18, 24 and 25. Visitors can meet 'Wizard' characters and take part in their adventures while walking through the estate.
• "The Wizard of Oz" Movie Night, 6 p.m. Oct. 30, LeBauer Park, 208 N. Davie St.
• "The AmOZing Race," 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 15 and 16. Taking off on the television show "The Amazing Race," teams will perform Wizard-themed activities and collect clues across downtown Greensboro.