Wicked has partnered with the U.K.'s National Literacy Trust and author Sharna Jackson (High-Rise Mystery, The Good Turn) to present "Be the Change." Inspired by the musical's song "For Good," the new writing competition invites schools to take part in challenging young writers to write about something they want to society to improve upon.
Students between the ages of nine and 14 are welcome to take part in the competition which will be judged by Wicked cast members and Jackson, with winners picked from two age categories. The prize will be tickets for each winner's entire class to see Wicked on the West End at the Apollo Victoria Theatre, as well as a writing workshop with Jackson, and books for their school's library.
The competition's goal is to engage adolescents in writing as a way of addressing the statistic that “1 in 3 children in England leaving primary school without being able to write well," as stated by Tim Judge, Head of Schools Programmes at the National Literacy Trust. Judge continues “But the competition also leads the way in showing pupils that writing can help you engage with your society. Whether it’s advocating for a cause you believe in on social media or writing a letter to your MP, Be the change can start young writers on their journey of using writing to change something they passionately believe in.”
Current West End cast members of Wicked include Lucie Jones as Elphaba, Helen Woolf as Glinda, Carina Gillespie as Nessarose, Nicholas McLean as Boq, Meg Astin, Alishia-Marie Blake, Pàje Campbell, Michael Colbourne, Nolan Edwards, Laura Harrison, Amie Hibbert, Lucie Horsfall, Samuel How, Christian Knight, Jasmine Leung, Maggie Lynne, Rhidian Marc, Jessica-Alice McCluskey, Stacey McGuire, Lewis Newton, and Samantha Thomas. They will all play their final performances March 5. The new cast led by Lucy St. Louis as Glinda and Alexia Khadime reprising the role of Elphaba begins March 7.
With music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Winnie Holzman, the musical is based on the novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire.
The Joe Mantello-helmed production features musical staging by Wayne Cilento, scenic design by Eugene Lee, costume design by Susan Hilferty, lighting design by Kenneth Posner, sound design by Tony Meola, projections by Elaine J. McCarthy, wig and hair design by Tom Watson, music supervision and arrangements by Stephen Oremus, orchestrations by William David Brohn, and dance arrangements by James Lynn Abbott.