The untold story of the witches of Oz has captured the hearts of audiences with Broadway performances telling the tale of the unlikely friendship between Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, and Glinda the Good Witch of the North, before the classic, “Wizard of Oz.”
Ginna Claire Mason plays Glinda in the musical and is married to a Toledo native. She chatted with us about the show, her character, and her career. Wicked is at the Stranahan Theater from June 6 through June 17.
TCP: How did you meet your Toledoan husband?
Ginna Claire Mason: I’m not from Toledo, I’m from Nashville. I went to college with his sister. We met and fell madly in love and married three years later.
How long have you been acting?
I did my first show when I was in first grade. I’ve been working professionally since college. Actually, my first summer stock professional job was in Findlay.
Did you audition for the role of Glinda?
Yes–It’s quite a process. I saw the show with the original cast when it first opened on Broadway almost 15 years ago. I looked at my dad at intermission and said “I want to play Glinda someday.” So it’s been a lifelong dream.
I liked all the characters but I saw most of myself in Glinda. I really liked her songs, her costumes. Something that’s really great about the show is that it appeals to people of a lot of different ages… Now, there are so many other things I appreciate about the show like the strong female leads that get to inspire little girls and this beautiful story of friendship.
Tell us about auditioning?
Auditioning is never the most fun, but it’s part of the job. I was excited and hopeful.
Do you ever find yourself in situations where you think “Oh, this is how Glinda would do this”?
I definitely think she’s an inspiration to me. You really see her on a journey from being a little more naive, a little more aloof, while also remaining genuine and good hearted. In Act Two, we see her as a leader, a more grounded, more mature individual that’s grown from the life experiences that have been thrown at her.
From Glinda’s perspective, what would be advice on how to be a good witch?
Walk through life with open arms and a big heart.
Do you ever get stage fright? If so, how do you handle it?
I do this show eight times a week so it’s very much ingrained in my body. However, if you have someone special in the audience like an old teacher or a director, you might feel a different sense of pressure to deliver your best performance which, of course, we’re always trying to do. I just breathe, listen, respond, and trust the storytelling.
Describe your feelings on stage?
I have all kinds of feelings. [laughs] It’s my job to go on a journey of all the emotions that Glinda would feel at any given time. But as an actor, it’s a thrill. It’s my dream job. It’s all I ever wanted to do.
Do you travel to Toledo often, then?
My in-laws are [in Toledo] so it’s kind of a home away from home. I can’t wait to get ice cream at Mr. Freeze!
Performances run Wednesday, June 6 through Sunday, June 17.
$52-$92 | 419-381-8851