Since 1999, Youngstars2.com has been touring children’s interactive productions to a variety of venues from large stadiums & entertainment centres to RSLs & little country town halls, leaving behind a trail of happy and inspired children. The company was founded by Brian & Christerine Laul as an extension of their acclaimed and award-winning work with young people.
Youngstars2.com’s signature production, The Wizard of Oz Show has been performed over 4,000 times around the world and has represented Australia at the International Storytellers Festival. It is a unique and new re-telling of L. Frank Baum’s classic story and had the honour of being invited to perform with the last living cast members of the 1939 MGM Oz film in America (2006).
“I’ve seen lots of Oz productions but this one was truly extraordinary” – Margaret Pellegrini, Munchkin from the 1939 Judy Garland Oz movie.
“If great-grandfather was alive, I’m sure he would be clapping, singing along and smiling with your show” – Robert Baum, great-grandson of Oz author Frank Baum.
This show is about more than giving kids a good time. It perpetuates Oz author Frank Baum’s positive message of hope, mateship, self-esteem & self-empowerment to the young and has received outstanding media and public reviews.(www.thewizardofozshow.com)
Partnering with Rainbow Crossing Inc, Youngstars2.com has pursued an initiative to take drama workshops and performance opportunities to regional Australia from July 2013. Local partnerships also ensure that these workshops are made available to economically disadvantaged children.
Pre-show workshops introduce children to elements of tableaux, expression and voice. These children then have the exciting opportunity to show off what they’ve learned as they appear on stage in the show. Performances have begun to partner with local performing arts schools.
“It’s a lovely way to enrich their learning experience, one that they will always remember” – Gay Giblett, Principal, La Belle School of Dancing, Lithgow.
Exploring the power of interactive shows to enrich local communities around the world, director Brian Laul created Ollie the Optometrist, a mascot to spearhead India Vision Institute’s eye care awareness program for children. Initiated with IVI’s visionary CEO Vinod Daniel, The Wizard of Oz Show featured Ollie in its Indian tour (Oct 2014) to get across simple eye care messages to children in a memorable way.
Youngstars2.com has a strong community agenda, is actively involved in Hospital Toy Appeals and visits and seeks to engage with local communities where its productions travel, trying to accommodate local requests. Like the unusual one to bring a show that could be enjoyed by the hearing-impaired in Arana Hills (Queensland 2005). The entire Christmas show was subsequently signed plus song lyrics projected!
“This was the only children’s show that was kind enough to listen to a request we have been making for years so our kids don’t miss out. You have made this Christmas really special for us” – Sally Strawbridge, Deaf Association.
Youngstars2.com encourages young people to creatively explore storytelling in a multicultural environment that breeds greater understanding at a grassroots community level and has initiated award-winning concepts in this sphere.
It was creatively associated with Celebrate Campbelltown, that won the prestigious Champions of the West Tourism Award (2014) for The Wizard of Oz Funland.
Youngstars2.com proudly partnered with the Australia-India Council and the Indian Government’s premier cultural force, the Indian Council for Cultural Relations in performance & skill exchange tours to India.
“A fun and unique work for children… leaves lasting memories and brings our countries closer.” – HE Peter Varghese AO, Australian High Commissioner to India.
The success of The Wizard of Oz Show led to Brian & Christerine Laul to open The Wizard of Oz Funland in July 2008, a highly interactive venue that seeks to constantly engage its visitors with creative activity. This fully themed, highly interactive kids play, party & entertainment centre has rapidly become a landmark in Sydney’s Macarthur Region. Its uniqueness and intense community involvement even warranted an honourable mention in Parliament! (www.thewizardofozfunland.com)
“A great place for children and congratulations on an altogether fantastic venue.” – Cr Paul Lake, Mayor, Campbelltown City.
Youngstars2.com’s The Wizard of Oz Show gave Sydney its very first Wizard of Oz Festival that grew from the Seymour Centre’s courtyard to a big carnival at Castle Hill Showgrounds (2003). Margaret Pellegrini (one of the original MGM Munchkins) flew down specially from America as Guest of Honour at the Seymour and much to the public’s delight, she joined the cast on stage for a cameo in Munchkinland! The Seymour season benefited the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Children were also granted a unique wish to “Be A Munchkin” for a day!
In 2013, the Festival spread across 20 venues around Campbelltown with a vibrant and diverse programme designed to include different sections of the community and benefit the 24 Hour Fight Against Cancer Macarthur. Channel Nine’s Emma Freedman dressed up as Dorothy to broadcast live for the Morning Show.
All Youngstars2.com shows are available for purchase on DVD. Activity Books, T-Shirts, Oz Character Costumes, Clocks, Oz Dolls & Fridge Magnets are some of the other souvenirs available.