In a Latinx homage to the classic story, El Wiz is a heartwarming musical tale of faith and familia.

In a LatinX homage to the classic story, El Wiz is a heartwarming musical tale of faith and familia. Expelled from Puerto Rico by the wrath of Hurricane Maria, Dorothy is magically transported to the spectacular land of NYOz! On her journey, she encounters familiar faces in Espantapájaros (the Scarecrow), the Hombre de Lata (Tin Man) and León (the Lion). If they can only make it to see El Wiz, maybe they will all find what they are looking for.


Creative Team

Paul Castaneda – Co-Creator, Book Writer, Director
A native New Yorker, Paul has been a Floridian for the better part of 30 years, calling Orlando home for all of it.  He has directed locally for Greater Orlando Actors Theatre (where he also serves as Artistic Director), Theatre Downtown, Playwrights Roundtable, Orlando Shakespeare Theater’s Playfest, Breakthrough Theatre, Central Florida Vocal Arts, Baggy Pants Theatre, Bay Street Players, Orlando Fringe Festival and more.  As a playwright, his credits include “Los 49”, “Love, A Story” and more.
Juan Cantu – Co-Creator, Composer
Originally from Houston, Texas, now residing in Osaka, Japan, Juan still call Central Florida home. Juan works as a director, writer, actor and singer. He is currently a show director at Universal Studios Japan. He has directed for Disney (American Music Machine), Viking Cruise Lines, Sea World Orlando (Generation Nature LIVE), Busch Gardens Tampa, the Orlando Fringe Festival and Mad Cow Theatre (Avenue Q, Ain’t Misbehavin’). Juan performed in “Tarzan Rocks!” and “Finding Nemo the Musical” at Walt Disney World. Juan stays busy in the studio where he has recorded vocals for Disney shows and parades, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean as well as various television jingles. In Las Vegas, he was in “Starlight Express,” at the Las Vegas Hilton, “Hot Stuff,” at the Golden Nugget and sang at the Motown Cafe with the Motown Moments at the New York, New York Hotel. He has written songs for many national projects including the “Miss America Show Us Your Shoes Parade,” The Philly Thanksgiving Parade, The Ocean City Theatre Company, The Cherry Blossom Parade in D.C. and Disney.

Josh Ceballos – Music Director and Orchestrator
Josh was born to Cuban/Dominican parents in Miami, FL and has since found a home in Orlando. Josh is active as a music director, vocal coach, arranger, orchestrator, keyboardist, and pianist. He currently serves as a Staff Accompanist and Music Specialist at the University of Central Florida. He has music directed at Orlando Shakes (In the Heights), Garden Theatre (Addams Family, Flashdance), Theater at St. Luke’s (Peter and the Starcatcher), and served as the Music Specialist/Pianist for TheatreUCF’s production of Bernarda Alba. He has traveled abroad to the Czech Republic as part of the Prague Piano Festival hosted by Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. Josh stays busy playing keyboards for Violectric, music directing cabarets, arranging music, recording in his home studio, and performing around the Central Florida area. 

Kristin Clippard – Producer, Orlando Shakes


El Wiz is presented in collaboration with Orlando Shakes.

About Orlando Shakes

Founded in 1989, Orlando Shakes in partnership with UCF produces classic, contemporary, and children’s plays. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Jim Helsinger and Managing Director PJ Albert, Orlando Shakes is one of the region’s most acclaimed professional theaters, garnering national recognition from The Wall Street Journal, “Spectacular and satisfying…Broadway-quality…impressive…come to Florida and plunge yourself in…”

With ambitious, high-caliber productions like 2018’s Twelfth Night and In the Heights, and 2017’s The Great Gatsby and Man of La Mancha, the Theater continues to provide an innovative world-class theatrical experience to its guests, while showcasing William Shakespeare’s legacy as the cornerstone of the company. Orlando Shakes also offers immersive educational programming that serves Central Florida schools and the local community at large.

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Our Partnership

Orlando Shakes boasts a multifaceted, long-term partnership with the University of Central Florida. In addition to designating representatives to the Theater’s Board of Directors, UCF provides necessary philosophical and financial support each season. In return, the Theater provides a thriving Acting/Education Internship program which gives UCF students the opportunity to fulfill their MFA and undergraduate BFA requirements. University faculty and students may also participate as actors, designers and directors for various projects, adding professional credits to their university experience. Additionally, the Theater’s Artistic Director teaches classes and serves as a faculty member for Theatre UCF.


Photo by Dan Antkoviak