We’re Not In Kansas Anymore

The Wizard of Oz is yet another one of my all-time favorite movies! The plot, “there’s no place like home” is just as relevant today as it was 80 years ago. Many have done theater productions of the iconic movie and I’m sure many young girls, have dreamed of playing the main lead of Dorothy. To be Dorothy would be an accomplishment.  Plus, playing the role of Dorothy, you would get to sing one of the most famous songs ever, Somewhere Over The Rainbow.

Every time I watch it, I’m Dorothy and singing at the top of my lungs!

I can truly understand why Erin Bischoff from New Jersey, who’s in her senior year of high school, was so excited. She uses a wheelchair due to osteogenesis imperfecta a condition that causes brittle bones. Erin who’s been preforming in school plays since eighth grade, definitely knows her stuff; but to be cast in the leading role of Dorothy must have been mind-blowing. I’ve never seen the role of Dorothy played by a girl who uses a wheelchair until now.

The director of the play, Paula Jacobs, said, “Erin was just really appropriate for the role in so many ways”.  Some people just have a sparkle about their self and no matter what’s going in their life; they have a way drawing you in.

Erin also has something else that’s in her favor, her adorable service dog Gauge. Gauge is a six year old Golden Retriever. Gauge accompanies Erin around school and to her job at the movie theater. Having a beautiful service dog is a good way to make people feel comfortable and a great way to make friends.

Gauge took on the role of Dorothy’s beloved dog, ToTo in the school’s production. Gauge may not look like the traditional ToTo but its ok because as Dorothy says, “we’re not in Kanas anymore”. Often as we look to promote inclusion; we have to make a few changes and accommodations to make things work. Change is good, it keeps things fresh.


If you’ve clicked on the above link to this amazing story, you’ll see Erin and Gauge were a big hit. Erin’s showing the world, despite the challenge; you still must keep pushing to fulfill your dreams. I am hopeful that Erin’s story will help people to look at things in a new light. Perhaps, somewhere over the rainbow is just a start of a beautiful movement. Great job Erin and Gauge, great indeed!


12 comments on “We’re Not In Kansas Anymore

  1. Mary Ellen Pfeil on

    This is really cool news! Erin does look like Dorothy sitting down. A service dog as Toto! Erin and her dog represent cool out of the box thinking. Thanks for sharing such a great story! This goes to show society has come a long way in giving people with disabilities equal opportunities.

  2. Margie Wehner on

    I love The Wizard of Oz story and think this actor sounds like a great fit for the part—with her dog!


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