Wicked: 'We buy quite a bit of green'

Wicked: 'We buy quite a bit of green' »Play Video
Joyce McGilberry paints Christine Dwyer green

EUGENE, Ore. - Christine Dwyer plays Elphaba, the future Wicked Witch of the West, in the traveling production of the Broadway musical "Wicked."

The 26-year-old actress spends a half hour before each show turning green.

"Getting green is a big part of the character," she said.

Makeup supervisor Joyce McGilberry paints Christine's arms, back, chest and face "landscape green." The shade is available from MAC Cosmetics - and usually sells out around Halloween, she said.

"We buy quite a bit of green," McGilberry said. >>> WATCH: Timelapse video of the process

"Wicked" chronicles the relationship between Elphaba and Glinda before they became the Wicked and Good witches of Oz. The "green" Elphaba struggles for acceptance as the witches' friendship falters.

Turning green helps Christine get into character, a lesson learned when she arrived at a charity event in costume.

"I walked in all painted green," she said, "and seeing the looks people gave me that didn't know what was going on kind of made me think, 'Oh, this is actually what she feels like.' "

The tour is in Eugene for two weeks, and vegetarian Christine fits right in here.

"I love how green the city is - which is pretty funny," she said.

The cast and crew tour for years, getting one day off for every two weeks on.

But for Christine, Elphaba is a role of a lifetime worth all the time in the makeup chair.

"It's been a dream of mine for a very long time," she said.

And on stage, Christine loves the audience reaction.

"It's an important story," she said," and people seem to really enjoy themselves when they see it."

She said it may not be easy being green, but it's worth it.

"Wicked" runs at the Hult Center through May 1. >>> WATCH this story | Photo Gallery