District 834’s Community Education Community Theatre presents Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” for two weekend runs, beginning Friday, July 14, in the Stillwater Area High School Auditorium.
“Oklahoma!” follows a high-spirited rivalry between the local farmers and cowboys. A turn-of-the-century territory makes a colorful setting for the romance between the handsome cowboy, Curly, and the winsome farm girl, Laurey. The road to true love never runs smooth, and with these two headstrong romantics holding the reins, love’s journey is as bumpy as a surrey ride down a country road.
“Oklahoma!” was the first musical created by famed theater composers Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II.
“We wanted to do a show that is traditional, that is fun and feels good,” theater director Grif Sadow said. “This show has a lot of importance in the history of musical theater.”
The show brings together both young and older actors in the community.
“There are a lot of great parallels in the show with the building of the state of Oklahoma and the nation, as well as building community and friendships,” Sadow said. “With our program, we are building an intergenerational theater group.”
Oklahoma will be the first theater production to use the new orchestra pit in the high school auditorium.
“We are really able to showcase the talent of our community,” Sadow said.
While many of the adult performers who will take part in the show have fond memories of Oklahoma, many of the younger actors are experiencing the show for the first time, Sadow said.
“We are really introducing the show to a new generation,” he said. “The excitement of our more mature actors is infectious.”
One aspect of the show that the actors are working on is the difference in historical relationships and community in the early 1900s, Sadow said.
“There are some difference in our culture now, like learning how to use a rug beater and why you would need to beat a rug,” Sadow said. “The costumes require a larger amount of clothing layers, and there is a difference in the roles of men and women in the community.”
The show opens at 7 p.m. July 14, and runs through July 23 with performances at 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $18 for adults, $13 for seniors and students, and $9 for children 5 and under. Tickets can be purchased online at stillwaterschools.org/tickets or by calling 651-351-8340.
Contact Alicia Lebens at [email protected]