I Cain't Say No
At some point in life, it is likely that you will catch yourself singing: "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin', Oh, what a beautiful day. I've got beautiful feelin', ev'rything is going my way." Rogers and Hammerstein's timeless opening song of Oklahoma! has been striking a cord with American audiences for over half a century.
On Friday, February 23rd, the halls of Old Main will be filled with students and parents humming this familiar tune after they see the first performance of Oklahoma!. The drama crew has been rehearsing the entire semester to master the challenging singing and dancing program of Rogers and Hammerstein's groundbreaking musical. They have put together a remarkable show.
Audiences will be transported back in time to the dust-filled plains of Oklahoma in 1906 to find scandal and outrage. They will meet the "Farmer and the Cowman," find out if "Poor Jud is Dead," and learn whether or not "People Will Say We're in Love." All this and more await audiences in what is being called an "All Er Nuthin" performance by the Mavericks of the theater.
You "Cain't Say No" to this show!
Opening night is Friday, February 23 at 7:00 pm. It is sure to be a beautiful day and performance.
We sat down with the show's director, Chris Celella, to learn more about Oklahoma! and the drama program. Read interview below.
Oklahoma! is this year's MSA Musical. Why Oklahoma!?
Why not Oklahoma!? Funny, romantic, fast paced, a CLASSIC. Student cast and crew members pick the musical every year from a list predetermined by the directors. They narrowed it down to two musicals by Rogers and Hammerstein this year and ultimately a vote decided on the paradigm-shifting, Oklahoma! Written in 1942 and premiering in 1943, Oklahoma! introduced audiences to emotional depths never before attempted in the genre. Students didn't know this when they picked it, but they chose to tell the story that inspired most musical theater composition for the next 50+ years!
Oklahoma! is set in 1906, just 28 years after the Miller School of Albemarle was founded. We stage it in a building that was around when Oklahoma became a state. The "old timey" feel of the show was attractive to students who see themselves as part of rich historical timeline...I suppose we all have our parts to play....
What is the process of bringing the story of Oklahoma! to life?
We believe that engaging in every aspect of musical theater brings out the best in our students and in us, as directors. Once the play is cast, work begins in an open and affirming environment. Students engage in creative dialogue with directors to enhance ownership of the show. Allowing the students this creative voice is a fundamental tenet of the program. From the blocking/movements of characters to the costumes, from building the set to singing the notes, students create the story that we tell. We take pride in the fact that we facilitate their show more than direct every aspect. We feel that this process of production closely resembles collaborative environments they will eventually engage in as professionals.
When and where can we see Oklahoma!
Opening night is February 23rd! 7pm. There are three additional chances to see it: Saturday February 24th, 7pm. Sunday February 25th, 2:30pm. Monday February 26th, 3:30pm. The Theater in Old Main at the Miller School of Albemarle. Tickets are at the door! See you there!