Oklahoma! at Plymouth State University Oct. 15-18

October 10th, 2009 by Adam

Music, Theatre, and Dance Students “Whistlin’ Down the Lane”

PLYMOUTH, N.H. — The Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance” at Plymouth State University will present Rodgers’ and Hammerstein’s timeless musical, Oklahoma! October 15-17 at the Silver Center for the Arts.

Performances are October 15 and 16 at 7 p.m., October 17 at 2 and 8 p.m. and October 18 at 3 p.m.

Set in the Western Territories after the turn of the last century, Oklahoma! presents a view of the rivalry between local farmers and cowboys, where cowboy Curly and farm girl Laurey find that love can be as bumpy as a surrey ride down a country road.

Oklahoma! is now more than 65 years old, but director Paul Mroczka, professor of theatre at PSU, said it is still a vibrant piece of theatre. “The book – the characters, dialogue and plot – is so well written that it still holds together after all these years,” Mroczka said. “From Hammerstein’s very strong book flow lyrics, music and dance numbers that are intimately connected to the driving energies in the play.”

These energies come from the characters that are about to take a giant leap or two, according to Mroczka. Some are going to get married, and all are about to participate in the transformation of Oklahoma from territory to state.

Along with the strong literary and artistic qualities of this play, Mroczka is attracted to its timeless nature, which he said comes from its focus on defining what it is to be an American. “We are told this through characters such as Curly and Aunt Eller, we hear it in musical numbers such as “Kansas City” and “Oklahoma!” and we feel it in scenes that embody conflict,” Mroczka said.

Audiences will enjoy the robust choreography, which mixes various styles of dance; the strong singing, with numerous solos and duets and the vibrant sets, costumes and lighting.

Additional faculty and alumni responsible for the production are Amanda Munton, musical director; Lisa Travis and Amanda Whitworth, choreographers; Matt Kizer, scenic design; Erin Downey Capron, costume design and Victoria Miller, lighting design.

Look for familiar songs including “Oh What a Beautiful Mornin’,” “People Will Say We’re in Love,” “Surrey with the Fringe on Top,” and the famous finale, “Oklahoma!”

Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors and $10 for youth at the Silver Center Box Office, (603) 535-ARTS or (800) 779-3869.

The cast includes:

Theatre Arts majors Jamie Willis, a junior from East Wallingford, Vt.; Ryan McCall, a senior from Bedford; Brady Lunch, a junior from Amherst; Mervin Marvey, a sophomore from North Rustenburg, South Africa; Brandee Peglow, a junior from Pelham; Amanda Teneriello, a junior from Hudson; and James McEnerny, a sophomore from Middlebury, Vt.

Communication studies majors Kelly Rice, a junior from Kingston, Mass., and Ryan LeBlanc, a sophomore from Methuen, Mass.

Music and music education majors Krystl Morin, a junior from Plaistow; Daniel Brevik, a junior from Holliston, Mass., Jordan Richards, a sophomore from Rochester and Joshua Fields, a sophomore from Claremont.

Ensemble members are Mellissa Mattucci from Bridgeton, Maine; Megan Beaucage from Milton, Vt.; Jennifer Fijal from Palmer, Mass; Teneriello; Kaela Raku from Wolfeboro; Jennifer Roach from Highgate Center, Vt.; Mackenzie Perra from Goffstown; Ashley Grace from Wilmot; Elizabeth Montmagny from Grantham; and Jillian Spring from Pembroke.

Also Heather Jacques from Salem; Alexa Beal from Grantham; Amy Dresser from Arlington, Vt.; Rachel Carlson from Loudon; Katie Lenhart from Norwich, Vt.; Kelly McCusker from Westford, Mass; Benedict Cesare from Boxborough, Mass. And Donald Spinelli from Sandown.

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