Spring 2013: Oklahoma!
Music by: Richard Rodgers & Book and Lyrics by: Oscar Hammerstein II
Original Dances by Agnes de Mille
Based on the play "Green Grow the Lilacs" by Lynn Riggs
“Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’.” Those are the first five words that open Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical, marking the beginning of one of the most famous partnerships in musical theatre. Oklahoma! follows the romance of cowboy Curly McLain and farm girl Laurey Williams, who is caught in a love triangle caused by farmhand Jud Fry, the lonely and disturbed character who becomes obsessed with Laurey. We also see the relationship of cowboy Will Parker and Ado Annie become troubled when Persian peddler Ali Hakim comes into town and catches Ado Annie’s attention. After the box social ends, a marriage occurs and a character is killed, leading to the townspeople to have to deal with the consequences and consider what it means to be a community. With many well-known numbers, including “Kansas City,” “People Will Say We’re in Love,” and the famous “Dream Ballet,” Rodgers and Hammerstein succeeded in the innovative technique of integrating song and dance as forms of narration. Since its success appearance on Broadway in 1943, Oklahoma! has warmed the hearts of many audiences with its delightful music and its entertaining characters to become a true classic.
Ado Annie Carnes
Ellen, Dream Laurey
Slim, Dream Curly
Joe, Dream Jud
Quinn Gomola Mullin
Rebecca Hotchner Blaser
Mary Jane Gilliland
Olivia Dawn Woodard
Asst. Technical Director
Asst. Technical Director
Assistant Lighting Designer
Assistant Lighting Designer
Asst. Sound Designer
Head Hair/Make Up
Asst. Hair/Make Up
Asst. Hair/Make Up
Asst. Hair/Make Up
Run Crew Chief
Asst. Business Manager
Jared D. Morgan
With my hands clenched tightly around the slide of my trombone, I tried my best to walk confidently into the large New Cabell Hall classroom – I was auditioning for First Year Players’ production of West Side story and wanted to make sure I hit every note. Thankfully, I was chosen for pit orchestra that semester, and thus started m amazing time spent in this wonderful organization. As a Director during the second semester of my fourth year, I feel like I have gained an especially complete sense of the power of First year Players. From semesters in pit orchestra to being a general member to time spent on Production Staff, each semester I have spent in FYP shows me more and more about the wonderful people in this organization and its unique and important role in the UVA community. FYP is more than a musical theater community, as I’m sure at all of you in the audience who have someone involved in the show tonight know. FYP is a family, a support group, a community, and the most wonderful creative outlet anyone could ever ask for.
I could never imagine directing any other show for FYP than Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! In a story filled with love and companionship, all interwoven with a sense of stalwart independence, this show mirrors the truly unique experience that all young adults face during college as we look towards the fast-approaching horizon of graduation and adulthood. I have had the wonderful opportunity to follow our very successful fall production of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and I knew that I wanted to take on a show that would challenge the organization in every way. Oklahoma! is the most groundbreaking show in musical theater history, being the first to incorporate songs and dances into the story of the musical, and, although it premiered just shy of 70 years ago, the message remains as beautifully relevant today as it did when Alfred Drake first proclaimed “Oh, what a beautiful morning!” all those years ago.
Oklahoma! Is a story about love, but it is first and foremost a story about community Set in the Oklahoma territory at the turn of the century, Oklahoma! chronicles the story of Laurey Williams and her romance with the rambunctious, albeit a little overly-confident, cowboy Curly McLean. However, beyond the multiple entwined love stories of this show lie the underlying themes of the strength of home and the devotion of a strong and supportive community. The story of Oklahoma! mirrors the story of FYP itself: you first enter this organization, unsure of your place and clenching onto all you know before, and are welcomed in with open arms, e spirited proclamation of “FYP is fun not scary!”, and into a community of upperclassmen who have come before you. So much of my love for Oklahoma! and my desire to direct this show for First year Players comes from this sense of community. YP is made up of communities – from the individual communities we form as members of tech, pit, production staff, artistic staff, cast, and general members, to the larger community of the whole organization that we all hold so dear, and I hope that the bonds of love, endurance, and strength ring true throughout the show.
Just like in any other community, the individuals in FYP are never as strong as the whole. The production you see tonight is indicative of the true essence of First Year Players, and every person in this organization has had a hand in crafting this production. There are a few people who I would especially like to thank for their incredible dedication and commitment to this production. I would like to thank the Artistic Staff who have all put in countless hours of work to ensuring this production reached the incredible quality it is tonight. I could never imagine taking on this challenge alone, and I have been thankful every day for the amazingly talented people I have had by my side. I would like to thank Chelsea Marcelin, FYP’s amazing Producer. There is an unimaginable amount of work that goes into producing a show of this scale, and to have a Producer as loving, devoted, and compassionate as Chelsea is something every Director dreams of. I would like to thank MaryClaire Martin, FYP’ unceasingly amazing Technical Director. It takes a true artist to be able to transform the very scraggly paragraphs I had composed detailing my vision for the show into the beautiful set you see before you, and MarClaire has done just that with unbelievable patience, organization, and expertise. Lastly (but certainly not least), I would like to thank the cast, pit, tech, and everyone else who has been involved in Oklahoma! – FYP is truly only as strong as the amazing individuals within it, and everyone in this organization has helped to put on the wonderful show you all are about to experience.
I could not have been more blessed to find such an incredible group of people to spend my past four years with. From the pit orchestra rehearsals during a semester that feels like eons ago to knowing that I’ll always have someone to sit with during class to living with all of my wonderful FYP housemates these past two years to having the absolute best time as a Director this semester, I know that FYP has and always will be one of the most important experiences of my life, and of the lives of many more to come. It is truly rare that you find a group of people so dedicated to each other and to producing amazing art, and I count myself as incredibly lucky to have found my own community in FYP.
I hope you enjoy the show, and thank you for supporting First Year Players
When I first joined First Year Players as a bright-eyed castie in Carousel, I had only experienced musical theatre from the audience – I had no concept of the incredible amount of work that goes into creating a sh. This semester, I have had the pleasure of experiencing all the many different facets of this amazing organization – from rehearsing the main musical number to spending countless hours running the same eight counts of choreography; from continuously rehearsing a twenty-two minute ballet to tuning an instrument until it’s perfect; from creating lighting and sound designs to selecting exactly the right type of fabric for a hair piece used in a single scene. Every new day means a new challenge and a new opportunity to improve, and I have never experienced a group of people so willing to take on a challenge headfirst.
I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the many people who made this show possible. First, I would like to thank the Tech Director, MaryClaire Martin. Your work may be, literally, behind the scenes, but your bright spirit and commitment to tech shine front and center. Thank you for the countless hours of hard work. To the Production Staff – thank you all for inspiring myself and others to push FYP to new limits, for your dedication to this show, and for all the laughs. Anna Gai – you have worked wonders with the Pit this semester and thank you for all of your time and effort. Of course, I want to recognize the director and my dear friend, Anna McGrady. Your work in FYP goes far bend directing this show. You have spent every semester giving all of your effort and heart to FYP and Oklahoma! has been no exception. Thank you for all the love and dedication you have given to this show and this organization. You have truly left an irreplaceable mark on FYP, and a permanent handprint on my heart. Finally, I would like to thank every member of FYP who has made this semester and this show so wonderful.
Each semester in FYP, we strive to create fun, entertaining, and quality musical theatre productions. In my opinion, FYP’s greatest creation is the loving community that continues to grow with each show, and the beauty of this organization is that we get to share this love and oy with an audience. I want to thank you all for coming to support our community as we proudly present our Spring 2013 production: Oklahoma!
Enjoy the show!