Newsome & Riverview High School Students Collaborate On Production Of Oklahoma!

By Kathy L. Collins

Newsome and Riverview High Schools have combined their theatre and chorus departments to present a sensational production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! under the direction of Daron Hawkins (Riverview) and Jeff Bogue (Newsome).

The classic American musical will be presented in the Riverview High School Auditorium Thursday through Saturday, December 13, 14 and 15 and December 20, 21 and 22 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 with general admission to all shows. Tickets will be available at the door prior to each performance starting at 6:45 p.m.

Hawkins said, “Oklahoma! is a traditional musical that every arts student should be exposed to in their high school career. It is the first ‘American musical’ in the tradition of the format that modern musicals have. The inserting of songs that progress the story, and the beauty of the composition of songs is truly something that needs examining.”

Bogue said, “The music of Rodgers and Hammerstein is so iconic and is such a part of our history. What a great show to bring to life. It has been a joy to share this music with the kids. I know they will love performing the show as much as the audience will enjoy watching.”

This is not the first time that the two schools have collaborated on a theatre production. Hawkins explained, “It is important for the students to be exposed to a variety of teaching methods while studying the arts.” Hawkins added, “Students need to see that we do not always have to be competitive as we are in sports. The arts are a celebration not a competition.”

Oklahoma! was Rodgers and Hammerstein’s first collaboration. It remains their most innovative having set the standards and established the rules of musical theatre which are still followed today.

Oklahoma! is sent in a Western Indian territory just after the turn of the century. The high-spirited rivalry between the local farmers and cowboys provides the colorful background against which Curly, a handsome cowboy, and Laurey, a winsome farm girl, play out their love story.

The classic musical score includes beloved songs such as “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’,” “Kansas City,” “I Can’t Say No!” and “People Will Say We’re in Love.”

This is one production that you will not want to miss. Riverview High School is located at 11311 Boyette Rd. in Riverview.