‘Oklahoma!’ Review

Over+a+hundred+people+were+involved+in+the+production+of+%22Oklahoma%21%22+The+play+was+held+last+weekend+with+three+showings.

Photo by Alyssa Kift

Over a hundred people were involved in the production of “Oklahoma!” The play was held last weekend with three showings.

Story by Joseph Rodgers, news editor

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” filled the stage in the PAC from Jan. 12-14. The renowned musical was performed by the Texas High Theatre Company after hosting tenuous rehearsals since October.

“This was my first play ever in high school,” junior Jose Velasquez said. “All of the rehearsals every night, after school and Christmas Break were hard, but at the end the show was great and it was a great experience for me personally.”

Weekends, holidays and long hours after school were all prime opportunities for rehearsal time. This valuable time gave the students on and behind the stage an opportunity to learn their role in the musical and master their part.

“There were good and bad [rehearsals], but Mrs. Newton would constantly make sure that we knew our lines and our songs,” Velasquez said. “She would get mad if we forgot our parts but it went great for the most part.”

For others, memorizing the lines or songs was the least of their worries. Junior Ryan Shupe had to play a character that completely contradicted his personality which proved to be a big challenge until the end.

“It’s interesting playing [Jud Fry, the main villain], because for a guy like me who is usually timid and really trying to be the best I can be. It’s very interesting to see everyone’s shocked and surprised faces when I come around the corner and say something that would freak people out such as ‘Hello yourself,’” Shupe said. “People just stare at me with shocked eyes.”

I wish I joined my freshman year so I could have gotten more involved and I advise underclassmen to do the same.”

— Jose Velasquez

Obstacles for other theater members did not come from on the stage, but rather from behind it.

“Since it was my first time stage managing, I was kind of thrown into lots of things that I didn’t know anything about,” senior Victoria Perez said. ‘I had to quickly get oriented on lights, props costuming, microphones and other audio. It was really hard because I had never done anything tech-related before and the fact that I had become accustomed to being onstage, not behind it.”

Through the difficulties and the successes, the theatre family was brought closer together.

“In all of my high school career, I don’t think I have come across an organization that was so accepting of me and I have really been able to simply let my colors fly,” Shupe said. “In theatre, I just have to follow a few, brief instructions but other than that I get to play around with my character.”

Theatre even provided some with a chance to feel more confident in themselves.

“[The show] helped me gain more confidence and not get so shy so it was good,” Velasquez said. “I gave 100 percent for this musical, but next time I want to give it 110 percent to really make it special. I wish I joined my freshman year so I could have gotten more involved and I advise underclassmen to do the same.”