etc… fall performance of Oklahoma!


Emily Benton

Justin Schenzy (10), Jacob Wilkinson (11), Tim Nischbach (12), and Janna Schmid (12) rehearsing for Oklahoma!

Mary Kay Gagnepain, Editor-in-chief

The sound of drilling vibrates through the New Theatre at EHS and next door the melody of show tunes and laughter radiates as the members of Eureka Theatre Company (etc…) all work together to construct their fall production, Oklahoma!.

“It is a lot different than last year, because it is not so extravagant and large,” Kate Dyson, Gertie Cummings, said. “We all get to work on more things and we get more stuff done because it’s a smaller cast, and a smaller group.”

Oklahoma! is no small task. Having changed the history of musical theatre in America, Oklahoma! was a groundbreaking production, the first musical with songs and dances fully integrated into the storyline.

“Oklahoma! was the first American musical as we know it,” Ms Susie Allmendinger, Director, said. “It was a little rawer, a little grittier and a little more real than what  people were used to. So I am hoping to go back to that raw and gritty aspect that Rodgers and Hammerstein had intended.”

etc… is creating their version of a timeless musical.

“It is going to be a show that is very familiar to people, so there are going to be moments when the audience can really connect and appreciate our version.” Ms Julie Weitzel, Choreographer, said. “But also every actor has their own special traits that they add to their character. It really is a fresh take on an old musical.”

Over the years, etc… has stuck with more modern productions. Last years musical, Young Frankenstein, sold out every night.

This year, etc… is sticking to the more simplistic and minimalist performance and stage design, according to Peyton Ogle, Stage Manager.

“It’s more about the design and mood of the set,” Andrew Guardia, sound designer, said. “For instance, the lights and sound is more about the ambiance and visual aspect, rather than being set heavy.”

Technicians are working hard in order to bring the production to life.

“We’re really positive people and we’re just having a lot of fun.” Grace Winegardner, construction technician, said. “We’re just working together and getting things done.”

The same goes for the performers. With the pressure of learning lines, memorizing dance steps and correctly harmonizing to the music, actors (and chorus members alike) are determined to put on a great show.

“It’s fun, but it’s also stressful because there is a lot that you have to get down,” Tim Nischbach, Curly Mclain, said. “There are a lot of upbeat songs and once everybody [chorus] gets together it’s really exciting.”

Although chorus members, may not have as large of a role in the production, such as a lead, they are essential to the show itself.

“There is hours of sitting and watching,” Jake Kiczenski, chorus member, said. “Then there are those few minutes of unimaginable joy you get when you are up on stage, saying those few lines you may have, or even dancing in the back.”

Each and every member of etc… are coming together, as one, to put on a show the audience can’t forget.

“Its more of a family,” Will Crane, sound technician, said. “A family of people who are striving together to put on a production that will move people.”

Come see etc…’s fall production of Oklahoma!, at 7:00 p.m., Nov. 6, 7 and 8. Tickets will be sold during all three lunch shifts for $8.00 in advance and $10.00 at the door.