The Seton Hall Theatre program has chosen Oklahoma! to be this year’s spring production. The 1931 musical showcases the rocky love story of Curly, a cowboy, and Laurey, a local farm girl. The cast has been preparing for this production, rehearsing four days a week since December.
Toni Gardner a senior social work major, plays the lead female role of Laurey. Gardner, who has been dancing since she was 5 and involved in theatre since she was in the seventh grade, said she is excited to use her talents in this upcoming show. She added that the dance aspect of the musical sets it apart from past SHU productions that were more heavily based on acting and vocals.
“I love the fact that it is a true musical theatre show,” Gardner said. “It has elements of dancing, singing and acting which is what I kind of grew up doing. To be able to now incorporate all three together again is really fulfilling.”
This musical will be sophomore theatre major Tess Borsecnik’s eighth Seton Hall production.
“Oklahoma! is this really classic musical where it is just meant to be so much fun and there is all this dancing which is kind of a new thing for Seton Hall,” Borsecnik said.
Lauren Mangine, a freshman elementary special education major, plays Gertie Cummings, a character that the actress explained is often annoying and difficult to like. Mangine said that she has faced some difficulties in portraying Gertie.
“When you’re playing a role in any type of show you really have to find what draws you to [that character], even if it is an annoying character like Gertie. You have to make them lovable in the sense that people want you to come back on stage,” Mangine said.
Noelle Corbett, a junior theatre major serves as the production’s stage manager. Corbett has been involved in Seton Hall theatre since her freshman year. She has seen the process on both sides by working behind the scenes and as a cast member in past shows. Corbett said her different roles in past productions have prepared her for her role as stage manager for the Oklahoma! show.
Production manager, Professor Peter Reader, explained his hopes for Oklahoma!
“We are hoping that this musical will bring the community of Seton Hall to the theatre and the community of South Orange to the theatre,” he said.
The production will be held at SOPAC on April 20, 21, 22 at 8 p.m. and April 23 at 2 p.m. Admission to the show is free and tickets can be ordered through SOPAC.
Margarita Williamson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.