2018 Musical

  Pine-Richland Students Wrap Up 
an American Folktale


Overview by Writer Dana Allwein

It's a wrap for Pine-Richland High School students, who spent some time kicking up their boot heels, rehearsing their Midwestern drawls and harmonizing their vocals in preparation for several performances of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical Oklahoma

Musical Oklahoma The first musical created by famed composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II, Oklahoma! is one of the most celebrated musicals of all time since its 1943 opening. The show ran on Broadway for more than 2,000 performances, longer than any previous musical. Based on the Lynn Riggs’ play, Green Grow the Lilacs, the production has been revered for its triumphant melding of emotional storytelling with song and dance.Oklahoma

“It is considered the first ‘mature’ American musical, perfectly blending all the elements of the art form – orchestral and vocal music, acting, drama, comedy and dance,” said Director Sarah McGraw. “It’s been particularly compelling to see the cast use dance as a storytelling device, and it has required a great deal of energy from each of them."

The cast included 60 Pine-Richland High School students, and the show features an all-student orchestra and stage crew. Producer Kathy Morrissey said she is often in awe of the students’ talent and their commitment to making the musical a spectacular production. Read more about the show and lead roles

Oklahoma! is pushing the students to use all of their skills at a very high level,” said Morrissey, who added she was excited to discover that Oklahoma! is celebrating its 75th anniversary the same day as Pine-Richland’s opening night performance.

Set in Western Indian Territory just after the turn of the 20th Century, Oklahoma! tells the story of a headstrong farm girl named Laurey with whom cowboy Curly and farmhand Jud have fallen in love. When Laurey plays hard-to-get with earnest Curly and instead accepts dangerous Jud’s invitation to the upcoming social, tensions rise between the men and capture the interest of the whole town.

In Pine-Richland’s Oklahoma!, seniors Helen Krushinski portrayed Laurey and Gabe Schoone play Curly, while junior Bryan Bails is Jud Fry.

Ado Annie Carnes (sophomore Paige Nelson) and Will Parker (junior Tyler Hepler) portrayed the comic counterparts to Laurey and Curly, while Aunt Eller (senior Morgan Engle) served as the matriarch and conscience of the show and Andrew Carnes (junior Parker Schubert) as the patriarch.

“Everyone is intertwined in this small community, and there is definitely a flow chart of characters and how they relate to each other,” McGraw said. “This piece of musical Americana gives us a positive message of unity in that, like the farmers and ranchers, we have more in common than we know and our differences should be appreciated and celebrated.” 



 Musical Oklahoma