Photo credit: Earl Brechlin, The Mount Desert Islander.

A musical play in two acts by Oscar Hammerstein II

Based on Green Grow the Lilacs by Lynn Riggs

Music by Richard Rodgers

Casey Rush, Director

Rebecca Edmondson, Pit Orchestra Director

Bronwyn Kortge, Vocal Musical Director

Mark Smith, Technical Director for Light, Sound and Scenic Design

Peter Miller and Jason Jordan, Assistant Technical Directors

Marilee Marchese, Costume Designer

Don Grieco and David Lamon, Choreographers

Vivian Hyde, Rehearsal and Performance Accompanist

Chris Dougherty, Communications Coordinator

Wendy Littlefield, Financial Coordinator

Oklahoma! Media links:

Oklahoma! photo gallery at The Mount Desert Islander (thanks to editor Earl Brechlin)!

Click here to read The Mount Desert Islander review by Earl Brechlin.

Click here to read the Bar Harbor Times review by Nan Lincoln.

BAR HARBOR - Mount Desert Island High School Drama is pleased to announce its fall production, Rodgers and Hammerstein's Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, Oklahoma!, to be performed November 9-11, 16 and 17. Auditions will be held during the first week of school.

All students are welcome and encouraged to be a part of this classic American musical experience. Students may opt to become members of the ensemble or audition for one of seven principal roles.

Students interested in performing or working behind the scenes are required to attend a pre-production meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 5, from 2:45-5:15 p.m. in the high school's Higgins-Demas Theater. During this meeting, director Casey Rush will outline the audition, rehearsal and performance schedules, as well as the expectations for the cast and crew members. Vocal director Bronwyn Kortge conduct ensemble auditions and will review selections for the principals' auditions, and choreographers Don Grieco and David Lamon will teach the dance sequence for the movements auditions. Students will be given audition slots at this time. Movement and reading auditions will be held on Thursday, Sept. 6 from 2:45-5:15 p.m. Vocal auditions for principal roles and reading auditions will be held on Friday, Sept. 7 from 2:45 -5:15 p.m. The first rehearsal will be on Monday, Sept. 10.

The principal roles for females are Laurey, Aunt Eller, and Ado Annie; principal roles for males are Curly, Jud, Will Parker and Ali Hakim. Selections for the vocal audition will be available before audition week on the theater department's website. Go to www.mdihs.net/drama, and click on the Oklahoma! graphic.

Costumes for this production will be designed once again by the incomparable Marilee Marchese. Rebecca Edmondson returns as orchestra director, as does Mark Smith (lighting and sound, scenic design).

Students with an interest in learning the ins and out of technical production, including running sounds and lights, are heartily encouraged to join the technical crew for a fun and lasting experience that can serve them beyond high school.

Oklahoma!, written in 1943, is a musical drama in two acts, featuring 29 musical numbers, a ballet, and 23 named characters. This American musical classic, a perennial audience favorite, marked a turning point in musical history by being the first musical actually to have a plot. In 1944 Oklahoma! won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and broke every record for a show up to that time. It also was the first musical collaboration between American musical masters Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Attesting to the strength and popularity of this show, the title song, "Oklahoma!," became the official song of that state in 1953. Coincidentally, this year marks the centennial of Oklahoma's statehood.

The Drama Department also is in need of Backstage Angels. Anyone interested in helping with backstage preparations, scenery painting and construction, costume sewing, manning the ticket booth and the like are welcome to contact director Casey Rush.

For more information about the auditions or to become a Backstage Angel, contact director Casey Rush at school at 288-5011 x 457, or by email to crush@u98.k12.me.us.



Act I

On a radiant summer morning in Indian Territory not long after the turn of the century, Aunt Eller sits on her porch churning butter and looking out over her farmstead. Curly, a local ranch hand, comes to call. Curly and Eller's niece, Laurey, have a lot in common - both are equally smitten with the other, and both are too proud and stubborn to admit it. When Curly grandly offers to take Laurey to the box social that evening, Laurey claims that he can't escort her in style and refuses to believe that he has rented a classy rig for the occasion. Jud Fry, Laurey's hired hand, settles the matter by announcing that he will take her to the social and because she is scared of Jud, who has a morose, vindictive temperament, she is too frightened to turn him down. Curly invites Aunt Eller to ride with him.

Laurey's friend, Ado Annie, is caught between two fellows too. Will Parker has just returned from Kansas City where he earned $50 in a rodeo - the exact sum Ado Annie's father, Andrew Carnes, told Will he had to come up with if he wanted to marry her. However, during Will's absence Ado Annie has become transfixed by the Persian peddler man, Ali Hakim, whose sales pitches always leave her swooning. Ado Annie may not know which way to turn but her father does: Will, since he already spent the $50 on wedding gifts for Annie and technically no longer has the cash, has lost his chance at marriage - while Ali Hakim has been so forward with Annie that nothing short of a shotgun wedding will do!

Laurey is confused about her love for Curly, and about Jud, of whom she is terrified, but has used his invitation just to make Curly jealous. After a short reconciliation between the two, Curly goes to see Jud in his smokehouse. Curly paints a beautiful picture of just how popular Jud would be - at his own funeral and there is an angry confrontation about Laurey. Feeling mocked, alone now in his room, Jud confronts himself, his lonely fantasies, his bleak existence that fills him with anger and violence.

Laurey still wants to clear her mind between Curly and Jud. Her girl friends ridicule her and offer their own homely advice; she drifts into a dream - a ballet sequence in which she is to marry Curly, but he is killed by Jud, who abducts her. As she wakens, both men arrive, and Jud hauls her off to the party, leaving Curly dejected.

Act II

At the box social that night lots of men bid for Laurey's hamper but, as the bidding rises, so does the tension as Jud and Curly square off. Curly sells his saddle, his horse and then even his gun to raise enough cash to buy the hamper and the right to escort Laurey, which frustrates and angers Jud. When Jud corners Laurey in the barn later on, her frightened calls for help bring Curly to her side. Jud runs off, and finally, Laurey and Curly confess their love for each other. Ali Hakim, still trying to manuver his way out of marrying Ado Annie, contrives to bid $50 for all the gifts Will bought in Kansas City. With cash in hand, and a few rules in mind, Will approaches Ado Annie again, and this time they set the date.

Three weeks later, Laurey and Curly are married. Gertie Cummings, an annoying flirt who couldn't get her hands on Curly, has managed to also snare a husband - Ali Hakim. Will and Ado Annie are hitched as well and everyone is celebrating. The wedding festivities pall, however, when Jud Fry stumbles in, uninvited, unwelcome and drunk. He gets into a fight with Curly and, in the ensuing melée, the drunken Jud falls on his own knife and is killed. Curly's friends don't want him to have to spend his wedding night in jail and so, a trial is quickly held on the spot and Curly is acquitted. With their friends and loved ones waving them on, Curly and Laurey drive off on their honeymoon, "in a surrey with the fringe on top" (http://www.nodanw.com/shows_o/oklahoma.htm).

Musical Numbers


  1. OPENING Act 1 - Oh, What a Beautiful Morning! - Curly - "There's a bright golden haze on the meadow"
  2. LAUREY'S ENTRANCE - Laurey - "Oh, what a beautiful morning!"
  3. SONG - The Surrey With the Fringe On Top - Curly (with Laurey) - "When I take you out tonight with me"
  4. SONG - Kansas City - Will Parker - "I got to Kansas City on a Friday"
  5. REPRISE - The Surrey With the Fring On Top - Curly - "The wheels are yeller"
  6. SONG - I'm Cain't Say No - Ado Annie - "It ain't so much a question of not knowing what to do"
  7. ENCORE - I Cain't Say No
  8. ENTRANCE OF ENSEMBLE - "S'posin' 'at I say 'at you lips 're like cherries"
  9. SONG - Many a New Day - Laurey (with Girls) - "Why should a woman who is healthy and strong"
  10. DANCE - "Many a New Day"
  11. CHORUS OF MEN - It's a Scandal! It's a Outrage! - "Friend, what's on your mind?"
  12. DUET - People Will Say We're In Love - Curly and Laurey - "Why do they think up stories"
  14. DUET - Pore Jud Is Daid - Curly and Jud - " Pore Jud is daid"
  15. SONG - Lonely Room - Jud - "The floor creaks, the door squeaks"
    a) - Melos
    b) - Out of My Dreams - Girls - "Out of my dreams and into his arms you long to fly"
    c) - Interlude to Ballet
    d) - Dream Ballet
  18. Entr'acte
  19. OPENING Act 2 - The Farmer and the Cowman - Company - "The farmer and the cowman should be friends"
  22. DUET - All Er Nothin' - Will Parker - "You'll have to be a little more stand-offish"
  24. REPRISE - People Will Say We're In Love - Curly and Laurey - "Let people say we're in love"
  27. CHORUS - Oklahoma! - Company - "They couldn't pick a better time to start in life"
  28. ENCORE - Oklahoma!