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WKU Theatre and Dance to present ‘Oklahoma!’ Feb. 24-26

WKU’s Department of Theatre and Dance opens its 2012 Mainstage Season Feb. 24-26 with Oklahoma!, one of the world’s most popular musicals.

Come be transported to the early days of Oklahoma’s history as you watch WKU students kick up their heels and entertain with a story of young love.  You’re sure to leave the theatre humming such favorites as “Surrey with the Fringe on Top” and “People Will Say We’re in Love.”

Performances take place in Van Meter Auditorium at 8 p.m. Feb. 24 and 25 and at 3 p.m. Feb. 26.  Admission is $15 for adults and $12 for students. Call the WKU Ticket Office at 1-800-5BIG-RED for advance tickets.

WKU alumnus Jeremy Benton, who was last seen on Broadway playing Billy Lawlor in the classic musical 42nd Street, will direct Oklahoma!.

WKU students (from left) Tyler Brown, a junior from Nashville, Tenn.; Shelby Brown, a sophomore from Louisville; and Cory Hardin, a senior from LaGrange, rehearse a scene for “Oklahoma!” WKU will present the musical Feb. 24-26 at Van Meter Auditorium. (Photo by Andrew Duff, assistant professor of Lighting Design, Sound Design and Stage Management)

“I’m doubly pleased to have Jeremy directing Oklahoma! for us,” said Dr. David Young, department head for Theatre and Dance. “Not only is he an internationally recognized actor, dancer and director, but he’s also one of ours.”

Finding a way to bring something new to a musical everyone knows can be a challenge, but Benton believes he is up for the task.

“I have always wanted to tell the story from a point of view that I think gets overlooked,” he said. “Considering that these beloved characters probably were very young, I want to bring out some of the energy, frustration, clumsiness, innocence, and electricity that seems to come to a head when young folks are on the doorstep to adulthood.”

WKU freshmen Fiona Mowbray and Nathan Fister, both of Lexington, dance in a scene from “Oklahoma!” (Photo by Andrew Duff, assistant professor of Lighting Design, Sound Design and Stage Management)

More than 15,000 people were entertained by the WKU Department of Theatre and Dance last year.  The department presents more than 20 productions every year, including four Mainstage productions, two Mainstage dance concerts, three student-choreographed dance concerts, a Children’s Theatre Series, a Studio Series of student-directed works, a Before Broadway Series featuring a staged reading of a new musical, and a Next Stage Series of showcases and works in progress.

More information about the WKU Department of Theatre and Dance can be found at www.wku.edu/theatre-and-dance or by calling the department at (270) 745-5845.

Contact: Julie Pride, (270) 745-2560.

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