‘Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella’ Musical at Northwestern April 18-20

March 8, 2024

The Northwestern Oklahoma State University Reichenberger Fine Arts Department is currently in rehearsals for “Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella," the musical. This Tony Award-winning production from the creators of “South Pacific” and “The Sound of Music” will take place April 18-19 at 7 p.m. and April 20 at 2 p.m. in Herod Hall Auditorium on the Alva campus.

General admission is $15, university employees are $10, and students with a current ID are $5.  

“The NWOSU Reichenberger Department of Fine Arts is ecstatic to collaborate with students and community members to present this musical theatre production,” said Mickey Jordan, director of technical theatre who is serving this production as technical director and working with choreography.

For those unfamiliar with Rodgers and Hammerstein’s enchanting adaptation of the timeless fairytale, “Cinderella” was their only musical originally composed for television. When the television program, starring Julie Andrews in the title role, first aired in 1957, it was the most widely viewed program in the history of the medium at that time. Since then, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical has continued to charm audiences in productions on stage and on television.

Based upon the classic fairy tale, and particularly the French version “Cendrillon ou la Petite Pantoufle de Verre,” Rodgers and Hammerstein’s adaptation brings new life to the story of a young woman forced into servitude who dreams of – and achieves – a better life.

“Cinderella” also features some of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s most beloved songs including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible,” and “Ten Minutes Ago.”

This version of “Cinderella” is based upon Douglas Carter Beane’s adaptation of this well-loved classic that invites us to build a better, kinder world together. When Ella meets a dragon-slaying young prince, who is just assuming control of his government, she helps to spark transformation and empower the disenfranchised in their kingdom. With the help of her fairy godmother, a pumpkin and a little magic and humor, Ella, Prince Topher and their generous friends will inspire and delight the whole family. This version introduces several new characters and a sympathetic stepsister.

“This updated version of the original classic tale of ‘Cinderella’ is sure to have wonder and magic for everyone,” Jordan said. “The beautiful score composed by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II is just magnificent and will leave audiences humming tunes long after the final curtain. We hope that students, employees, and the surrounding Alva communities will come and see how ‘Impossible things are happening every day.’" 

The musical’s lead characters include Emily Smith, Harrah senior majoring in vocal music, as Ella; Jameson Hale, Elk City senior majoring in vocal music, as Topher; Sam Grinder, Sayre senior majoring in vocal music, as Lord Pinkleton; Alan Garcia, Beaver junior majoring in biology-health science, as Sebastian; Alexander Marshall, Alva freshman undecided major, as Jean-Michael; Brooklyn Parker, Weatherford freshman majoring in vocal music, as Gabrielle; and Charlotte will be played by Rylee Ott,  Forgan freshman majoring in vocal music.

Alva community members in leading roles include Raye Lyn Bird as Marie and JoDe Bradt as Madame. 

Others in the cast include Archer Bohlen, Ringwood senior majoring in computer science, as Footman 2; Gabe Bussinger, Woodward sophomore majoring in speech and theater, as Footman 1; and Darian Smith, Alva senior majoring in music, as the Giant.

Alva community members also in the cast include Quinn Goss, Audree Leon and Sadie Longhurst as mice; and Josh Longhurst as the fox. Lisiate Ofiu of Burlington is a racoon.

Northwestern students in understudy roles include Kylee Harzman, Alva post-graduate as Charlotte; Jaden Matthews of Hennessey, sophomore speech and theater major, as Gabrielle; John Snyder, Oklahoma City junior majoring in instrumental music, as Sebastian; and Noah Voth of Enid, senior natural science major as Topher.

Alva community members in understudy roles include Kathy Jenlink as Madame; Amy Ryerson as Marie and Madeline Ryerson as Ella.

Ensemble members include Lena Aguilar, Chanute, Kansas, sophomore majoring in vocal music; Kevin Jaquez, Enid sophomore majoring in vocal music; Aleya Johnson, Auburn, Nebraska, freshman majoring in vocal music; Jack Mahoney, Enid sophomore majoring in vocal music; Addyson Noyes, Woodward senior majoring in vocal music; Wilalei Faith Tommy, Enid sophomore majoring in sports science; and Bethany Towns, Alva senior majoring in psychology.

Northwestern employees in the production include Danielle Budy, Academic Success Center coordinator and assessment assistant; Alica Hall, coordinator of printing services; and Amy Zweiger, payroll clerk.

Alva community members in the ensemble include Fern Allen, Joplin Bradt, Aiden Brinkley, Asher Brinkley, Ashley Brinkley, Avaleigh Brinkley, Erin Davis, Chloe Jordan, Maci Lehr, Jordan Penner, Brian Thomas, Maureen Thomas and Jackson Wooton. Isi Ofiu and Savelina Ofiu of Burlington also are in the ensemble.

Other members of the production team include Kimberly Weast, professor of theatre arts and Reichenberger Department of Fine Arts chair, director and producer; Dr. Karsten Longhurst, assistant professor of music and director of choral studies, music director; and Dr. Eduardo Moreira, assistant professor of music, accompanist. Davis also is serving as the head choreographer, and Patrick Wilson of Alva is the stage manager.

For more information on theatre performances and courses in the Department of Fine Arts at Northwestern, contact Weast at (580) 327-8462 or kkweast@nwosu.edu or see more info at www.nwosu.edu/fine-arts.


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