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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI Theatre to present Oklahoma!

Media Contact: Bonnie Bosworth, 401-874-5922

KINGSTON, R.I.- -October 31, 2008—The University of Rhode Island's prize-winning Theatre Department announces its upcoming production, Oklahoma!

The play, to be performed in the Robert E. Will Theatre, Fine Arts Center, 105 Upper College Rd., Kingston, will run Nov. 13 through 15 and 20 through 22 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 16 and 23 at 3 p.m. Admission is $18 for the general public, $14 for senior citizens and URI faculty/staff, and $12 for students.

Oklahoma! Rodgers and Hammerstein's first collaboration remains, in many ways, their most innovative. The play set the standards and established the rules of musical theater still being followed or broken today. The original 1943 production won a special Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The film won two Academy Awards, and the 1999 National Theatre revival won four Olivier Awards including Best Musical Production. With its 2,248 performances in New York and record-breaking runs of its road companies, Oklahoma! earned the largest audiences in American musical history. Some of these records were later surpassed, but its importance in opening a new era in the American musical theatre will never be challenged.

"As Rhode Island faces a complex time in its own history, URI Theatre is proud to look back at a period when community spirit and down-to-earth American ingenuity united a people and a place: Oklahoma!" said Paula McGlasson, chair and associate professor of URI's Theatre Department, who directs the play. McGlasson directed URI's productions of Little Women, Urinetown, Beauty and the Beast.

Musical direction will be by Lila Kane, choreography by Angelica Vessella, costume design by associate professor, David T. Howard, scenic design by Patrick Lynch, lighting design by David Roy, and sound design by Michael Hyde.

The Theatre Department is pleased to announce that the new Bonoff Calendar (Warwick Musical Theater) will be on sale at its box office for $10. All proceeds will go to the Bonoff Theatre Fund at URI.

For more information or to make reservations, call 401.874.5843. To be included on the theater mailing list, call 401.874.5921.

Members of the cast, their characters, and hometowns follow:

Cast Character Hometown
Benjamin Graci of East Providence, "Jud Fry"
Jesse Dufault of Narragansett, "Fred"
Stephanie Morgan of Westfield, Mass., "Ado Annie Carnes"
Stephanie Rodger of Coventry, "Virginia Skidmore"
Nevan Richard of Cheshire, Conn., "Joe"
Kyle Viverito of Merrick, N.Y., "Ike Skidmore"
Kathryn E. Travers of Franklin, Mass., "Gertie Cummings"
Micah Tougas of W. Kingston, "Kate"
Benjamin Rose of Charlestown, "Andrew Carnes"
Matthew Rodgers of Tiverton, "Slim"
Betsy Rinaldi of Coventry, "Armina"
Michael Puppi of Narragansett, "Jess"
Jennifer Michaels of Stonington, Conn., "Ellen"
Jeffrey Maynardd of Johnston, "Mike"
Lara Maynard of Cumberland, "Laurey"
Nile Hawver of Coventry, "Curly"
Shannon Hartman of Coventry, "Sylvie"
Autumn Gillette of Manchester, Mass., "Vivian"
Emily Foster of Ivoryton, Conn., "Molly"
Andrew DeVitre of Cohasset, Mass., "Sam"
Maria Day Hyde of N. Kingstown, "Aunt Eller"
Cory Crew of Putnam Valley, N.Y., "Ali Hakim"
Chelsea Cook of Narragansett, "Caroline Skidmore"
Naysh Fox of Wyoming, "Will Parker"
Miles Boucher of Coventry, "Porter/Cal"
Kyle Blanchette of Coventry, "Cord Elam"


Shown above: URI students Maria Day Hyde, Nile Hawver and Lara Maynard star in URI's production of Oklahoma! The play, to be performed in URI's Robert E. Will Theatre, Fine Arts Center, 105 Upper College Rd., Kingston will run Nov. 13 through 15 and 20 through 22 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 16 and 23 at 3 p.m. Admission is $18 for the general public, $14 for senior citizens and URI faculty/staff, and $12 for students. For more information or to make reservations, call 401.874.5843. URI Photo by Randy Osga.