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OSU Theatre prepared for production season

"Shipwrecked!"

Oklahoma State students preform the play "Shipwrecked!" on Friday night, February 23, 2017 in the Seretean Center.

There is a show for everyone this season at the Oklahoma State University Department of Theatre. 

Students will have opportunities to see action, drama and musicals during the 2018-19 production year.

The season kicks off Oct. 11 with “The Three Musketeers,” featuring performance professor Lloyd Caldwell as director. Based on the 1844 adventure novel of the same name, the show focuses on the time period of the piece. 

Carly Conklin, a representative from the department, said the setting of the play will be evident through the set and costumes.

“Hats, boots, puffy pants, the whole thing,” said Conklin, who also directs one of this season's plays.   

There will be plenty of action and combat for this classic story. Caldwell appointed senior theatre major Charli Granato as the assistant fight director to coordinate the combat scenes. 

Granato has been recognized nationally and internationally. She has certification through Fight Directors Canada, meaning she can bring professional quality to the difficult art of stage combat. 

Tyler Pietruszewski, a theatre senior, has worked alongside Granato for three years. He is cast in “The Three Musketeers” as Count De Rochefort. 

In his final performance for the department, he is looking to add a new skill to his acting repertoire. Pietruszewski said he is excited for the opportunity. 

“This is my last show," Pietruszewski said. "And stage combat is always something I’ve wanted to try."

Performance professor Tom Alsip directs John Patrick Shanley’s “Doubt: A Parable,” showing the first two weekends in November. 

The show is an intense mystery-drama, ideal for anyone who enjoys high-level acting and heavy subject matters. 

Written in 2004, “Doubt” follows Catholic priest Father Flynn, who is accused of sexual misconduct involving a young boy in the convent. When Sister Aloysius brings forth a call to justice, the struggle between her and Father Flynn escalates. This leads to great doubt in their faith and in their own morality. 

The play won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and a Tony Award for Best Play. The play was also turned into an Academy Award-winning film starring Meryl Streep and Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

The department will perform “True West” under Conklin’s direction starting Feb. 14. 

American playwright Sam Shepard wrote the script for “True West,” a story of sibling rivalry and “a fight for dominance." There will be golf clubs, toasters, typewriters and house plants. The play was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1983.  

Conklin described the show as “gritty.” She said unlike the department’s current Vivia Locke Theatre, the intimacy of the new Davis Theatre brings a new life to the production. She said the audience will feel the intense emotions of the play in a new way. 

“The audience has a much closer proximity to the subject matter,” Conklin said. 

The department concludes its season with Rogers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” in April.

"(It) ushered in the golden age of musical theatre,” Conklin said.

The show gives outsiders a true representation of Oklahoma life. “Oklahoma!” lays claim to the title of the first successful "book musical" with song and dance that advance the plot. 

Since its creation in 1943, it has been a staple of the musical theatre world. The musical even gave Oklahoma its state song. 

This will be the largest show of the season, with a cast of 11 characters and many ensemble members. 

The department’s public relations executive Michele Hockersmith said she expects a large number of ticket sales because of the size of the production. 

Anne Cooley is the guest director and choreographer for the production. The production team includes production manager Lee Brasuell, scenic director Eric Barker and costume designer Renee Garcia. Joseph Missal of the Greenwood School of Music will conduct the OSU wind ensemble for the “Oklahoma!” production. 

New students, including freshmen and transfers, are given one free ticket to a show of their choice during the 2018-19 season of performances. Students can also buy discounted season-ticket packages. 

More information is online at theatre.okstate.edu

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