After months of preparation and weeks of rehearsals, the Oklahoma State University Theatre Department premiered it's own interpretation of the musical "Oklahoma!" on Thursday.
After opening night, the O'Colly had the opportunity to talk with Rebecca Thompson, who plays Laurey, about the production.
Q: What’s different about the theatre department’s interpretation of Oklahoma?
A: In my personal opinion, I feel like we’re a bit darker than say the movie. Jud’s a whole lot creepier here, and you know, it helps that we have a terrific actor to play Jud.
Q: What’s it like to be Laurey?
A: I guess it’s easier for me because that’s practically how I grew up. I grew up in the country, and I grew up climbing trees and getting dirty and being a country girl. So that part is really easy for me. I guess you could say that I identify with the character a lot. It also helps to have such a good cast to feed off of.
Q: What are some things you do to help you get into character?
A: Right before the performance there’s always a few of the leads back stage, and actually it was Megan’s (Barth-Argo) idea, but we all hold pinkies, but that’s more of a wishing you luck sort of thing, I guess. But, in many ways I have a lot of Laurey’s experiences and everything, so I don’t necessarily need to get in that type of atmosphere, if you know what I mean.
Q: If you weren’t Laurey, what character would you want to be?
A: In all honesty, I know that I wouldn’t be good at any others, so that’s a really hard question. I think that it would be really fun to actually play (Andrew) Carnes, but that’s never a role that I’m going to be able to play. He’s one of my favorites.
Q: What’s it like to be up on a stage in front of an audience?
A: It’s actually really, really, really fun, and anybody who really hasn’t experienced it, I would really encourage them to actually go and start performing on stage. It’s actually, it’s a lot easier to perform with an audience there than, say, like a dress rehearsal because with an audience there, we can feed off of their laughter and make the performance all the better.
Q: What’s the scariest thing about being on the stage?
A: I would say probably messing up the lyrics to a song, in my opinion. I feel like that would be the worst thing to happen, but I’m also a singer. How do I say this? I’m a singer who can act; I’m not an actor who can sing. So the singing parts I’m really driving in and trying to perfect and everything, so messing up the vocal line would be harder on me than messing up anything else.
Q: What’s your favorite part about performing?
A: I’d say, in general, just being on stage. It’s fun being in a world that you can say something or do something that you yourself wouldn’t normally do. So just being on stage.
Q: Do you think that opening night is different from other nights?
A: In actuality, yes because I feel like nerves are stronger on the first night. But once you keep on repeating the show, it’s supposed to be fresh every time. So you have to find a new way to put yourself in each show, which can be hard. But it’s fun. It’s really fun.
Q: What’s your favorite part about Oklahoma!?
A: It would actually probably be the cast and the crew behind the scenes. The whole cast is so supportive, and they’ve all been very, very kind to me considering I’m so new at it. I’ve never had an acting class before and so I just kind of threw myself in the middle. Everybody has been teaching me all these new things and it’s definitely a learning experience. And the crew that works backstage are all superfun to be around and everybody’s just a hoot and a half. So I would definitely say the cast and crew.
Q: Any final comments about the Theatre Department’s production of “Oklahoma!”?
A: All in all, I would say that it’s just a really fun experience. The directors and everybody who is involved are really supportive and really fun to be around.