Oct. 13/FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
UNCSA TO PRESENT ALL-SCHOOL PRODUCTION OF RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN’S OKLAHOMA!
by Gerald Freedman
Box Office Kick-Off Fall
Festival October 30
WINSTON-SALEM –The University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) will present an all-school production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! in Spring 2011. This faithful restaging of the original 1943 Broadway production will open at UNCSA’s Stevens Center in downtown Winston-Salem on April 28, 2011, and will continue through May 8. A special Gala Benefit performance will be presented on Friday, April 29. Proceeds from the production and the Gala will benefit all five arts schools at UNCSA.
While tickets for Oklahoma! will go on sale to the public officially on Monday, Nov. 1, a special Oklahoma! Box Office Kick-Off Fall Festival will take place on Saturday, Oct. 30, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Stevens Center in downtown Winston-Salem. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to get Oklahoma! tickets early! Those who purchase tickets during the event will be among the first to choose seats and are eligible to receive a $5 discount off each ticket (cannot be combined with any other discount). The $5 off per ticket is eligible for walk-up sales at the UNCSA Box Office at the Stevens Center on Saturday, Oct. 30, from 10 a.m. to noon ONLY and is limited to 10 tickets per person per performance.
Tickets for the special gala events on April 29 are not yet for sale and are not eligible for the discount. However, you may reserve your spot at the gala by calling the Office of Advancement at 336-770-3330.
The Oct. 30th kickoff event at the Stevens Center also will feature a variety of FREE fun activities including carriage rides, music and refreshments.
When Oklahoma! opened on Broadway in 1943, it transformed musical theatre with its innovative integration of music and dance. UNCSA’s restaging will include the original Agnes de Mille choreography as re-created by Gemze de Lappe, a renowned dancer and teacher who performed in the original Broadway and touring productions of Oklahoma! and worked closely with de Mille for many years. In addition, UNCSA has extensively researched all aspects of the original production and will painstakingly recreate the original costumes and stage design.
"An archival restoration of all the production elements of Oklahoma! will give our students and our audiences a chance to experience the first American musical to have a single artistic goal in telling its story through music, drama, dance and scenery, elevating the genre into a great collaborative art form, not a medium for separate songs and dances,” said John Mauceri, Chancellor of UNCSA and Musical Director for Oklahoma! “It is our hope that by experiencing this collaboration, one that will include the exact number of musicians in the pit and a newly restored score, as well as the supervision of Gemze de Lappe, our students will be inspired to conclude that true collaboration at the service of great material, honestly presented and deeply felt, is what we aspire to do and is as viable as anything using the most advanced technologies of our time.”
Ted Chapin, President and Executive Director of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization, said, “For John Mauceri and UNCSA to conceive the idea of an Oklahoma! as close to exactly how it was when it opened may seem like a simple idea, but no one has had it before. It is sure to add an invaluable piece to both the historic and performance history of a musical that has long been acknowledged as the one that galvanized an entertainment genre into an American art form.”
Oklahoma! will be directed by Gerald Freedman, Dean of the School of Drama at UNCSA. Freedman is an award-winning director and educator highly regarded internationally for productions of classic dramas, musicals, operas and new plays. Having directed major revivals of the works of Rodgers & Hammerstein, he looks forward bringing this legendary musical to life on the Stevens Center stage.
As mentioned above, the Musical Director for Oklahoma! will be internationally renowned conductor John Mauceri, Chancellor of UNCSA. Mauceri’s distinguished and extraordinarily varied career has brought him not only to the world’s greatest opera companies and symphony orchestras, but also to the musical stages of Broadway and Hollywood, as well as the most prestigious halls of academia. A recipient of both a Tony and an Emmy Award, Mauceri has worked closely with the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization on numerous projects including the first-ever recording of all the Overtures from the Rodgers & Hammerstein musicals (“Opening Night: The Complete Overtures”) as well as a restoration of the film score from The King and I, featuring Julie Andrews and Ben Kingsley, which received the Deutsche Schallplatten Prize in 1993.
The full performance schedule for Oklahoma! is: April 28, 8 p.m.; April 29, 7:30 p.m.; April 30, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; May 1, 2 p.m.; May 4-6, 8 p.m.; May 7, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; May 8, 2 p.m. Tickets are available at the UNCSA Box Office by calling 336.721.1945, or online at www.uncsa.edu/performances.
For ticket information for the April 29 special gala, which includes Prime Orchestra seating, contact the Office of Advancement at 336-770-3330.
Ticket prices (not including $5 presale event discount) are: Prime Orchestra, $100; Orchestra Center, $63 for adults and $49 for children 13 and under; Orchestra Sides and Front Balcony, $54 for adults and $40 for children 13 and under; Rear Orchestra and Rear Balcony, $43 for adults and $30 for children 13 and under. For the best deal in town take advantage of the great prices on Oklahoma! “Family Four Pack” (2 adults and 2 children) for the evening performances on Wednesday, May 4, and Thursday, May 5, only: $150 for Orchestra Side/Front Balcony and $110 for Rear Balcony. Please note that the ARTSCARD cannot be used for Oklahoma! Groups of 10 or more receive a 10% discount on every full-priced ticket. The 10% discount for groups may not be combined with any other offer.
The University of North Carolina School of the Arts is the first state-supported, residential school of its kind in the nation. Established as the North Carolina School of the Arts by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, UNCSA opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. More than 1,100 students from high school through graduate school train for careers in the arts in five professional schools: Dance, Design and Production (including a Visual Arts Program), Drama, Filmmaking, and Music. UNCSA is the state’s only public arts conservatory, dedicated entirely to the professional training of talented students in the performing, visual and moving image arts. UNCSA is located at 1533 S. Main St., Winston-Salem. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.