Topic: College of Fine Arts

March 23, 2015

Cowboy Curly McLain and farm girl Laurey Williams
Cowboy Curly McLain and farm girl Laurey Williams

"Oklahoma!" is an innovative musical that puts a heart-warming spin on a relationship dilemma and will open at Ball State University at 7:30 p.m. March 27 in University Theatre. The production also will be performed at 7:30 p.m. March 31 and April 1-4, 8 p.m. March 28, and 2:30 p.m. March 29 and April 4.

"'Oklahoma!' was written in a particular way at a particular time and place in history," said the show's director, Karen Kessler, associate professor of theater. "'What seems to work for this production of ‘Oklahoma!’ is honoring its original style while still looking for ways to grab the attention of a current audience."

The musical tells the story of cowboy Curly McLain and his romance with farm girl Laurey Williams. When dark-hearted farm hand Jud Fry enters the scene, the rivalry begins. Laurey struggles with her feelings about the two men and must decide what she is willing to risk for true love. The audience will also enjoy a secondary romance between cowboy Will Parker and the flirtatious Ado Annie.

“Oklahoma!" was first performed on Broadway in 1943 and one of the reasons it remains popular today is that it speaks to the joy and excitement of building something new and positive, Kessler said. "'Oklahoma!' also illuminates some of the pain and darkness of someone who is left outside of that building process."

Tickets for "Oklahoma!" cost $18 for the general public, $17 for faculty and staff, $15 for senior citizens and $13 for students. They are available from the University Theatre Box Office, open from noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Contact the box office at 765-285-8749 or visit for more information.