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Curtain Rises Tonight For EHS Musical, “Oklahoma!”

By Staff | Nov 3, 2016

OKLAHOMA! - The cast of Emmetsburg High School’s production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” sing the title song during dress rehearsal for the production. The curtain rises tonight, Thursday, at 7:30 p.m. and will play at 7:30 Friday and 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov 5 in the EHS?Auditorium. Tickets are available at the door. - Dan Voigt photo

Weeks of rehearsal come to fruition tonight when the curtain rises on the Emmetsburg High School production of “Oklahoma!” The classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical celebration takes to the stage of the Emmetsburg High School Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. tonight and Friday night, and at 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

“Oklahoma!” is the story of the rivalry between local farmers and cowboys, which provides the colorful background against which Curly, a handsome cowboy, played by Austin Noll and Laurey, a winsome farm girl, played by Bailey Naig, play out their love story. However, the road to true love never runs smooth when two headstrong romantics hold the reins. Finding out if they will succeed in making a new life together, and the beginnings of a brand-new state provides the ultimate climax to “Oklahoma!”

While the EHS production caps off the first major effort of the high school music department for the school year, this week’s production is also entering into a special statewide program for the first time.

The Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards, presented by Des Moines Performing Arts, celebrates the extraordinary achievements of young musical theater artists. The program aims to create visibility and support for high school musical theater programs and to highlight the importance of arts education.

Emmetsburg is one of 60 Iowa High Schools participating in the program.

“We are excited to be participating in this new-ish opportunity at Emmetsburg this year!” Mr. Luke Miller, Emmetsburg High School Vocal Music Director. “We’re received confirmation from the adjudicators who will be attending one of our productions and we are really looking forward to this production to show the great talent of our students.”

Under the Musical Theater Awards program, panels of community adjudicators comprised of performing arts educators and professionals attend and review each participating school’s production. A team of three to four adjudicators comprised of performing arts educators and professionals will attend each production entered in the program.

The Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards is designed to be celebratory rather than competitive in nature. Any student or school at an outstanding level is recognized for their achievement. Multiple honorees may be named in each category as performances merit.

The year culminates in a professionally produced Awards Showcase event, June 5, 2017, when Des Moines Performing Arts will host the fifth annual Awards Showcase event – a not-to-be-missed evening of entertainment that celebrates a year of high school musical theater across the state.

Individuals and schools who are honored through the program’s evaluation process are invited to perform at the Awards Showcase, a professionally produced event on the Des Moines Civic Center stage.

The purpose of the adjudication process is to provide each school with educational feedback in the hopes of celebrating the achievements of each production and offering solutions to the aspects where each production can improve. Adjudicators complete a comprehensive response to the performance, which includes utilizing a scoring rubric as well as providing comments that include praise and constructive criticism. Feedback is intended to serve as an educational tool for directors and students, not strictly a review or critique.

Each school receives the adjudicators’ scoring sheets and comments. It is up to the discretion of the director to share these reports with their students, creative staff or administration but often all of those involved in the production will view the adjudicator feedback. Students and directors receive valuable constructive feedback that can be used to grow and strengthen their future work. Based on reviews and scores, schools ultimately receive awards in honor of their achievements in categories ranging from choreography, design, performance in a principal role, and overall musical production.

Tickets for Emmetsburg High School’s production of “Oklahoma!” are available at the door. Curtain times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4 and 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5. All ages are invited to enjoy the music of on of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic musicals in the Emmetsburg High School Auditorium.