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Southern Virginia University

‘Oklahoma!’ in Rockbridge County

October 2, 2013

Rockbridge County’s newest theatre company, (540) Productions, with the help of Fine Arts in Rockbridge and producer Eileen Small, recently wrapped up their first production! I was one of many local actors and students from both Southern Virginia University and Washington and Lee University to participate in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s iconic piece, “Oklahoma!”

Originally performed on Broadway in 1943, “Oklahoma!” has been adapted for the screen and performed thousands of times at regional theaters and high schools throughout the nation. “Oklahoma!” helped to develop the book-musical, in which the songs and dances are incorporated into the development of the story line.

We performed the musical in a unique space — outside on the Tichenor farm. Pat Tichenor, a local thespian and theatre enthusiast, graciously hosted the production on her farm that houses some of the oldest buildings in Rockbridge County.

“We want to bring more live community theatre to Rockbridge County,” said Josh Harvey, the head of (540) Productions. “Since the closure of the local outside theatre, Lime Kiln, there has been a need for more local theatre.”

Fellow Southern Virginia student Chanson Hardy, who played cowhand Will Parker in the show, said that performing outside “brought so much more magic to the entire experience.”

I’m grateful for those that are helping to bring more arts to Rockbridge County, and to the other Southern Virginia students and alumni that helped to put on such a great production.

(Post by Nicolas Jensen ’16. Photos by Lindsey Morgan ’13.)

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