Okeechobee Community Theatre seeks new cast for ‘Oklahoma!’

OKEECHOBEE — Okeechobee Community Theatre (OCT) has issued an open casting call for roles in its upcoming production of the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein Broadway musical, “Oklahoma!” to be performed in November, and for the patriotic performance piece, “Mail Call,” which will be presented in December.

Auditions for both shows will be held on Monday and Tuesday evenings, Aug. 27 and 28 at 7 p.m. at the theatre at 610 S.W. Second Ave. in Okeechobee, one block west of Golden Corral restaurant. Participants will have the option of trying out for either one or both shows. Rehearsals for “Mail Call” will not begin until after the “Oklahoma!” performance dates, so there will be no conflict. No previous performance experience is required.

This is a scene from “Oklahoma.”

Parts are available for at least ten men and ten women to perform in “Oklahoma!” which contains such song favorites as “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning,” “People Will Say We’re in Love,” and “Surrey With the Fringe on Top.” It is also possible that the cast can be expanded to include a very limited number of teens.

“We performed the show 27 years ago, but decided to bring it back this season when we noted that this is the 75th anniversary of its premier on Broadway,” said OCT Director, Ron Hayes. “Since this is the OCT’s own 40th anniversary, it just seemed appropriate to celebrate the two events together. ‘Oklahoma!’ was the first large-cast musical we produced, back in 1991.

“It really connected with our audience. Several performances sold out, and we had to turn people away at the box office.”

“Mail Call” is not a musical, but one cast member will perform one song. There are roles in that show for four men and four women, with an additional role which could be either. This unique production is based on actual letters sent to and from soldiers on the front lines during war time. Besides the expected poignant segments, the show is surprisingly funny, and highly patriotic.

Auditions for both shows are designed to be non-threatening. Participants will be asked to read a short passage from a provided script, and, if trying out for a singing role, to sing a song of his or her choice, without accompaniment.

There is also the usual need for people to work behind the scenes as members of the stage crew, building and painting sets, creating costumes and props, ushering, and host of other duties.

Anyone wishing to be involved in any of these areas should also attend one of the two audition sessions to sign up. More information is available on the theatre’s website, okeechobeecommunitytheatre.com or by calling Ron or Jacque Hayes at 863-763-1307.

In March, the theatre will present “The Tin Woman,” which is described as a dark comedy.

Based on a true story, it concerns a young woman who spirals into deep depression after receiving a heart transplant. Then, hoping to find closure, she seeks out the family of the young man whose heart she received. Experiencing their own grief, will they be ready welcome her presence in their lives? Auditions for “The Tin Woman” will be held in December.

Season tickets for all three shows are now on sale for just $28. Single show tickets are $12 each, and will go on sale in early October. Information on how to purchase season tickets is available on the website.

Okeechobee Community Theatre, now in its 40th year, is an all-volunteer organization of local adults and young people who enjoy producing high quality, live Broadway-style comedies, dramas and musicals for area audiences, without the requirement of the long drive out of town.

It is billed as “Florida’s most reasonably priced live stage theatre.” It is a member of the Florida Theatre Conference and the American Association of Community Theatre.

The Lake Okeechobee News is published every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and now includes news from around the lake every Wednesday.

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