VERNON The Highland Stage presents the Broadway musical "Oklahoma!" at Vernon Township High School with a cast of local teens in performances beginning Friday, Aug. 3. The show was the first collaboration between the two giants of American musical theatre, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Originally produced in 1943, "Oklahoma!" was a Broadway box office smash hit that saw an unprecedented 2,212 performances before closing. It is considered the birth of the modern American musical. "Oklahoma!" tells the story of the high-spirited rivalry between the local farmers and cowboys. This provides a colorful background against which Curly, a handsome cowboy, and Laurey, a winsome farm girl, play out their love story. The Highland Stage production of "Oklahoma!" includes a cast of area teens: Kayla Jardine as Laurey, Kyle Pitts as Curley, Vicki Ross as Ado Annie, Matt Chastain as Will Parker, Josh Ernst as Jud Fry, Viktoria-Leigh Wagner as Aunt Eller, Mike Easton as Ali Hakim and Marty Novak as Andrew Carnes. Other Featured roles are played by Brandon Valdes, Nathan Stillings, John Powasnick, Morgan Kriegel, Amanda Stillings, Rachel Rome, Ariel Clouse, Nathan Fitch, Brooke Harrsch, Emily Moreno, Brooke Stanton and Megan Logue. Rounding out the large cast of characters are Danielle Boyle, Colleen Carney, Jaqueline Cerutti, Kayla Dangelo, Karli Fitzpatrick, Christina Flowers, Kaitlyn Gallaugher, Audrey Halatin, Blake Harrsch, Alexandra Helmer, Kristen Henry, Sean Higginson, Dylan Jardine, Isabella Jardine, Grace Logue, Matt Losco, Victoria Marchesani, Evan McKinnon, Victoria Meneses, Brian Pitts, Emily Ross, Juliette Ross, Mariajesus Valdes, Kassidy Wagner, Riley Whelan and Shaelyn Zimmerman.
Summer project This musical represents the companys annual Summer Youth Theatre Project. The show is directed by Heather Burns;musical direction is by Faith Anderson and Jon Hartlage and choreography is by Renee Ziegler. Kristen Pulkstenis is the company stage manager. William R. Donald Jr. designed the lights and sets. A 25-piece orchestra conducted by Jon Hartlage will perform the music.