OKLAHOMA! LIKE YOU’VE NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE
The 2019 Tony-winning Best Revival of a Musical has been re-imagined by the visionary director Daniel Fish and reveals a distinctly modern subtext to the classic 1943 musical by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein.
Not a word of text was changed in the script, but the artistic choices employed in this production yield a new vision on a classic story. Read on for some additional context that will help set the stage as you experience this classic musical in a whole new light.
Oklahoma! is recommended for ages 12+. Oklahoma! contains fog, loud gunshot effects, moments of total darkness and violence.
WELCOME TO A SHARED EXPERIENCE
At its core, Oklahoma! has always been a story about a community coming together, and this production uses scenic and lighting design to evoke a sense of togetherness. Auditorium lights are left on for certain parts of the show, creating a shared experience among audiences and actors. There are also moments of total darkness, where all lights in the theatre are turned off, allowing audiences to focus intensely on dialogue on stage.
Upon entering the theater, you’re welcomed into a communal space that evokes life in a rural community. A sparse, plywood set is lit brightly, scattered with wooden tables and chairs and a faded wall mural of a farmscape projected on to the back wall. Colorful mylar fringe hangs at the top of the set. A band is visible center stage.
Perhaps most surprising to audiences will be gun racks on each of the side walls of the set, holding 114 guns.
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A STATEMENT ON GUN VIOLENCE
The most surprising element of this production to many audience members will be the intentionally staggering display of guns on stage and in use during the production.
Guns are fired four times during the show, and the sound of the gunshot is amplified each time.
The guns used on stage are prop guns and no live ammunition is ever kept on site or on stage. The touring company has been trained in gun safety with experts.
OKLAHOMA! is proud to the first gun-neutral show on Broadway and National Tour. For every visible gun in OKLAHOMA!, both on stage and around the theatre, OKLAHOMA! will make a minimum donation of $100 per gun on behalf of the show to Gun Neutral’s 501c3 non-profit, a non-partisan initiative open to all storytellers, producers and financiers, calling for greater social responsibility to offset and account for gun violence in entertainment.