High Kickin' and Loud Howlin' Cowboys
I am Caryn Ott Hillman, Solorio's After School Matters' Chicago Opera Theater stage director and choreographer. This semester the musical director (Mr. Richard) and I chose the classic show by Rogers and Hammerstein called "OKLAHOMA!" to do with our class. Written in the late 1940's, this show has high spirited songs that your want to dance to and songs that are intimate and heartfelt.
The story takes place when Oklahoma was just a territory in America and was about to become it's own official state. Cowboys and farmers have to learn to get along. A rodeo winner woos his girlfriend who has been getting too friendly with the peddler while he was away. A creepy farmhand has been fantasizing over his boss's niece. A young couple sarcastically flirt and end the show getting married!
Our class is made up of about 30 students that have little musical theater experience but always give their all. They learn different genres of music and dance styles that they have never been exposed to before. Singing, dancing and acting are all very intimidating activities, so we build comradery and trust through theater games and yoga.
After 9 hour weeks for 3 months, we manage to put together an hour long production with full costumes, lights, microphones and scenery. It's a lot of hard work but it is always so rewarding at the end!!