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Rodgers and Hammerstein'sOklahoma!

JUL 8 – OCT 2, 2011

Music by Richard Rodgers
Directed by Molly Smith
Choreography by Parker Esse

Book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Based on the play Green Grow the Lilacs by Lynn Riggs
Original dances by Agnes de Mille
Musical Direction by George Fulginiti-Shakar

in the Fichandler


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Who’s Who



Philip Michael BaskervillePHILIP MICHAEL BASKERVILLE (Cord Elam, Jud Fry u/s) returns to Arena Stage, having appeared as John in Miss Saigon (Walnut Street Theatre) and is thrilled to be back in Oklahoma! Other Arena Stage appearances include Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies (starring Maurice Hines) and Damn Yankees. His other Washington appearances include Miss Saigon at the Kennedy Center (first national tour), Ragtime (first national tour) and A Chorus Line (Richie) at the National Theater. On Broadway, he performed in The Producers (O’Houllihan; also Las Vegas company at the Paris), Cats (Rum Tum Tugger/Macavity), and Dreamgirls (concert). His tour credits include Sunset Boulevard (first national; Artie Green/Cliff) and Jesus Christ Superstar (Judas/Simon). Regionally, he’s performed at TUTS in Miss Saigon (John); SMC in Evita (Magaldi), Sweeney Todd (Jonas Fogg), and Les Misérables (Courfeyrac); The Who’s Tommy (Hawker) at Bay Street; and The Color Purple (world premiere) at Alliance. Back

Kurt BoehmKURT BOEHM (Swing) returns to Arena Stage after performing in Oklahoma! last fall. Most recently, he was seen at Olney Theatre Center in Joseph. Other Washington performances include Fauchelevent/Claquesous in Les Misérables (Helen Hayes Award, Outstanding Ensemble), Gabriel in Kiss of the Spider Woman (Hayes nom, Outstanding Ensemble), and Alan in One Red Flower at Signature. Other credits include: Snoopy in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown; Bunny in Goodnight Moon (Hayes nom, Outstanding Ensemble) at Adventure; Milo in Phantom Tollbooth at Kennedy Center; and Seymour/Orin cover in Little Shop of Horrors at Ford's. Mr. Boehm is currently an artistic associate for Keegan Theater and freelance director/choreographer in the DC Metro Area. Mr. Boehm holds a bachelor of music from Catholic Univ. Back

E. Faye ButlerTERRY BURRELL (Aunt Eller). Broadway credits: Threepenny Opera, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Swinging on a Star, Into the Woods, Dreamgirls, Honky Tonk Nights, Eubie, and the first London production of Show Boat as Julie. Regional credits: Up from Paradise, Crowns, Mahalia, Of Thee I Sing, Thunder Knocking on the Door, The Women of Brewster Place, Cinderella, Smokey Joe’s Café, for colored girls, Sophisticated Ladies, Man of La Mancha, Copacabana, Ain’t Misbehavin’, A Christmas Carol, Jar the Floor, The Boys from Syracuse, and Brownie Points. Off-Broadway: Almost Heaven, And the World Goes Round, Taking a Chance on Love, “America” Radio City Music Hall. Concerts for Jazz in July at the 92nd Street Y, The Duke Ellington Orchestra in Venice and the Oslo Jazz Festival. She was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award for her work in Queenie Pie. Her one-woman theatrical piece Ethel will debut at Walnut Street Studio Theatre in February 2012. She is proud to make her fourth appearance at Arena Stage and dedicates these performances in memory of Jim and Sybil Burrell and Janet Moses. Back

Lucas FedeleLUCAS FEDELE (Ike, Will Parker u/s) is buckin’ excited to be home on the range in this brand new state of Oklahoma! A Pittsburgh native, Mr. Fedele has performed with Kansas City Starlight Theater, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, West Virginia Public Theater, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, and as a guest artist for several dance companies. Graduate of Point Park Univ. and proud AEA member. Back

Eleasha GambleELEASHA GAMBLE (Laurey) is delighted to be back playing Laurey in this groundbreaking, Helen Hayes Award-winning production. Fresh from playing Nancy in Oliver! at the Lyric Theatre in Oklahoma City, Ms. Gamble garnered a 2011 Helen Hayes nomination for her portrayal of Laurey. In spring 2010, she was awarded a Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical for her performance in Civil War at Ford’s Theatre. She’s worked extensively at many of the theaters in the Washington, D.C. area, including Signature Theatre (Chess, Les Misérables, First You Dream), Kennedy Center (Broadway Three Generations), Ford’s Theatre (Little Shop of Horrors, A Christmas Carol), Round House Theatre (Once on This Island, Helen Hayes nomination), Toby’s Dinner Theatre (Ragtime, Helen Hayes nomination), and The Women of Brewster Place here at Arena Stage. Ms. Gamble made her New York debut Off-Broadway in the Kathie Lee Gifford musical Under the Bridge at the Zipper Theatre. She would like to thank the Oklahoma! family and dedicates this performance to Jane Pesci-Townsend and to her mother, Claretta. Back

Jessica HartmanJESSICA HARTMAN (Swing, Asst. Dance Captain) is excited to return to Arena Stage for Oklahoma! On Broadway she served as associate choreographer, dance captain and swing for The Boy from Oz starring Hugh Jackman. Other N.Y.: My Fair Lady at N.Y. Philharmonic, The Most Happy Fella at N.Y. City Opera, and four years performing at Radio City Music Hall in The Christmas Spectacular. Ms. Hartman has performed regionally at Goodspeed Opera House (They All Laughed), North Shore Music Theatre (Camelot), Hangar Theater (Oklahoma!), and La Scala (West Side Story). Jessica has worked as associate choreographer to Joey McKneely for Showtune and West Side Story, as well as with Dan Knechtges at Dallas Theatre Center (Give It Up!), York Theatre (Showtune), Theatre des Westens in Berlin (Der Schuh des Manitu), NYC Fringe Festival (Citizen Ruth) and Hanger Theater (Oklahoma!). She recently served as associate choreographer for the Off-Broadway hit Lysistrata Jones with Transport Group. Ms. Hartman is thrilled to kick off of her new company, Broadway Theatre Connection, this summer. She would like to thank her mom, dad and husband, Jason, for all of their love and support. Back

Andrew HodgeANDREW HODGE (Slim, Ike u/s, Andrew Carnes u/s) is slim. He’s also playing Slim and couldn’t be more thrilled to return to this acclaimed production. Previously, he played Greg on tour in A Chorus Line for Baayork Lee and Bob Avian, members of the show’s original cast and creative team, respectively. Other touring: Cats and 42nd Street. Mr. Hodge has performed regionally at Westchester Broadway Theater (Billy Lawlor u/s in 42nd Street), Ogunquit Playhouse (Don in A Chorus Line) and North Shore Music Theater (42nd Street). He also danced for Tyra Banks on America’s Next Top Model and with Liza Minnelli on the TV Land Awards. Mr. Hodge, a PADI-certified scuba diver and founding member of The Boop Troupe, is slowly but surely co-creating a new psychological thriller musical based on a true story. Thanks to Clark.

Nehal JoshiNEHAL JOSHI (Ali Hakim) is thankful to be back home with this amazing show. Other Arena: Señor Discretion Himself.Other D.C.: Mister Roberts (Kennedy Center), Recent Tragic Events (Woolly Mammoth), The Mad Dancers (Theater J), Carousel (Olney). Broadway: Les Misérables (original revival cast), Threepenny Opera (Roundabout). Off-Broadway: Falling for Eve (York). Regional: Working (2008 revision; Old Globe, Asolo Rep), Arsenic and Old Lace (Dallas Theater Center), Mother Teresa Is Dead (City Theater Company), the 25th & 26th annual Humana Festival of New American Plays (Actors Theater of Louisville). Film/TV: HBO’s The Wire, Blackout, and New York, I Love You. He graduated from Robison Secondary School and James Madison. He thanks his parents for ... everything. Back

Stephanie MartignettiSTEPHANIE MARTIGNETTI (Vivian) is thrilled to make her Arena Stage debut and to be a part of Oklahoma! Tours credits: Mary Poppins (u/s Mrs. Banks), A Chorus Line (Maggie, u/s Cassie), Oklahoma! Off-Broadway: Me and Miss Monroe. Regional: Hairspray (Amber), Forum (Philia). B.F.A., Penn State. Many thanks to CTG, parents, family and friends! Back

Cara MasseyCARA MASSEY (Gertie, Aunt Eller u/s) is thrilled to be back at Arena. In New York, Ms. Massey has been seen on Broadway in Legally Blonde and Off-Broadway in Ideal and I Married Wyatt Earp at 59E59 and Jurassic Parq: The Broadway Musical at the 2010 N.Y. Fringe Festival. She was also seen on the first national tour of Legally Blonde as well as the 63rd annual Tony Awards. A cowgirl at heart, Ms. Massey is a native of Dallas, Texas, and a proud graduate of the Univ. of Michigan musical theater department. She thanks TGC, Matt Farnsworth, Nina, Rudd, Anna Banana, Jerrit, Mom, Dad and Jake for their unending love and support. Back

Hugh NeesHUGH NEES (Andrew Carnes) last appeared at Arena Stage in A Time to Kill and Oklahoma! Other Arena shows include Christmas Carol 1941, Awake and Sing!, Born Yesterday, Shakespeare in Hollywood, Polk County, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and You Can’t Take It with You. Twice nominated for a Helen Hayes Award, Mr. Nees has performed on various stages in the Washington area for more than 20 years, including last season’s Dirty Blonde at Signature, Shakespeare Theater’s King Lear, The Heavens Are Hung in Black at Ford’s, and Alice and One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest at Round House. He’s a member of Actors’ Equity, SAG, and AFTRA and holds a B.A. in theater arts from Santa Clara Univ., Calif. Back

Cyana PaolantonioCYANA PAOLANTONIO (Ellen) is overjoyed to return to Arena after performing in the Helen Hayes multi-awarded Oklahoma!last fall. Before moving to Los Angeles, Ms. Paolantonio had numerous Washington appearances, including Knuffle Bunny(HHA nom, MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Musical) and The Phantom Tollbooth at Kennedy Center, and Good Night Moon at Adventure (HHA nom, Outstanding Ensemble). In New York, she directed For Risk of Safety and performed at Village Theater in Williamsburg! The Musical and Petite Rouge (NYMF Award for Excellence). She also dances with The Garage Girls a Go-Go, a group that performs with Steven Van Zandt and bands under his label, The Underground Garage. Favorite events include Rockers on Broadway (with Donnie Kehr), A Night to Remember (with Little Steven, Bruce Springsteen, and The Rascals), as well as various concerts around the country, on VH1 and BET. Love and thanks to Michael, Molly, Parker and George for making this an amazing experience! Back

Annie PetersmeyerANNIE PETERSMEYER (Virginia, Ado Annie u/s) is thrilled to be returning to Arena. Ms. Petersmeyer has performed regionally at the Shubert New Haven (featured dancer in Ticket to Ride), Fulton Opera House (Ethel in 42nd Street), Northern Stage (Silly Girl in Beauty and the Beast and Tango Dancer in Evita), and Carousel Dinner Theater (Pauline/Anybodys cover). Ms. Petersmeyer received her B.M. in musical theater from FSU! Back

Kristyn PopeKRISTYN POPE (Aggie, Dream Laurey u/s) sends love to family, friends, teachers, and the entire Oklahoma! company, with special thanks to Paul, Molly, Parker, Ashley and Arena Stage for this opportunity! Broadway and N.Y. credits include 42nd Street (revival), Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular(Rockette/Swing). Ms. Pope has also appeared regionally in Sophisticated Ladies (Arena Stage), My One and Only, The Producers, Anything Goes, Cabaret, Singin’ in the Rain, Yankee Doodle, and Hello, Dolly! She holds a B.A. psychology from Northwestern Univ. Agape … PS 100. Back

Aaron RameyAARON RAMEY (Jud Fry) is thrilled to return to Arena Stage! He recently closed the national tour of the Lincoln Center production of South Pacific as Lt. Joseph Cable. Broadway: Curtains, Young Frankenstein, Thoroughly Modern Millie (original cast). Other national tours: Sweet Charity, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. NYC: A Tale of Two Cities(workshop), Take Flight (workshop), The Woman Upstairs (NYMF). Regional: Carousel (Barrington Stage); The Three Musketeers (Chicago Shakespeare); Shenandoah (Ford’s Theatre); Songs for a New World, ...World Goes Round(Alpine Theatre Project); A Little Night Music, Oklahoma! (Pittsburgh CLO); Sweeney Todd (CenterStage); Miss Saigon, 1776 (Paper Mill); West Side Story (AMTSJ). TV: Kings, New Amsterdam, Guiding Light, All My Children, As The World Turns.Proud member of Actors’ Equity. Back

Alvon ReedALVON REED (Jess) hails from Los Angeles, Calif., and this is his first production at Arena Stage. He has played featured roles in Theatre of Cedar Rapids productions of Smokey Joe’s Café and Cabaret. He was also very fortunate to have danced with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre during their New York season at City Center in Alvin Ailey’s ballet Memoria. Since then, Alvon has performed in the Caribbean and the Hawaiian Islands with Norwegian Cruise Lines. Mr. Reed has also performed lead roles with Inland Pacific Ballet, Nevada Ballet Theatre, Florida Dance Theatre and Jennifer Muller/The Works. He recently performed with Liza Minnelli on the TV Land Awards show in her rendition of “New York, New York.” Back

Shane RhoadesSHANE RHOADES (Fred, Dance Captain, Fight Captain) performed on Broadway in The Boy from Oz starring Hugh Jackman and served as associate choreographer for the Broadway production of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.Off-Broadway he performed in Fame on 42nd Street. His national and international tours include Chicago, A Chorus Line, West Side Story, Pippin, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and Grinch. Regionally he performed the roles of Riff in West Side Story (St. Louis MUNY, Sacramento Music Circus), Mike in A Chorus Line (Paper Mill Playhouse), and Jimmy in Thoroughly Modern Millie (Media). He’s also performed at Goodspeed Opera House, Atlanta TOTS, Houston TUTS, North Shore Music Theater, and Kansas City Starlight. Back

Nicholas RodriguezNICHOLAS RODRIGUEZ (Curly) returns to Arena Stage as Curly, for which he received the 2010 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical. He has also appeared at Arena as Fabrizio Nacarelli in Light in the Piazza, and he participated in the Sundance Theatre Lab development of Like Water for Chocolate as Pedro Muzquiz opposite Chita Rivera and Lila Downs. On Broadway, he performed the title role in Tarzan, and Off-Broadway he has appeared in The Toxic Avenger, Almost Heaven, and Bajour. He has toured in Jesus Christ Superstar (Jesus), Evita (Che), and Hair (Claude). Regional: originating the role of Aaron and understudying Val Kilmer’s Moses in The Ten Commandments (Kodak Theatre), JCS (Jesus), Beauty and the Beast (Gaston), Damn Yankees (Joe), Cinderella (Prince), South Pacific(Cable), Master Class (Tony), Love! Valour! Compassion! (Ramon), and The King & I (Lun Tha). Last summer, he was seen in the film Sex and the City 2 and featured on the film’s soundtrack. Mr. Rodriguez is perhaps best known for his portrayal of Nick Chavez on ABC’s One Life to Live, for which he received a GLAAD Media Award. When not on stage, he is incredibly proud to be on the faculty of the Broadway Dreams Foundation ( Mr. Rodriguez holds a B.M. and M.M. in vocal performance from Univ. of Texas at Austin. Back

Vincent Rodriguez IIIVINCENT RODRIGUEZ III (Sam, Ali Hakim u/s) is so happy to be back doing Oklahoma! Yeow! NY: Honor as Yoshiro(Prospect). TV: The Onion News, All My Children. National: Xanadu, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas (original cast & recording), 42nd Street, Pippin (Goodspeed). Regional: West Side Story, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Jesus Christ Superstar, Crazy for You. “Again, many thanks to team Oklahoma for having me back at Arena Stage. Thanks to Jim Flynn and my family and friends for being there for me.” Proud graduate of PCPA Theaterfest. Member of Actors’ Equity.

June SchreinerJUNE SCHREINER (Ado Annie) is absolutely having the time of her life. She is a rising senior at the Madeira School – Go Snails! After two summers at the Arena Academy and one winter in Oklahoma!, she is so excited to be back. Thank you so much to Molly, Parker, and George and thanks to everyone – the whole cast and crew. Y’all are amazing. Special love to her maw, paw and brother – the best darn family in the territory. In addition to training with Synetic, receiving coaching from the brilliant Ms. Lilia Slavova, and of course Oklahoma! round one, credits include Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Snow Queen, Hansel and Gretel (Synetic); Grey Gardens (Studio); Urinetown (RCP); and Little Women, directed by her purty-talkin’ paw! Back

Aaron UmstedAARON UMSTED (Swing, Dream Curly u/s) is originally from Durant, Okla., received a B.F.A. in musical theater from Univ. of Oklahoma and, for the first time, is doing the musical Oklahoma! He is so thankful and delighted to join this company and to be a part of this unbelievable production. When he was 16, Aaron started working at Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, and during college he spent four summers at Music Theatre of Wichita. After graduating, he went on to perform in Joseph... at Arvada Center in Denver, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and A Chorus Line at North Shore Music Theatre, and the national tour of A Chorus Line. Aaron also has a wonderful family, the funniest friends, and the most supportive mom and dad. Back

Kyle VaughnKYLE VAUGHN (Dream Curly, Mike, Curly u/s) is proud to be back at Arena Stage. Yeow! Regional credits: North Shore, Paper Mill Playhouse, TUTS, Music Theater West, 5th Avenue, Arvada Center, Lyric Theater. National Tours: All Shook Up! (Chad u/s) and Fame. Favorite credits: Catch Me If You Can, The Who’s Tommy (Tommy u/s), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Caleb), On the Town (Gabey u/s), Oklahoma! (Dream Curly), A Chorus Line (Mark), La Cage aux Folles(Phaedra) and Cats (Plato/Macavity). Coke Zero commercial and created a dance track for the new Disney cruise ship show Villains Tonight! Thanks to Molly, Parker and Paul. All love to Mom, Dad and B! Back

Cody WilliamsCODY WILLIAMS (Will Parker) is so grateful to be returning to Arena Stage for this revival of Oklahoma! Since receiving a Helen Hayes nomination for his performance, he has played Cosmo Brown in Westchester Broadway’s Singin’ in the Rain and Hiram Cohen in Roundabout’s workshop of Yank! Other credits: multiple shows at Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, West Virginia Public Theatre, Casa Mañana, and Atlanta Ballet. B.F.A. Univ. of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. He would like to thank his family, Nicolosi & Co., Parker, Molly, George, and everyone else who helped make this dream a reality. Back

Hollie E. WrightHOLLIE E. WRIGHT (Dream Laurey, Sylvie) is happy to return to Arena Stage in this revival of Oklahoma! On Broadway, she was a member of the ensemble, cover to and performed the leading role in Hot Feet. She has toured the 1st national tour of The Color Purple. Regionally Miss Wright has been seen in Sophisticated Ladies (Arena Stage), Countess Cathleen (Arden Theater), and Jesus Christ Superstar Gospel (Alliance Theater). Her TV and film credits include The Great Observer, Standing at the Edge, web series, and The Today Show. She is a proud graduate of University of the Arts with a B.F.A. in dance education. Thank you family, friends, and mentors for believing. LOVE and LIGHT. Back

Jessica WuJESSICA WU (Kate) is so excited to be back at Arena Stage! Broadway: A Chorus Line (Connie). National Tours: Tommy Tune’s Dr. Dolittle, Miss Saigon, The King and I with Sandy Duncan, The Wizard of Oz, and the first national revival company of A Chorus Line. Regional: Pittsburgh CLO, Houston TUTS, PTC Utah, KC Starlight, Baltimore Center Stage. Bachelor of Music, Steinhardt NYU. So many thanks to my wonderfully supportive family and friends, and a special love to Bill, my T-Rex. Back

Creative Team

RICHARD RODGERS (Music) & OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN II (Book & Lyrics), after distinguished careers with other collaborators, joined forces to create the most consistently fruitful and successful partnership in musical theater. Before Hammerstein, Rodgers (1902-79) collaborated with lyricist Lorenz Hart on musical comedies that epitomized the wit and sophistication of Broadway’s heyday. From the ’20s into the ’40s, Rodgers & Hart wrote more than 40 shows and film scores, including On Your Toes, Babes in Arms, The Boys from Syracuse, I Married an Angel and Pal Joey. In the same era, Hammerstein (1895-1960) brought new life to the operetta. His collaborations with composers Rudolf Friml, Sigmund Romberg and Vincent Youmans resulted in such classics as The Desert Song, Rose-Marie, and The New Moon. With Jerome Kern he wrote Show Boat, the 1927 operetta that changed the course of musical theater. His last musical before his exclusive partnership with Rodgers was Carmen Jones, the acclaimed 1943 all-black revision of Carmen. Oklahoma!, the first Rodgers & Hammerstein musical, was also the first of a new genre: the musical play, a unique fusion of musical comedy and operetta. A milestone in the development of the musical, it also marked the beginning of the most successful partnership in Broadway musical history and was followed by Carousel, Allegro, South Pacific, The King and I, Me and Juliet, Pipe Dream, Flower Drum Song and The Sound of Music. Rodgers & Hammerstein wrote one musical for film, State Fair, and one for TV, Cinderella. Collectively, their musicals earned 35 Tonys, 15 Oscars, two Pulitzers, two Grammys, and two Emmys. After Hammerstein’s death, Rodgers continued to write. His first solo entry, No Strings, earned him two Tonys for music and lyrics and was followed by Do I Hear a Waltz?, Two by Two, Rex and I Remember Mama. Rodgers died less than eight months after his last musical opened on Broadway, and in March 1990, Broadway’s 46th St. Theater was renamed in his honor. Back

MOLLY SMITH (Director, Artistic Director). Over the past 13 seasons, Molly Smith has been instrumental in leading the reinvention of Arena Stage. From the programming to the architecture to the envisioning of the Kogod Cradle, Ms. Smith has focused her creative life on building this new Center for American Theater. This reinvention has been part of a major artistic change as well, into the production, presentation, development, and study of American theater that leads Arena into the 21st century. Ms. Smith has been a passionate leader in new play development for the past 30 years while at Arena Stage as well as at Perseverance Theatre in Alaska, the theater she founded and led for 19 years. She has commissioned or championed numerous world premieres, including Paula Vogel’s Pulitzer Prize-winning How I Learned to Drive and Mineola Twins; Tim Acito’s The Women of Brewster Place; Moisés Kaufman’s 33 Variations; Charles Randolph-Wright’s Blue; Zora Neale Hurston’s lost American play, Polk County; Karen Zacarías’ Legacy of Light; and Passion Play, a cycle by Sarah Ruhl; some of which she has directed. She founded Arena’s downstairs series, which has read or workshopped some 60 plays, half of which have gone on to full productions. In 2009, two shows nurtured at Arena Stage (33 Variations and Next to Normal) moved to Broadway. Ms. Smith’s directorial work has also been seen at the Shaw Festival in Canada, Berkeley Rep, Trinity Rep, Tarragon Theatre in Toronto, and Centaur Theatre in Montreal and includes classics such as South Pacific, Mack and Mabel, Anna Christie and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Ms. Smith has served as literary advisor to Sundance Theatre Lab and formed the Arena Stage Writers Council, composed of leading American playwrights. An avid traveler, Ms. Smith brings artists of international renown to work at Arena Stage and has served as a member of the board of the Theatre Communications Group as well as the Center for International Theatre Development. She directed two feature films, Raven’s Blood and Making Contact, and received honorary doctorates from both Towson and American universities. Back

PARKER ESSE (Choreographer) is honored to return for the remount of Oklahoma!, for which he received a Helen Hayes Award for best choreography. He was choreographer for the world premiere of Christmas Carol 1941, The Mystery of Irma Vep, The Light in the Piazza and assistant choreographer/performer for South Pacific (Helen Hayes nomination), Camelot, Damn Yankees and Animal Crackers at Arena Stage. He also choreographed the world premiere of Katie Couric’s The Brand New Kid (Kennedy Center). Mr. Esse served as associate choreographer for the Tony-nominated revival of Finian’s Rainbow (Broadway); A Tale of Two Cities (Broadway); 101 Dalmatians(national tour); and for Finian’s Rainbow, On the Town and Girl Crazy (N.Y. City Center’s Encores!). He was associate director/choreographer for Lucky Guy (Goodspeed) and assistant choreographer for Stairway to Paradise and Juno (N.Y. City Center’s Encores!); Mame (Kennedy Center); Dancing in the Dark (Old Globe); Mack and Mabel (Shaw Festival Canada); Pirates! and Babes in Arms (Goodspeed); Pirates! (Paper Mill); and the film Deception, starring Hugh Jackman. As performer, Mr. Esse was featured in Fosse (Broadway) with Ben Vereen, Bebe Neuwirth and Ann Reinking. Thank you Molly, George, Sue and Baayork for your constant support over the years. Maria and Jaden, this is for you. Back

GEORGE FULGINITI-SHAKAR (Music Director) is delighted to return to Arena Stage, where he was awarded the prestigious Helen Hayes Award for this acclaimed production. He also received a Helen Hayes Award for Arena’s Cabaret as well as seven additional award nominations. Other Arena credits include The Fantasticks, Christmas Carol 1941, Damn Yankees, Camelot, South Pacific, Candide, and Animal Crackers. Locally, George has also been music director for Studio Theatre, Shakespeare, Kennedy Center, and Imagination Stage. Regionally Mr. Fulginiti-Shakar has appeared at the Public Theater in New York, Huntington Theater in Boston, Perseverance Theater in Juneau, Alaska, and Athens Theater Festival in Greece. He’s on the teaching faculties of the Studio Acting Conservatory and the Theater Lab and chairs the board of DC Cabaret Network. Back

EUGENE LEE (Set Designer) has been the production designer at Saturday Night Live since 1974. He holds B.F.A. degrees from Art Institute of Chicago and Carnegie Mellon, an M.F.A. from Yale, and three honorary doctorates. He’s received the Tony Award, American Theater Wing’s Design Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Drama Desk Award, Lucille Lortel Award, Elliot Norton Prize for Sustained Achievement, and Pell Award. He was recently inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame. He lives with his wife, Brooke, in Providence, where they raised their two sons. Back

MARTIN PAKLEDINAZ (Costume Designer) is represented this season on Broadway with Anything Goes (Best Revival of a Musical and a Tony nomination for Best Costumes), The Normal Heart (Best Revival of a Play), and Master Class with Tyne Daly, which originated at the Kennedy Center. Other Broadway credits include Lend Me a Tenor; Blithe Spirit; Gypsy with Patti LuPone; Thoroughly Modern Millie; Kiss Me, Kate; The Pajama Game; and others. He has designed for major opera houses in the U.S. and Europe, including the Metropolitan Opera, Washington Opera, Sante Fe Opera, Seattle Opera, Salzburg Festival, and Paris Opéra/Bastille and will be working with Peter Sellars this January at Teatro Real in Madrid. His work in dance includes major works by Mark Morris, Helgi Tomasson, George Balanchine, Kent Stowell, and Christopher Wheeldon. He is currently designing sets and costumes for a new production of Don Quixotefor Helgi Tomasson and San Francisco Ballet. Awards include two Tonys, as well as Drama Desk, Lortel, Henry Hewes, Obie, Irene Sharaff Young Master, Helen Hayes, Michael Merritt, and others. Back

MICHAEL GILLIAM (Lighting Designer) Broadway: Big River, Stand-Up Tragedy, Brooklyn. West End: Gershwin Alone. Off-Broadway: Blue; End of the World Party; Zooman and the Sign; Menopause, The Musical. National Tour: Guys and Dolls, Big River. Regional: Arena Stage, Globe Theaters, Mark Taper Forum, Seattle Rep, Goodman, Guthrie, Pasadena Playhouse, Geffen, Kennedy Center, Ford’s, Philadelphia Theater Company, Prince Music Theater, Denver Center, Arizona Theater Company. Awards: Los Angeles Ovation awards, Drama-Logue awards, Garland awards and the 1999 Career Achievement Award from the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle. Back

TIMOTHY M. THOMPSON (Sound Designer), a native Washingtonian, has designed for theater and the Smithsonian Institution, and spent the past 20 years as sound department head at Arena Stage. Recent Arena designs: Oklahoma!; Sophisticated Ladies; Stick Fly; The Fantasticks; Crowns; A Delicate Balance; The Goat; Proof; A Man’s a Man; Book of Days; South Pacific; The Misanthrope; Anthems; A Moon for the Misbegotten; On the Jump; Blues in the Night; Of Mice and Men; and K2. Mr. Thompson has received Hayes noms for You Can’t Take It with You and The Revengers’ Comedies. Other designs: The Blue Room (Signature); Life in Refusal, Via Dolorosa and The Ride Down Mt. Morgan (Theater J); Voir Dire (Long Wharf); Saki Operas (DiCapo); Life Is a Dream (Univ. of Maryland); and work on Jitney in New York. Back

PAUL HUNTLEY (Wig & Hair Design), London born, is a special Tony Award winner and Drama Desk recipient. Mr. Huntley has worked on hundreds of Broadway projects since arriving in this country in 1972. His projects have included Cats; Amadeus; Kiss Me, Kate; The Producers; and Hairspray. He’s also worked with some of the most talented leading ladies of the American cinema, including Bette Davis, Vivien Leigh, Mae West, Glenn Close, Angela Lansbury and Jessica Lange. Recent Broadway: A Little Night Music, Leap of Faith, Free Man of Color, Patti LuPone in Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. Back

DAVID LEONG (Fight Choreographer). Arena Stage: A View from the Bridge, Death of a Salesman, The Mystery of Irma Vep, The Quality of Life, Legacy of Light, The Odyssey, I Am a Man, Coming of the Hurricane. Broadway: Billy Elliott, The Civil War, Carousel, Company, Hamlet, Macbeth, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, King Hedley II, Picnic, Sex and Longing, The Rainmaker, A Delicate Balance, The Homecoming, In the Summer House. Off-Broadway: more than 70 productions for Lincoln Center, NYTW, MTC, Public, Playwrights Horizons, and Second Stage. Regional: Shakespeare Theater, Mark Taper, Guthrie, Goodman, ART, ACT, Yale Rep, Long Wharf, Hartford Stage, CenterStage, Seattle Rep, Alley, Williams town, and many more. Mr. Leong is chair and professor of theater at Virginia Commonwealth Univ. Back

ANITA MAYNARD-LOSH (Asst. Director, Dir. of Community Engagement) leads the theater’s education and outreach programs. She trained and taught at American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, was on the faculty at Webster Univ. in St. Louis, headed the theater department at Univ. of Alaska Southeast, and was associate artistic director of Perseverance in Juneau, Alaska, where she directed 18 main-stage productions. The Alaska Native-inspired production of Macbeth that Ms. Maynard-Losh conceived and directed was performed in English and Tlingit at the National Museum of the American Indian as part of the Shakespeare in Washington Festival. She’s directed readings of new plays at Arena Stage and Kennedy Center and has been assistant director, dialect coach and vocal consultant on numerous productions. at Arena Stage. She was the dialect coach on the musical Ragtime at the Kennedy Center and on the recent Broadway production. Back

ASHLEY YEATER (Asst. Choreographer) is thrilled to be back with the Oklahoma! family at Arena Stage. She was recently seen on the stage in the ensemble of Follies at Kennedy Center. Other credits include Broadway’s The Producers (Usherette). National Tours: A Chorus Line (Sheila), Chicago (Hunyak), The Producers (Usherette), Cats (Bombalurina), Footloose (Ariel). Regional: On the Town at City Center Encores! and Dancing in the Dark at Old Globe in San Diego. Love and thanks to family and friends for your constant support. Back

SUSAN R. WHITE (Stage Manager) is thrilled to be working with artistic director Molly Smith. Ms. White is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association. Back

JENNA HENDERSON (Stage Manager) is delighted to be back in the territory! At Arena Stage she was the assistant stage manager for Ruined, Oklahoma! 2010, The Light in the Piazza, Stick Fly, and Legacy of Light and stage manager for R. Buckminster Fuller. Other Washington credits: The Comedy of Errors at Folger Theatre, The Little Dog Laughed at Signature Theatre, Shining City and My Children! My Africa! at Studio Theatre, and Night Must Fall, The Heiress, and The Underpants at Olney Theatre Center. Back

TARYN FRIEND (Asst. Stage Manager). Oklahoma! marks Ms. Friend’s first production with Arena Stage. Other regional credits include 1776 (spring 2012), Ford’s Theatre Gala 2011, Liberty Smith, Little Shop of Horrors, Road from Appomattox, One Destiny, Living Lincoln Series, A Christmas Carol (2005-08), Meet John Doe, State of the Union, Shenandoah, and Leading Ladies at Ford’s Theatre; Snow White, Rose Red and Fred, Barrio Grrrl!, and Unleashed! at Kennedy Center; Hairspray (winter 2011), The Visit, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Merrily We Roll Along, The Witches of Eastwick at Signature Theatre; and The Vibrator Play, or In the Next Room at Woolly Mammoth. She is a graduate of Univ. of Mary Washington and a proud member of Actors’ Equity. Back

STUART HOWARD, AMY SCHECTER & PAUL HARDT (New York Casting) have cast hundreds of shows over the past 25 years in the U.S., Canada, and Great Britain. Among their favorites: Broadway’s August: Osage County, Gypsy (Tyne Daly), Chicago (Bebe Neuwirth, Ann Reinking), Sly Fox (Richard Dreyfuss), Fortune’s Fool (Alan Bates, Frank Langella), and the original La Cage aux Folles and Off-Broadway’s I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change and The Normal Heart. They are the casting directors for the productions of Twyla Tharp’s Come Fly Away and West Side Story, both recently on Broadway. Back

JANINE SOBECK (ProductionDramaturg) has been the dramaturg of multiple productions, including The Light in the Piazza, Stick Fly, The Quality of Life, Looped, A Delicate Balance and The Mystery of Irma Vep and producer of the downstairs new play series. Ms. Sobeck has an M.A. from Brigham Young Univ., where she worked as the dramaturgy supervisor for the undergraduate program, developing new dramaturgy courses as well working as a production dramaturg. Back

American Voices

Molly Smith
and Edgar Dobie

“When we first opened Oklahoma! last fall, audiences couldn’t get enough of it, and it was difficult to have to turn people away at the box office,” shares Executive Producer Edgar Dobie. “Even though it was playing to an average of 99% capacity each performance, we couldn’t extend to meet demand this winter due to the next incoming show in the Fichandler. However, we’re so pleased to bring it back again this summer.”

Smith adds, “The optimism and drive of the characters exploring a new frontier matched the ambition Arena Stage staff felt as we opened our new theater complex. It was thrilling that audiences shared that enthusiasm and supported our inaugural production in our new home.”



Creative Team