Lead actors in 'Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella' Musical look forward to production April 18-20


April 12, 2024

Joining Emily Smith, who is cast in the title role of "Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella" musical April 18-20 In Northwestern's Herod Hall Auditorium, are (clockwise from left) Audree Leon, Joshua Longhurst, Lisiate Ofiu, Sadie Longhurst, Quinn Goss and Breaker Bradt.

As the anticipation builds for the upcoming production of "Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella" musical presented by the Northwestern Oklahoma State University Reichenberger Department of Fine Arts April 18-20, two talented seniors majoring in vocal music will bring the lead roles to life.

Set to captivate audiences with their remarkable talent and chemistry, Emily Smith and Jameson Hale stand poised to deliver unforgettable performances in this highly anticipated musical.

Smith of Harrah will step into the glass slippers of Ella.

"Cinderella rehearsals have been in full swing!" Smith said. "It's been a blast to see the storyline come together while working with such a talented cast. From most evenings to Sunday afternoons, you can be sure to find the Cinderella cast working on choreography, working scenes, or memorizing lines."

Jameson Hale of Elk City is set to embody the character of Prince Topher after many successful rehearsals with a talented cast.

"I've enjoyed every step of this journey, and I'm looking forward to putting the pieces of the puzzle together," Hale said. "Our cast is phenomenal. We have cast members from elementary school to retired. It's enlightening to work with some new faces and to carry on with my best friends from past shows. I believe this will be one of the most impactful musicals northwest Oklahoma has seen in a long time. The Rodgers and Hammerstein version of 'Cinderella' hits right at home, and the music will indeed tug on the heartstrings of the audience. The cast has connected with this show in ways we never thought was possible."

Smith, who may be best known for holding the Miss Northwestern 2023 title and winning a Rookie Talent Award in the Miss Oklahoma Pageant, has been participating in theatre at Northwestern for three years.

"Music Man was my first production ever, and I instantly fell in love with theatre!" she said. "What hooked me was the pure dedication and grit that goes into creating a character and getting to play on stage while creating a story. It's really something so unique and fun."

In June Smith will turn her attention to competing for a second time at Miss Oklahoma after winning the title of Miss Tulsa County.

"I graduate in December, so depending on where life takes me, it will determine if I choose to compete again," Smith said. "The leadership skills, confidence, and scholarships that I've gained from competing at Miss Oklahoma, though, are hard to say no to as they have been a huge blessing to my life."

Hale, who is no stranger to being cast as a lead prince, has been involved in theater for 10 years, beginning when he auditioned for the Elk City High School production of "Beauty and the Beast" where he would take on the role of Gaston.

"I love theatre, and I love what it can offer to me, the cast, and anyone who comes to watch," he said. "Theatre brings all aspects of music and acting into a collaborative story-telling experience that an audience can't get anywhere else."

As for what Smith is looking forward to with this production, she said she is excited for the audiences to watch this production as it has a deeper storyline than what people would first assume.

"The more we dive deeper into the dialogue and music for this production, there are many times that the cast members find themselves deeply relating to each character's story and situation, and I'm so excited for the Alva community to experience this as well," she said. "Most of all, I am excited for the unity of community that this musical will bring. The 'Cinderella' cast encompasses ages beginning from 8 years old to senior adults. It is so cool to see the connections made between individuals who would've probably never known each other if it wasn't for this production. This musical is a beautiful story of love, unity, and possibility, with some great laughs included."

Hale said he is looking forward to spreading the beautiful message of love, acceptance, and having a voice in this world no matter the financial status. He added he believes everyone deserves inclusion and the opportunity to cooperate harmoniously in this world.

He's also excited that the production is once again bringing in a live orchestra.

"I can't wait to bring this show to life," he said. "It's so much more than just a musical; it's a message that will resonate with anyone who attends. Trust me when I say, you do not want to miss this production."

Tickets for this production may be purchased online at https://bit.ly/43AUFV8. General admission is $15, university employees are $10, and students with a current ID are $5. Show times are 7 p.m. on April 18-19 and 2 p.m. on April 20.

For more information on theatre performances and courses in the Department of Fine Arts at Northwestern, contact Kimberly Weast, professor of theatre arts and chair of the department, at 580-327-8462 or [email protected] or see more info at http://www.nwosu.edu/fine-arts.


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