The OU School of Musical Theater has announced its programming for the 2021-2022 season. The two main stage shows will be “She loves Me“in the fall and”Reinette apple“In the spring, as well as the third production of the Downtown series,”A new brain. “
School of Musical Theater Principal Ashton Byrum said that in choosing the musicals for the year, the program’s class officers discussed with their peers to choose three musicals to submit to Byrum for review. He also said they wanted students to be excited about the shows, especially given the time they spend preparing for them, which is an integral part of life at the School of Musical Theater.
Byrum took the shows suggested by the students in addition to consulting with faculty and Dean Mary Margaret Holt, who produces throughout the season, to set the lineup for this musical season.
The School of Musical Theater talks with the School of Dramatic Arts to determine production logistics and programming, Byrum said. The School Of Drama houses all aspects of show design and production, such as costumes and lighting design, and works on other college shows including plays, ballets and operas in addition musical theater.
Byrum said he also always checked with Max Weitzenhoffer, the School of Musical Theater’s namesake and Broadway producer, to make sure he thought the productions were a good fit and the shows were fair.
The School of Musical Theater tries to expose its performers to a range of shows that vary in performance style, writing style, musical style and period.
âMy philosophy is over four years, musical theater majors should be exposed to many different genres of performance,â Byrum said.
COVID-19 has led the School of Musical Theater to make security adjustments this year, such as hosting smaller shows with additional masks and safety protocols. The live broadcast has been a positive addition to the school as many can now watch shows that they might not normally have attended due to the pandemic.
âPippin,â a contemporary dance musical that was recently relaunched on Broadway, is a larger show that the School of Musical Theater will host, which Byrum says has taken a few more side meetings to determine logistics and timing, but was a cause for further excitement on the part of the students.
âThis should be a great season, it’s such a great way to celebrate coming back to the theater,â Byrum said.