Oklahoma ‘okay’ for student production

10:23 am March 5th, 2014

By Pat Jenkins
The Dispatch
Neither Cindy Johnson nor Tessa Rorup knew much about “Oklahoma” until it was chosen as the next student stage production at Eatonville High School. Now they’re singing its praises.
Anyone who grew up knowing the story and songs of “Oklahoma” can understand if there’s a disconnect between it and today’s teenagers. The cast and crew that will present three shows March 6-8 in the school’a auditorium were born more than 50 years after the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical made its Broadway debut in 1943, and 40-plus years after the movie version showed up in theaters in 1955 and won two Academy Awards.
Johnson, who is one of the female leads (along with Rorup) in the Eatonville production, wasn’t familiar with the legendary musical until watching filmed stage productions of it. She liked it almost immediately and has gained a bigger fondness since the drama students began their four-days-a-week rehearsals in January.
“It should be a really good time for the audience,” said Johnson, who in the role of Laurey does a lot of singing, which she likes. “I’ve been acting and singing since I was 8 years old,” she noted.
Rorup, who started acting two years ago when she was a sophomore, plays the scandalous Abo Annie. It’s the first time Rorup has been cast as someone other than “the sweet, innocent girl. I’m enjoying it,” she said. And she predicted audiences will enjoy “going back in time” to the days of cowboys and pett

Cindy Johnson dances with Eli Alderink during a rehearsal for the musical "Okaholma." (Jim Bryant/The Dispatch)

Cindy Johnson dances with Eli Alderink during a rehearsal for the musical “Okaholma.” (Jim Bryant/The Dispatch)

Shows will be at 7 p.m. March 6, 7 and 8. Tickets are on sale for $12 (students and seniors) and $15 (all other adults).

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