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Fall, spring theater productions announced

On August 31, 2010

The OU theater department recently held auditions for their first two shows "Almost, Maine" and a musical, "Urinetown."

Director Julie Noonan is excited about this year. The department is expanding and taking on the challenge of four shows instead of the normal three.

OU's large enrollment for this year has given the theater room to try bigger things. "Urinetown" is a satirical show that tackles the effects of a water shortage with catchy musical numbers.

"The very big enrollment in music influenced my choice in the musical. We've got all these singers. We want to keep them busy," Noonan said.

The larger enrollment and larger shows may have a different effect on students who work in the theater department. There will be more competition. Larger casts. More flexible casting. They will have to work harder.

Gary Shelton, a senior from Independence, MO will have more behind the scenes assignments this year.

"I'm going to be busier helping design the set, actually building the sets and helping with the Saturday workdays," he said. "But the number of new students will help in making the job less difficult. "

Veteran actors are also gearing up for this the heavier workload. Senior Megan Redden sees the extra show as an opportunity to flex her acting muscles.

"I'm excited about all of [the plays]," she said. "l think it will be a great opportunity to diversify and utilize our department, actors and crew."

The larger shows and casts may make some room for more advanced sets and effects starting with the first play.

"We're working on something very special. Its very expensive but we're hoping that we can get it in the budget and actually get it done because it'll make the difference." Shelton said.

Everyone will have a chance to get their first look at OU's expanding theater starting September 30th when "Almost, Maine" opens.

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