NBW Theater Arts Program heads down South with ‘Oklahoma!’


Jimmy Karolek

Leads (from left to right) Zach Karolek, Bailey Pietsch, and Aubrey Trecek pratice their lines for the musical Oklahoma!, opening on December 5th.

Jimmy Karolek, Staff Writer

Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! is a musical that takes place in the Oklahoma territory before it was a state. On December 5th, 6th , and 7th , the New Berlin West Theater Arts Program (TAP) is going to be preforming Oklahoma! for this year’s musical.

The musical starts when the lead role, Curly, played by sophomore, Zach Karolek, shows up to Laurey’s farm trying to woo her and get her to go out to the dance with him.

“Curly is the man of the town, and he always seems to be making jokes,” said Karolek. “He’s a swagger character looking to get with Laurey.”

Laurey, played by senior Aubrey Trecek, is the lady of Oklahoma. “She loves Curley through the whole musical.” Trecek stated. “The problem is she doesn’t want to seem too easy, she wants to stay her own person. So, she starts to date Jud Fry but doesn’t like him, which in turn, throws her into Curley’s arms.”

But with all stage romances, there has to be someone in the way. Jud Fry is played by sophomore Dan Jasinskey. He tells us, “Jud is a quiet and mean guy that is also kind of a pervert. He works on the farm that Laurey lives on, who he also happens to be in love with.”

At rehearsal, everyone gives it their all to memorize the script for production week, a week before the musical.

“The cast has great chemistry and I’m looking forward to the year,” Hunter Leathers, who plays Will, said.

There were many things that the actors and actresses listed as challenges to playing their roles. They included the time period, the accent, the dialect they use, the personality, and the differences in personalities from their roles in the past.

Choosing the musicals that the TAP puts on is always put on the director.

“I have to look at three things when I choose a musical: Are my staff and extended staff interested, is it memorable, and do we have the talent for the show?” said director Judith Smith. “Casting is a real talent, especially for musicals. I have to see if they can act or sing; if they can sing, I can teach them how to act, but experience is always helpful. I also have to see if they look the part.”

Some stand out scenes are present in this show, including fights and kissing. “We try to do something new every year,” said Smith. “It keeps it interesting for all of us. For example, we are using strip lights to make our sunsets look real.”