‘Oklahoma!’ sweeps through Forest Park

Photos by Matthew Crane.

Forest Park High School thespians will present the musical classic Oklahoma! this week.

The Forest Park production directed by Chuck Bradley is based on Lynn Riggs’ 1931 play, Green Grow the Lilacs, which tells the story of farm girl Laurey Williams and her courtship by two rival suitors, cowboy Curly McLain and the sinister farmhand Jud Fry. A secondary romance between cowboy Will Parker and his flirtatious fiancĂ©e, Ado Annie Carnes, plays in the background of the drama.

Composer Richard Rodgers and Librettist Oscar Hammerstein II received a Pulitzer for their production after it opened on Broadway in March of 1944. In Oklahoma!, the pair were the first to weave together character, song and dance in pursuit of dramatic and cohesive storytelling.

While the story of love is universal, the capacious songs from Oklahoma! have remained a popular part of pop culture. Attendees will find it difficult not to sing along to these songs now embedded in our cultural identity.

Shows are Thursday through Saturday, March 9, 10 and 11 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 12 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and can be purchased at door or from cast members.

Here are some photos from Tuesday’s dress rehearsal.

Aunt Eller (played by Kennedy Staton) looks on as Curly (played by Eli Burg) leaves, rejected by Laurey (played by Lizzy LaGrange), after he asks her to accompany him to the Box Social.
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s production was the first musical to use song and dance to advance the plot.
Ali Hakim (a traveling peddler played by Isaiah Marx) entices Laurey with a magic potion that he says will reveal her true love. Seeing a way out of the dilemma her two suitors present, she purchases the potion.
As the romantic twists between Ado Annie Carnes (played by Ella Hopf on right) and Ali Hakim (played by Isaiah Marx) come to light, Ado Annie’s father, Andrew Carnes (played by Miles Welp), tries to make Ali an honest man after he hears of the two’s traipsing around together.
Tyler Oser (who plays Cord Elam) receives a haircut from Lance Boeglin during the song ‘It’s a Scandal!, It’s a Outrage!’ as the cowboys prepare for the social.
Preying upon Jud’s (Kenan Erwin) loneliness, Curly (Berg) attempts to entice him into a bit of posthumous popularity during this scene featuring the song, ‘Poor Jud is Daid’.

The cast, in order of appearance, includes:

  • Aunt Eller – Kennedy Staton
  • Curly – Eli Berg
  • Laurey – Elizabeth LaGrange
  • Ike Skidmore – Kale Brames
  • Fred – Jacob Keller
  • Slim – John DeWitte
  • Will Parker – Gavin Winkler
  • Jud – Kenan Erwin
  • Ado Annie Carnes – Ella Hopf
  • Ali Hakim – Isaiah Marx
  • Gertie Cummings – Shelby Altman
  • Ellen – Emma LaGrange
  • Kate – Rae Tsai
  • Vivian – Sara Hamilton
  • Virginia – Raven Jackson
  • Andrew Carnes – Miles Welp
  • Cord Elam – Tyler Oser
  • Mike – Collin Lorey
  • Joe – Ethan Goldman


  • Director – Chuck Bradley
  • Assistant Director – Leslie Blume
  • Choreography – Leslie Blume, Haley Lorey, Lance Libbert
  • Stage Manager – Kelsey Hernandez
  • Musical Assistant – Abbagail Collignon
  • Lighting – Ruby Schepers
  • Sound – Lydia Devillez
  • Sets/Painting – Miles Welp and Company
  • Graphics – Haven Weyer
  • Video – Yuletide Media

Company members include: Adison Begle, Lance Boeglin, Amber Cunningham, Kayla Corbett, Grace Englert, Rose Kerkhoff, Gavin Kieper, Ellaina Lehmkuhler, Haley Lorey, Owen Martin, Aubrey Mullis, Jaida Verkamp, Grace Weigel, Nora Welp and Brooklyn Whitecotton