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GTA to perform Oklahoma!

Paramours Laurey and Curly will be playing out their love story in the early 20th century West in upcoming performances of "Oklahoma!"

The Gainesville Theatre Alliance (GTA) will present the award-winning Broadway musical "Oklahoma!"  Nov. 4 through Nov. 15, with a behind-the-scenes tour on Oct. 21. The first musical by the celebrated team of Rogers & Hammerstein, "Oklahoma!" will be performed in Brenau University’s Hosch Theatre in the John S. Burd Center at 429 Academy St., Gainesville.

GTA is a nationally acclaimed collaboration of the University of Georgia (UNG), Brenau University, theater professionals and the North Georgia community.

Set in western Indian Territory in 1906, the high-spirited rivalry between the local farmers and cowboys provides the colorful background against which Curly, a handsome cowboy, and Laurey, a winsome farm girl, play out their love story.

Barbara Hartwig, the guest director and choreographer of the musical, has performed on Broadway, at the White House and as an orphan in the movie "Annie." Hartwig has a long history of collaborating with GTA, directing last season’s "Guys and Dolls" and choreographing such favorites as "Godspell," "West Side Story" and "Children of Eden."  She has worked with the "Oklahoma!" production a total of seven times.

"I have always had a passion for this show and I always try to look at it with a fresh eye each time I work on a new production of it. I like to take what I feel was most successful in productions I have done, as well as ones I have seen, and incorporate the best of all worlds," Hartwig said.  

The lighting designer for the show, Connor McVey, is the master electrician for Actor’s Express in Atlanta, and a scholarship recipient and a non-traditional senior at UNG.

"My vision for 'Oklahoma!' is the same as my vision for any other play: do no harm. My design is rooted in imagery evoked by the script -- rich earthy ambers, luscious golden and pink sunrises and wide as the eye can see brilliant blue skies," McVey said. "'Oklahoma!' is one of those great plays that will design itself for you if you let it, if you listen empathetically and earnestly to what it’s trying to tell you."

Patrons can get a peek behind-the-scenes at the free stage tour on Oct. 21 at 6 p.m. There will also be a special preview performance at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 3, with discounted tickets $10.  There will be a free reception in the lobby following the opening night performance on Nov. 4, catered by Luna’s restaurant. An audio-described performance for patrons with a visual impairment will be on Saturday, Nov. 15 at the 2:30 p.m. show.

Ticket prices for the production are $22-26 for adults, $20-24 seniors (65 and up), and $14-16 for students depending on seat location. 

To purchase tickets, visit the website or call the Box Office at 678-717-3624, Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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