Theatre Presents Stephen Vincent Ben

Drawing on the lively and fanciful American tales of Stephen Vincent Benét, Oklahoma Baptist University Theatre will present the playwright's "Stories of America" April 23, 24 and 25 at 7:30 p.m. and April 26 at 2:30 p.m. in Craig-Dorland Theatre in Shawnee Hall. The production marks the final performances of OBU Theatre's 2008-09 season.

The program ranges from the Colonial years and the Revolutionary War to the opening of the West and the burgeoning of the American heartland. Adapted by F. Andrew Leslie, and using creative theatre concepts to bring the stories alive on stage, the production features short poems and simple musical interpolations to enhance and heighten the flow of action. It not only captures the vitality and humor of Benét's imaginative creations, but also makes the portrayed lessons of their wit and wisdom powerfully relevant to today's troubled times.

"I believe this production, due to its historical and lyrical qualities, would be enjoyed by most everyone," said Dr. Joyce Spivey Aldridge, OBU associate professor of theatre, who is directing the production.

The cast includes four actors and three actresses: Colin James Vardy Smart, a senior theatre major from San Antonio, Texas; Troy Ford, a sophomore business major from Wagner, Okla.; Eric Strimple, a senior theatre major from Bartlesville, Okla.; Lacy Hutchinson, a junior theatre major from Longview, Texas; and Kate Rutledge, a senior theatre major from Carrollton, Texas. Community cast members from Shawnee include Kenneth Spruiell and Deana Chesser, who serves as secretary to the OBU dean of library sciences.

Tickets are $8 for adults; $6 for students; and $5 for children age 12 and under. Tickets may be purchased at the OBU Box Office located in Sarkeys Telecommunication Center on campus, or by calling (405) 878-2347 between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.