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‘Into the Woods’ Premieres Feb. 12

January 22, 2010

Directed by Gregory Hopkins, the production will serve as a course in musical theatre for university students and a town-and-gown partnership for community theatre thespians. Musical directors are Dr. Mark McQuade, OBU assistant professor of music and coordinator of vocal studies, and Dr. Jennifer McQuade, OBU assistant professor of music.

"Into the Woods" will be presented Friday, Feb. 12, and Saturday, Feb. 13, at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, Feb. 14, at a 2 p.m. matinee; and Wednesday, Feb. 17, through Saturday, Feb. 20, at 7:30 p.m.

The cast includes Sarah Stephens, an OBU freshman from Tulsa, Okla., as Cinderella; Sean Muzljakovich, a sophomore from Bartlesville, Okla., as Jack; Charlie Monnot as the baker; Jennifer McQuade as the baker's wife; Dr. Debbie Blue, senior vice president for academic services, as Cinderella's stepmother; Sarah Graham, a junior from Ponca City, Okla., as Florinda; Kathryn Hunter, a sophomore from Owasso, Okla., as Lucinda; and Margaret Hopkins as Jack's mother.

Also performing are Ashlynn Streck, an OBU freshman from Hennessey, Okla., as Little Red Riding Hood; Jennifer Teel as the witch; Preston Fry as Cinderella's father; Courtney Tice, a junior from Oologah, Okla., as Cinderella's mother and Granny; Lucas Simmons, a sophomore from Weleetka, Okla., as the wolf and steward; Kacy Southerland, a senior from Oklahoma City, as Rapunzel; Andrew Harper, a sophomore from Olympia, Wash., as Rapunzel's prince; and Jeff Foresee as Cinderella's prince.

Completing the cast are Nicki Sherman as the giant; Amanda Acock, an OBU senior from Shawnee, as sleeping beauty; Katie Elms, a senior from Buckeye, Ariz., as Snow White; and Matt Hopkins as the narrator and mysterious man.

Based on classic fairy tales, "Into The Woods" boasts an array of cockeyed story book characters in James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim's fractured fairy tale version. With all characters "living happily ever after" by the end of Act One, the consequences of their actions return to haunt them in Act Two. What begins as an irreverent fantasy becomes a moving lesson about community responsibility and the stories we tell our children.

An "extra" to the SLT season, "Into the Woods" will be offered to SLT season and patron ticket holders with a discounted admission. General admission tickets to non-season ticket holders will also be available. Tickets go on sale Monday, Feb. 8, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the SLT box office. Proceeds from the show will be earmarked to fund lighting and sound improvements for the community theatre. For more information, call Shawnee Little Theatre at (405) 275-2805.

Shawnee Little Theatre began its musical partnership with OBU in 1982 with a production of "South Pacific". Through the years the venture has produced "West Side Story," "Showboat," "My Fair Lady" and "The Music Man," among others, for local audiences.

Located at 1829 Airport Road, Shawnee Little Theatre is a non-profit community theatre staffed totally by volunteers, celebrating its 43rd year of producing shows in the community. The theatre's 2009-10 season sponsors are BancFirst; ExxonMobil Chemical; Dr. Kirk Hoster, Optometrist; Prudential Carolyn Harris Realty, Inc.; and Shawnee Milling Company. For more information, see the SLT Web site.