ALBANY, Ga. -- A musical written by composer Richard Rodgers and librettist Oscar Hammerstein that is set in Oklahoma Territory outside the town of Claremore in the early 20th century is coming back to Sherwood Christian Academy.
Sherwood's middle schoolers are putting on the production "Oklahoma!" Thursday and Friday.
"They have been practicing since January," said Vickie Knuckles, the play's director. "We have close to 50 cast members."
The play tells the story of cowboy Curly McLain and his romance with farm girl Laurey Williams. A secondary romance concerns cowboy Will Parker and his fiancee, Ado Annie, a friend of Williams.
Reid Reynolds, a seventh-grader, will play McLain. Seventh-grader Annabrooke Greene will play William and Hannah Thompson -- an eighth-grader -- will play William's Aunt Eller.
Final preparations for the show will take place early this week, while the performers themselves get a few more rehearsals in.
"They have been practicing every day during class, but they are coming in for extra practices," Knuckles said. "They are coming to put in extra hours to make sure it's just right."
The original Broadway production enjoyed success when it opened on March 31, 1943, and it's a musical that stills seems entertaining to audiences today, Knuckles said.
"It's the same show, but branded down for young adults," Knuckles said of Sherwood's upcoming production. "After all these years, it's still a favorite of people.
"We are expecting a full house each night."
Both showings start at 6 p.m. and will take place at SCA's secondary campus, which is located at 1418 Old Pretoria Road.
There are other productions set to begin performances soon at SCA, including an elementary school production of "Dear Edwina Junior" at the end of April.
That will be followed by a high school production set to open in May.
"The fine arts department is very busy the first of the year," Knuckles said. "Our plate is full 'til the end of the year.
"We do try to have a well-rounded fine arts program. We are always working on something."
"Oklahoma!" was performed by SCA's high schoolers 13 years ago. This is the first time it has been tackled by Sherwood's middle schoolers.
Tickets for the show, which cost $10, are available at the door and in advance. For more information, call (229) 883-5677 or (229) 888-2277.