UCO Musical Theatre kicks off 2020-2021 season outdoors

The Musical Theatre department at the University of Central Oklahoma is getting ready to kick off its 2020-2021 season outdoors amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The musical production of “Big Fish” is coming to UCO Sept. 23-26. 

This will be the first of 6 musicals for the upcoming season which doesn’t include the New MT Broncho Showcase in November. Normally, all of UCO Musical Theatre performances are held at Mitchell Hall Theatre. 

Due to COVID-19, however, all performances for the 2020 fall semester will be outdoors at UCO’s College of Fine Arts and Design Courtyard. This will allow a safer environment including wearing a mask and social distancing.

Dr. Greg White, who is the director of UCO Musical Theatre, says it has been a challenge transitioning to outdoor theatre. Despite COVID-19, however, White says he is pleased with how the students have responded.

“There are a lot of things you take for granted in a venue such as lighting equipment, sound equipment, and a place for people to get ready,” White said. “But the students have been fantastic and so focused. They have truly risen to the occasion.”

White also talks about how important it is for each student to get the opportunity and education they need especially during the pandemic.

“We could’ve just done one performance at Mitchell Hall and called it a day,” White said. “But then I think you’re denying students an opportunity to get on stage.”

The story contains two timelines. A father named Edward Bloom is in his last years of living while his son is getting ready for his years as a father. Will, who is the son of Edward, listens to the stories his father tells of the past. Eventually, Will finds a secret that his father never showed him.

Kassie Carroll, who is directing the show, says she is super excited with not only the cast that she has but with being able to present to an audience this semester.

“This cast is truly perfect,” Carroll said. “Every one of them captures what I wanted from each role to a T and I honestly couldn’t be more pleased. I can’t wait for audiences to see this show. Whether it’s in person or virtually, I think this particular production will have a huge impact on every single person who sees it.”

All performances will be at 8:00 p.m. and the doors will open at 7:30 p.m. The address to the CFAD Courtyard is 320 E Hurd St. Edmond, OK 73034.

The courtyard is a block west of the UCO Health and Physical Education building. Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for students. Even though the attendance will be only limited to approximately 35 people, you can still stream it online for $15.

People who decide to attend will be provided seating. There will be two piano accompanists for the show. For more information about tickets or to stream the show online, visit https://www.uco.edu/cfad/mitchell-hall/tickets 

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