Daniel Fish-Directed OKLAHOMA! Lassos its Way to St. Ann's Warehouse This Fall

By: Feb. 12, 2018
Enter Your Email to Unlock This Article

Plus, get the best of BroadwayWorld delivered to your inbox, and unlimited access to our editorial content across the globe.

Existing user? Just click login.

Daniel Fish-Directed OKLAHOMA! Lassos its Way to St. Ann's Warehouse This Fall

BroadwayWorld has just learned that Oklahoma! is making its way back to New York. St. Ann's Warehouse and Eva Price will present a limited run of the Bard SummerScape production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma!, the "vibrant, essential excavation" (Ben Brantley, The New York Times) directed by Daniel Fish.

Tickets go on sale March 31, the 75th anniversary of the landmark musical's Broadway premiere, for performances beginning September 27, 2018 at the iconic Brooklyn waterfront theater. The engagement kicks off the St. Ann's Warehouse 2018-19 season and marks the first performances of Fish's celebrated staging of the 1943 classic since it played to sold-out audiences and vast critical praise at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College in 2015.

Fish's re-imagined, intimate Oklahoma! brings audiences and artists together under the vast canopy of St. Ann's Warehouse, and makes this classic musical feel as fresh and revelatory as though it was written for today's America. Reviewing the Bard production for The New York Times, Ben Brantley said that it "elicits what has always been just below the surface of this magnificent musical."

Daniel Fish remarks, "One of many the things I find compelling about Oklahoma! is that it explores the relationship between individual and community: what people gain and what they sacrifice when they choose to come together-and the role the outsider plays in that choice. I'm thrilled to continue the work my collaborators and I began at Bard, and to make the production for St. Ann's Warehouse."

"Oklahoma! was the start of something-the integrated musical that we kind of take for granted today. Its innovations have become the norm in American musical theater," says Ted Chapin, President and Chief Creative Officer of the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization. "When Daniel Fish approached what is now a 75-year-old musical play, he looked at it through his own innovative eyes. The result is an environmental production unlike any I've ever seen. It gives a jolt to what we expect from a production of the show. And it is remarkable."


This production was originally developed, produced, and premiered at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College (Jeanne Donovan Fisher, Chair; Leon Botstein, President; Gideon Lester, Artistic Director; Bob Bursey, Executive Director; Caleb Hammons, Senior Producer) in July 2015.

The production at St. Ann's Warehouse is supported in part by the generosity of Joseph S. and Diane H. Steinberg, Andrew Martin-Weber, the National Endowment for the Arts and V. Hansmann.

About Daniel Fish

Daniel Fish is a New York-based director who makes work across the boundaries of theater, film, and opera. He draws on a broad range of forms and subject matter including plays, film scripts, contemporary fiction, essays and found audio. His recent work includes Michael Gordon's Acquanetta, Don't Look Back (The Chocolate Factory), Who Left This Fork Here (Baryshnikov Arts Center, Onassis Center), Ted Hearne's The Source (BAM Next Wave, L.A Opera, San Francisco Opera), Oklahoma! (Bard Summerscape), and Eternal. His work has been seen at theaters and festivals throughout the U.S. and Europe, including the Walker Arts Center, PuSH, Teatro Nacional D. Maria, Lisbon/Estoril Film Festival, Vooruit, Festival TransAmériques, Noorderzon Festival, The Chocolate Factory, The Public Theater's Under The Radar, Opera Philadelphia/Curtis Opera Theater, American Repertory Theater, Richard B. Fisher Center at Bard College, Yale Repertory Theater, McCarter Theater, Signature Theater, The Shakespeare Theater Company, Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus, Staatstheater Braunschweig, and The Royal Shakespeare Company. Residencies and commissions include The MacDowell Colony, Baryshnikov Arts Center, MASS MoCA, The Chocolate Factory, The Bushwick Starr, and LMCC/ Governor's Island. Fish is a graduate of Northwestern University's Department of Performance Studies and the recipient of the 2017 Herb Alpert Award in the Arts for Theater.

About St. Ann's Warehouse

St. Ann's Warehouse plays a vital role on the global cultural landscape as an artistic home for international companies of distinction, American avant-garde masters and talented emerging artists ready to work on a grand scale. St. Ann's signature flexible, open space allows artists to stretch, both literally and imaginatively, enabling them to approach work with unfettered creativity, knowing that the theater can be adapted in multiple configurations to suit their needs.

In the heart of Brooklyn Bridge Park, St. Ann's Warehouse has designed a spectacular waterfront theater that opened in October 2015. The new Joseph S. and Diane H. Steinberg Theater offers St. Ann's signature versatility and grandeur on an amplified scale while respecting the walls of an original 1860's Tobacco Warehouse. The building complex includes a second space, a Studio, for St. Ann's Puppet Lab, smaller-scale events and community uses, as well as The Max Family Garden, designed by landscape architects Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates and open to Brooklyn Bridge Park visitors during Park hours.

Susan Feldman founded Arts at St. Ann's (now St. Ann's Warehouse) in 1980 as part of the New York Landmarks Conservancy, to help save the Landmark Church of St. Ann and the Holy Trinity in B­rooklyn Heights. For twenty-one years, St. Ann's presented a decidedly eclectic array of concert and theater performances in the church sanctuary.

From Fall 2001 through the 2014-15 season, the organization activated found spaces in DUMBO with the world's most imaginative theater- and music-makers, helping to make the burgeoning neighborhood a destination for New Yorkers and tourists alike. After twelve years (2001-2012) in a warehouse that was located at 38 Water Street, St. Ann's transformed another raw space at 29 Jay Street into an interim home (2012-2015), while the organization adapted the then-roofless Tobacco Warehouse at 45 Water Street in Brooklyn Bridge Park into the new St. Ann's Warehouse.

Almost four decades of consistently acclaimed landmark productions that found their American home at St. Ann's include Lou Reed's and John Cale's Songs for 'Drella; Marianne Faithfull's Seven Deadly Sins; Artistic Director Susan Feldman's Band in Berlin; Charlie Kaufman and the Coen Brothers' Theater of the New Ear; The Royal Court and TR Warszawa productions of Sarah Kane's 4:48 Psychosis; The Globe Theatre of London's Measure for Measure with Mark Rylance; Druid Company's The Walworth Farce, The New Electric Ballroom and Penelope by Enda Walsh and Walsh's Misterman, featuring Cillian Murphy, and Arlington; Lou Reed's Berlin; the National Theater of Scotland's Black Watchand Let the Right One In; Kneehigh Theatre's Brief Encounter, 946 and Tristan & Yseult; Yael Farber's Mies Julie; Dmitry Krymov Lab's Opus No. 7; The Donmar Warehouse all-female Shakespeare Trilogy: Julius Caesar, Henry IV, The Tempest; Kate Tempest's Brand New Ancients; Tricycle Theatre's Red Velvet, the Young Vic production of A Streetcar Named Desire with Gillian Anderson; Mark Rylance's Nice Fish, the National Theatre's People, Places & Things, and the World Premiere of the complete Taylor Mac's A 24 Decade History of Popular Music, including the one-time only 24-hour marathon in 2016. St. Ann's has championed such artists as The Wooster Group, Mabou Mines, Jeff Buckley, Cynthia Hopkins, Daniel Kitson, Emma Rice and Kneehigh, and presented an historic David Bowie concert in 2002.

The new St. Ann's Warehouse retains the best of its past homes: the sense of sacred space of its original home in St. Ann's Church and the vastness and endless capacity for reconfiguration artists have harnessed in St. Ann's temporary warehouses in DUMBO.

About Eva Price

Eva Price is a Tony Award-winning producer of over 15 Broadway plays, musicals, and concerts; one of Crain's NY 40 Under Forty Rising Business Stars; and a member of The Broadway League's Board of Governors. Her Broadway credits include Angels in America (starring Nathan Lane and Andrew Garfield); Dear Evan Hansen (winner of six Tony Awards, including Best Musical); On Your Feet! (The Story of Gloria and Emilio Estefan); Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons on Broadway!; Peter and the Starcatcher (winner of five Tony Awards); Colin Quinn Long Story Short (directed by Jerry Seinfeld); Annie (Tony-Nominated Musical Revival);The Merchant of Venice, starring Al Pacino (Tony-Nominated Play Revival); Carrie Fisher's Wishful Drinking; and The Addams Family. Her Off-Broadway credits include Cruel Intentions The Musical; KPOP; the Drama Desk-nominated Found; The Lion (Drama Desk-winner, Off-West End-winner); and Small Mouth Sounds. Touring productions include The Hip Hop Nutcracker with Rap Icon Kurtis Blow; The Magic School Bus Live!: The Climate Challenge; and Ella, a bio musical about the life and music of Ella Fitzgerald. Upcoming: Jagged Little Pill.

About the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College

The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts is a world-class destination for innovation and excellence in music, dance, theater, and performance. A landmark Frank Gehry building in New York's Hudson Valley, the Fisher Center develops and presents adventurous performances by rising and established professional artists, and engages local and global communities with a broad array of bold and in-depth programs.

Bard SummerScape is the Fisher Center's ambitious and widely acclaimed eight-week summer festival. Noted as "a hotbed of intellectual and aesthetic adventure" by The New York Times, SummerScape presents new productions of opera, dance, theater, cabaret, and jazz, and includes the Bard Music Festival, which promotes new ways of understanding and presenting the history of music to a contemporary audience.

New multidisciplinary works are developed year-round through Live Arts Bard, the Fisher Center's commissioning and residency program, which provides a laboratory for professional artists in theater, dance, and performance to test ideas and develop new projects. Artists recently supported by the Fisher Center include Anne Bogart, Daniel Fish, Annie Dorsen, Sarah Michelson, Carl Hancock Rux, Nilaja Sun, Nature Theater of Oklahoma, Will Rawls, Claudia Rankine, Miguel Gutierrez, Pam Tanowitz, Geoff Sobelle, Jack Ferver, Michelle Ellsworth, Mx. Justin Vivian Bond, Dan Hurlin, Ralph Lemon, and The Wooster Group.

The Fisher Center illustrates Bard College's commitment to the performing arts as a cultural and educational necessity. Building on a 150-year history as a competitive and innovative undergraduate institution, Bard College is committed to enriching culture, public life, and democratic discourse by training tomorrow's thought leaders.


Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos