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R&H and EdTA Collaborate to Celebrate the 75th Anniversary of OKLAHOMA!

R&H and EdTA Collaborate to Celebrate the 75th Anniversary of OKLAHOMA!

R&H Theatricals and the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA) are joining forces in honor of the 75th anniversary of the celebrated musical Rodgers & Hammerstein's Oklahoma!. The first of many collaborations by this legendary duo, Oklahoma! is credited by historians as marking the beginning of the modern American musical.

To celebrate, R&H is inviting theaters that license a production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Oklahoma! to gift a free license of Getting To Know... Oklahoma! to a Title 1 school in their community. The gifting campaign is extended to all licensed productions with performances dates between September 1, 2018 and December 31, 2019. A limited performance grant is available to offset costs for the Title 1 schools. EdTA will be facilitating the application process for performance grants on their AcademicWorks site, which will open on March 1, 2018.

The Oklahoma! 75th Anniversary program will provide all students with a quality arts-based educational experience that will live with them forever. Students participating in the program will establish a connectedness to their school and community, build their self-esteem, learn empathy and moral reasoning, improve intrapersonal communication and conflict resolution skills while creating new relationships and friendships.

EdTA Executive Director Julie Cohen Theobald says, "It is gratifying to work with a company that is being proactive in increasing access to the experience of theatre for underserved schools. Research links involvement in the arts to improved performance in school on many measures."

The Getting To Know... Collection of R&H titles, which includes Oklahoma!, The Sound of Music, The King and I and Once Upon a Mattress, introduces young people all over the world to some of the world's most popular theatrical phenomena - and American classics - in a way like never before and ensures that presenting a musical is achievable on all budgets and level of expertise.

Tim McDonald, CEO of iTheatrics, says, "We created the Getting To Know... Collection of R&H titles to ensure that kids have the opportunity to participate in theatre regardless of their level of experience. Each Getting To Know title comes with resources designed to help overcome typical boundaries that schools face -- from little theatrical experience to limited rehearsal time. We are thrilled to participate in this campaign with R&H to bring this classic American musical to students with limited access to the arts."

Oklahoma! is set in the Western Indian territory just after the turn of the century and tells the story of the high-spirited rivalry between the local farmers and cowboys, which provides the colorful background against which Curly, a handsome cowboy, and Laurey, a winsome farm girl, play out their love story. Opening on Broadway in 1943, it had a then record-breaking run of more than 2,000 performances over five years. It was made into an Oscar®-winning film in 1955 starring Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones, with one of the most successful soundtracks of all time.

Dana Siegel, R&H Vice President of Marketing and Business Development says, "Oklahoma! was anything but a sure thing when it premiered in 1943, but it became a Broadway hit, a revolution in musical theatre. Oklahoma! is the foundation of the Rodgers & Hammerstein canon and with this new educational initiative, we hope it serves as a foundation for the arts for a new generation of students, performers and fans!"

Adds Bill Gaden, CEO, "We are thrilled to be announcing this campaign today to allow theaters to support a Title 1 school in their area through the musical Oklahoma!. We hope that this initiative can expand access to the arts to thousands of students who would otherwise miss out on the joy, collaboration, and inspiration that theater brings."

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