The 'G2K' Getting To Know Series: Uniquely adapted musicals specifically for youth performers.
Rodgers & Hammerstein's first collaboration remains, in many ways, their most innovative, having set the standards and established the rules of musical theatre still being followed today. Set in a Western Indian territory just after the turn of the century, the high-spirited rivalry between the local farmers and cowboys provides the colorful background against which Curly, a handsome cowboy, and Laurey, a winsome farm girl, play out their love story. Although the road to true love never runs smooth, with these two headstrong romantics holding the reins, love's journey is as bumpy as a surrey ride down a country road. That they will succeed in making a new life together we have no doubt, and that this new life will begin in a brand-new state provides the ultimate climax to the triumphant OKLAHOMA!
In this adaptation for pre-high school students, the content has been edited to better suit younger attention spans, but all the elements that make this show a classic are still in place. You and your students will be enchanted by the timeless story and the dazzling score, while at the same time learning about theater and its production.
PLEASE NOTE: All schools wishing to peruse or perform a G2K musical should apply through the Hal Leonard Corporation by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. Community theatres and youth organizations should apply by clicking on the license button below. For questions related to G2K musicals, contact an R&H representative at (800) 400-8160.
To request the rights to make merchandise for this show email email@example.com.
The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization is now home to a newly launched podcast series on iTunes.The Sweetest Sounds is an ongoing series of audio podcasts highlighting the musicals and authors we proudly represent... read more
The Getting To Know (G2K) Collection offers a pioneering approach to producing and performing classic, beloved musicals with elementary, middle and junior high school students and youth theatre performers... read more
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Two landmark musicals of the century, OKLAHOMA! (1943) and SHOW BOAT (1927), were both written by Oscar Hammerstein II. They share an honor as well: both musicals were among the first to be commemorated by the United States Postal Service.
In March 1993, the U.S.P.S. made history when it designated OKLAHOMA! as the very first Broadway musical to be the subject of a U.S. postage stamp. Designed by Wilson McLean, the stamp was released in special ceremonies in New York and Oklahoma to coincide with the musical's March 31 50th Anniversary. (At the New York ceremony, Mary Rodgers and William Hammerstein joined Postmaster General Marvin Runyon and dozens of OKLAHOMA! cast veterans at the first-day-issue event.) Throughout 1993 the OKLAHOMA! stamp ranked among the most popular of that year's postal issues and in Oklahoma itself the stamp actually outsold the other "hot" entry that year—Elvis Presley.
In July '93 the OKLAHOMA! stamp was reissued as part of a four-stamp set honoring the Broadway musical, this time joined by SHOW BOAT, PORGY AND BESS and MY FAIR LADY (all of which were also designed by Mr. McLean). Postmaster General Runyon presided over these first-day ceremonies too, held during the 2nd annual BROADWAY ON BROADWAY concert, a spectacular event held in Times Square. Over 45,000 people attended, and special mobile postal trucks were on hand to make the first-day issues available. While BROADWAY ON BROADWAY salutes currently-running hits, that summer the stamp quartet lent historical credence to the event; opening with the OKLAHOMA! overture, the concert also included Bruce Adler (of the '79 revival of OKLAHOMA!) joining Maureen Moore to sing "All Er Nuthin,'" and Michel Bell, who the next season would earn a Tony nomination for his stirring portrayal of Joe in SHOW BOAT, here giving the New York audience a showstopping, hair-raising preview with "Ol' Man River."
It ran on Broadway for over five years, besting the previous record holder (HELLZAPOPPIN') by more than two years. For fifteen years, from 1946 until 1961, OKLAHOMA! held the record as the longest running show in Broadway history (during much of that time SOUTH PACIFIC was Number Two.)
Throughout the war years, OKLAHOMA! gave a series of special matinees free to members of the Armed Forces. The production also maintained a policy allowing GI's to stand at the back of the house during any performance.
When OKLAHOMA! closed on Broadway May 29, 1948 after 2,212 performances, more than four and a half million people had seen it there.
Originally produced by The Theatre Guild, OKLAHOMA! was capitalized at $83,000. Its 28 original backers have, to date, seen a 2500% return on their investment.
OKLAHOMA! has recieved many accolades, including a special Pulitzer Prize (1944), two Academy Awards (1955), induction into the Grammy Awards Hall of Fame (1976), and a special Tony Award (1993).
The National Tour of OKLAHOMA! held the U.S. theatrical record for over forty years fir the longest continual tour—ten and a half years. Opening in New Haven on October 15, 1943, it closed in Philadelphia on May 1, 1954 and had, by that time, played in more than 250 cities, encompassing every State in the Union, and was seen by an accumulative audience of more than 10 million people.
Internationally, OKLAHOMA! has been performed throughout the world, and translated into more than a dozen languages, including French, Greek, German, Italian, Russian, Japanese, Hebrew, Icelandic, Norwegian, Hungarian, Dutch and Polish. English language productions have been presented in Great Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and South Africa. In its original London engagement, opening at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane on April 29, 1947, OKLAHOMA! ran for over three years, breaking all records in the 267-year history of that theatre.
"Oklahoma" is the only Broadway showtune that is also a state song. It was designated "the official song and anthem of the State of Oklahoma" on May 6, 1953.
There have been over 30,000 productions of OKLAHOMA! worldwide. In the U.S. and Canada alone, the Rodgers & Hammerstein Theatre Library licenses an average of 600 productions of OKLAHOMA! per year. In the 50th Anniversary season of 1992-93, the Library licensed over 900 productions.
OKLAHOMA! is the first broadway musical to be commemorated in a U.S. postage stamp, issued in Oklahoma and New York on March 30, 1993, and released nationally fifty years to the day of the musical's Broadway premiere, March 31, 1993.
January 26, 1931—The Theatre Guild presents Lynn Riggs' play GREEN GROW THE LILACS on Broadway, where it runs for 64 performances...A native of Oklahoma, Riggs drew from his childhood memories of the Indian Territory's transformation into statehood for the historical context within his play.
July 23, 1942—THE NEW YORK TIMES reports: "The Theatre Guild announced yesterday that Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein II will soon begin work on a musical version of Lynn Riggs' folk-play GREEN GROW THE LILACS." Shortly thereafter lyricist Hart drops out of the project and Hammerstein takes over his duties. The resulting musical is the first in the Rodgers & Hammerstein collaboration, which goes on to yield such classics as CAROUSEL, SOUTH PACIFIC, THE KING AND I and THE SOUND OF MUSIC.
March 11-13, 1943—The new musical has its world premiere engagement at the Shubert Theatre, New Haven. Entitled AWAY WE GO!, the work is termed "a musical play" with book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, based on the play GREEN GROW THE LILACS by Lynn Riggs, with music by Richard Rodgers. Presented by The Theatre Guild, it is directed by Rouben Mamoulian, choreographed by Agnes de Mille, settings designed by Lemuel Ayers and costumes by Miles White. The company includes Alfred Drake (Curly), Joan Roberts (Laurey), Betty Garde (Aunt Eller), Lee Dixon (Will Parker) and Celeste Holm (Ado Annie).
March 15-27, 1943—AWAY WE GO! plays the Colonial Theatre, Boston, where changes are made prior to the show's Broadway premiere. One song is cut, "Boys and Girls Like You and Me." A second act choral number, originally slated as a duet for Curly and Laurey, is introduced during the wedding scene late in Act II. Entitled "Oklahoma," it stops the show.
March 31, 1943—With an exclamation point tacked on for extra flourish, the Act II showstopper becomes the musical's title song when OKLAHOMA! opens at the St. James Theatre on Broadway to rave reviews...On December 2, 1943 Decca Records releases the original Broadway cast recording of OKLAHOMA!, marking the first time a musical is recorded complete with all members of the original cast, chorus and orchestra; the album eventually earns a Gold Record and in 1976 is inducted into the NARAS (Grammy Award) Hall of Fame...On May 2, 1944 OKLAHOMA! receives a special Pulitzer Prize for Drama...On July 1, 1946, it surpasses HELLZAPOPPIN's run of 1404 performances to become the longest running musical in Broadway history...On December 4, 1947, with Richard Rodgers conducting the second act, it gives its 2000th performance on Broadway...On May 29, 1948 it closes on Broadway after a marathon 2,212 performances—a Broadway record unsurpassed until MY FAIR LADY in 1961—having been seen by more than 4 1/2 million people during the course of its five year engagement...On May 31, 1948, the Broadway company of OKLAHOMA! embarks upon a year long tour throughout the United States, visiting 67 cities.
October 15, 1943—The national tour of OKLAHOMA! opens at the Shubert Theatre, New Haven. It closes ten and a half years later at the Shubert Theatre, Philadelphia...During its decade-plus run, the touring company visits more than 250 cities encompassing every state in the Union before a total audience of 10 million...On November 26, 1946 the tour plays Oklahoma for the first time, and Governor Robert S. Kerr turns the event into a statewide celebration. Rodgers, Hammerstein, their wives and members of the musical's creative and production team attend the festivities, which include balls, parades, and culminate in eight sold-out performances of OKLAHOMA! in the Oklahoma City Municipal Auditorium...On August 31, 1953, less than five years after the musical has closed on Broadway, OKLAHOMA! returns to New York for a one week run at the New York City Center. With its arrival, OKLAHOMA! joins three other Rodgers & Hammerstein musicals already running on Broadway—SOUTH PACIFIC, THE KING AND I and ME AND JULIET—prompting Mayor Vincent R. Impelliteri to declare "Rodgers &a Hammerstein Week."
February 26, 1945—USO Camp Shows, Inc., under the supervision of Reginald and Ted Hammerstein (brother and cousin respectively to the librettist), launches a nine-month tour of OKLAHOMA! playing to the U.S. armed force stationed in the Pacific.
April 29, 1947—OKLAHOMA! opens at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London, with Harold (later Howard) Keel and Betty Jane Watson in the leading roles...Before it closes on October 21, 1950, OKLAHOMA! gives 1,548 performances in London, the longest run of any show in the 267 year history of the Drury Lane
April 28, 1953—The Oklahoma State House of Representatives passes House Bill No. 1094, declaring the song "Oklahoma" by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II to be "the official song and anthem of the State of Oklahoma." The Senate ratifies the bill on May 6, 1953.
June 20, 1955—ANTA "Salute to France" presents OKLAHOMA! at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees, Paris. Jack Cassidy (Curly), Shirley Jones (Laurey) and Pamela Britton (Ado Annie) star in the production, which follows its Paris engagement with performances in Rome, Naples, Milan and Venice.
August 21, 1955—Shirley Jones, Ed Sullivan, Eddie Fisher, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II and the governors of New York and Oklahoma lead an "OKLAHOMA! Song-Fest" at the Central Park Mall in New York before a crowd of 15,000.
October 11, 1955—The motion picture version of OKLAHOMA! is released. Presented by Rodgers & Hammerstein and directed by Fred Zinneman, it stars Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones. The film receives two Academy Awards including Best Scoring of a Musical Film and Best Sound Recording. It lives on in numerous theatrical re-releases, as well as repeated television broadcasts. A huge success on both home video and DVD, the film is given a special 50th Anniversary DVD release in 2005 when Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment releases a 2-disc edition featuring OKLAHOMA! in both its Todd-AO and CinemaScope formats.
January 10, 1968—To celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the musical play OKLAHOMA! as well as the 60th anniversary of the state of Oklahoma, Governor Dewey F. Bartlett announces the formation of an honorary commission of nationally-recognized leaders in the public arts, the academic world and the business community to oversee events and commemorations pertaining to both anniversaries. Among those serving on the commission are: Ed Sullivan, Leonard Bernstein, Darryl Zanuck, Walter Cronkite, Johnny Carson, Fred Astaire, Mary Martin, Jack Benny, William Paley, Jackie Robinson, Perle Mesta, Chet Huntley, David Brinkley, Harry Belafonte, Art Buchwald, Maria Tallchief, Will Rogers, Jr., and Celeste Holm.
March 26, 1968—At Philharmonic (now Avery Fisher) Hall, Lincoln Center, in New York City, Skitch Henderson and Richard Rodgers conduct the New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra and an all-star cast in a Silver Anniversary concert version of OKLAHOMA! Staged by William Hammerstein, the evening features John Davidson (Curly), Constance Towers (Laurey), Anita Gillette (Ado Annie), Joseph Bova (Will Parker) and Margaret Hamilton (Aunt Eller).
May 1, 1979—A full-scale revival of OKLAHOMA! under the direction of William Hammerstein, begins a cross-country national tour at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles. Tour sites include Washington D.C.'s Kennedy Center and Oklahoma City where, at the invitation of Governor George Nigh, OKLAHOMA! is presented in honor of the state's 72nd anniversary of statehood...On December 13, 1979, with Governor Nigh in attendance, this production opens at the Palace Theatre on Broadway, where it plays until August 24, 1980 for a total of 293 performances, before going out on a post-Broadway national tour… The Broadway cast includes Laurence Guittard (Curly), Christine Andreas (Laurey), Mary Wickes (Aunt Eller), Harry Groener (Will Parker) and Christine Ebersole (Ado Annie).
September 17, 1980—While the William Hammerstein production of OKLAHOMA! continues at the Palace Theater on Broadway, a production directed by his brother James Hammerstein opens at the Palace Theatre, London, co-produced by Emile Littler and Cameron Mackintosh, starring John Diedrich as Curly, with Alfred Molina as Jud Fry. Following its London season, this OKLAHOMA! tours Australia in 1982.
October 3, 1990—Williamson Music Company, the music publishing subsidiary of Rodgers & Hammerstein, enters into an agreement with the state of Oklahoma, granting the state the right to use the song "Oklahoma" in the promotion of tourism. Waiving standard fees, Williamson Music charges the state of Oklahoma $1 (one dollar). The agreement is announced in Washington, D.C. by U.S. Senator David L. Boren of Oklahoma. Joining him for the announcement are Mary Rodgers, daughter of the composer, and William Hammerstein, son of the lyricist.
March 30, 1993—The United States Postal Service issues a stamp commemorating OKLAHOMA!—the first Broadway musical to be so honored. The first day issue ceremony is held in Oklahoma City and the stamp goes on sale that day statewide.
March 31, 1993—Fifty years to the day of its Broadway premiere, OKLAHOMA! and its cast alumnae are saluted at a luncheon in New York City's Rainbow Room attended by more than three hundred guests. Eighteen members of the original company, including choreographer Agnes de Mille, conductor Jay Blackton and leads Celeste Holm and Joan Roberts, are honored, along with representatives of the Broadway company (1943-48), the National Tour (1943-54), the original London cast (1947-50), the movie (1955), the Lincoln Center revival (1967) and the Broadway revival (1979). At the luncheon United States Postmaster General Marvin T. Runyon issues the OKLAHOMA! stamp for national release. New York City Mayor David Dinkins declares the day "Rodgers & Hammerstein Day," and renames the theatre district block of 44th Street between Broadway and Eighth Avenue "Rodgers & Hammerstein Row."
June 6, 1993—In recognition of its 50th Anniversary, OKLAHOMA! is presented with a special Tony Award at the annual Broadway awards ceremony.
July 15, 1998—A new production of OKLAHOMA! is premiered at the Royal National Theatre, London. Directed by Trevor Nunn and choreographed by Susan Stroman, it is an instant success with critics and the public alike; box office records are broken for four consecutive days following the opening, and less than a month into the three-month limited run, the entire engagement is sold out...During the RNT engagement, the Queen Mother Elizabeth attends OKLAHOMA! on her 98th birthday, joined by Princess Margaret and members of the Court, and is serenaded by the cast at the Finale...In January, 1999, Sir Cameron Mackintosh transfers OKLAHOMA! to the Lyceum Theatre in London’s West End for a 23-week limited season...It goes on to win a host of London theatre awards, including the Evening Standard and Critics Circle Awards for Best Musical and four Olivier Awards including Best Musical Production...In April, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip attend a performance, joined by Mary Rodgers and Henry Guettel...In September, a film version of this production, directed by Trevor Nunn and Christopher Hunt, premieres on SKY-TV; it later wins an International Emmy Award…November 2003—The NT film version of OKLAHOMA! is broadcast on PBS’ Great Performances, and released on DVD by Image Entertainiment.
February 23, 2002—Previews begin at the Gershwin Theater on Broadway for the Cameron Mackintosh production of the NT staging of OKLAHOMA!, directed by Trevor Nunn and choreographed by Susan Stroman, with a cast headed by Patrick Wilson (Curly), Andrea Martin (Aunt Eller) and, repeating their London roles, Josefina Gabrielle (Laurey) and Shuler Hensley (Jud Fry)…March 21, 2002—This production premieres with a star-studded opening night with members of the audience including original Broadway cast (including Joan Roberts and Celeste Holm), Shirley Jones from the film version, and a delegation of Oklahomans lead by their Governor, Frank Keating…February 23, 2003—After a full year on Broadway, OKLAHOMA! closes to prepare for a US National Tour…December 16, 2003—The US National Tour begins in Denver, Colorado, and plays in more than two dozen American cities over the next two years.
2006-7—To commemorate the Centennial of the State of Oklahoma (which joined the Union in November of 1907), The R&H Organization joins forces with the Oklahoma Centennial Commission, for more than a year of celebrations beginning in November, 2006. For more, visit www.oklahomacentennial.com.
To Date—R&H Theatricals consistently licenses more than 600 productions of OKLAHOMA! annually in the United States and Canada alone. Worldwide, OKLAHOMA! has been translated into over a dozen languages, including French, German, Greek, Italian, Russian, Japanese, Hebrew, Icelandic, Norwegian, Hungarian, Estonian, Dutch and Polish. English language productions have been seen in Great Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and South Africa.
Block, Geoffrey. The Richard Rodgers Reader. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.
Ewen, David. Richard Rodgers. New York: Holt, 1957.
Ewen, David. With a Song in His Heart (Richard Rodgers). New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1963.
Fordin, Hugh. Getting To Know Him: The Biography of Oscar Hammerstein II. New York: Random House, 1977; DaCapo Press, 1995.
Green, Stanley. The Rodgers and Hammerstein Story. New York: John Day, 1963; DeCapo Press (Paperback), 1980.
Green, Stanley. The Rodgers & Hammerstein Fact Book. Milwaukee: Hal Leonard, 1980.
Hammerstein II, Oscar. Lyrics. Introduction by the author and a Preface by Stephen Sondheim. Milwaukee: Hal Leonard, 1985.
Hammerstein II, Oscar. The Surrey with The Fringe on Top. Illustrated by James Warhola. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993.
Mordden, Ethan. Rodgers & Hammerstein. Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York 1992.
Nolan, Frederick. The Sound of Their Music. New York: Walker, 1978; New York: Applause Books, 2002.
Rodgers, Richard. Musical Stages: An Autobiography. New York: Random House, 1975; New York: Jove (Paperback), 1978; New York: DaCapo, 1995; Revised Edition, DaCapo, 2002.
Taylor, Deems. Some Enchanted Evenings. New York: Harper, 1953.
Wilk, Max. O.K.!—The Story of OKLAHOMA!. New York: Grove Press, 1993; New York: Applause Books, 2002.
Vocal Range of Characters:
MAKE YOUR OWN PLAYBILL! Playbill VIP allows you to create your very own Playbill Program. We have provided Playbill with all of the credits, song listings, musical numbers and more so that most of the work is already done for you. Just add your productions details, photos of the cast and share it with all of your friends. Learn more: www.playbillvip.com
- G2K OKLAHOMA! - Rehearsal Set
- 2 – Directors Scripts
- 1 – Logo CD
- 2 – Piano/Vocal Scores
- 20 – Libretto/Vocal Books
- 1 – Study Guide
- 1 – Vocal/Accompaniment (Rehearsal/Perf) CD
- 1 – Video Guide to Musical Staging (VHS)
- 10 – Chorus Books
- Libretto/Vocal Books 10 pack
- 10 – Libretto/Vocal Books
- G2K-Oklahoma Pre Production Pack
- 1 – Libretto/Vocal Books
- 1 – Piano/Vocal Scores
3 Women (Aunt Eller, Laurey Williams, Ado Annie Carnes)
3 Men (Curly McLain, Jud Fry, Will Parker, The Peddler)
1 Woman (Gertie Cummings)
2 Men (Andrew Carnes)
Large singing and dancing ensemble with numerous small roles
Aunt Eller Murphy
Curly McLain, a cowboy
Laurey Williams, a farm girl
Jud Fry, a farm hand
Will Parker, a cowboy
Ado Annie Carnes, a farm girl
Andrew Carnes, a farmer
Ike Skidmore, a rancher
Cord Elam, a rancher
Fred, a rancher
Slim, a rancher
Mike, a farmer
Joe, a cowboy
Tom, a cowboy
OKLAHOMA takes place in the Western Indian Territory soon to become the state of Oklahoma, in the early 1900s.
The Front Yard of Laureys Farmhouse
A Grove on Laureys Farm
The Skidmore Ranch
The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization is now home to a newly launched podcast series on iTunes.The Sweetest Sounds is an ongoing series of audio podcasts highlighting the musicals and authors we proudly represent...Read More
The Getting To Know (G2K) Collection offers a pioneering approach to producing and performing classic, beloved musicals with elementary, middle and junior high school students and youth theatre performers...Read More
The R&H Theatre Library is home to the major works of co-founder Oscar Hammerstein II, and his musicals continue to thrive with a record number of productions scheduled throughout the centennial year...Read More