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“Oklahoma” Marks Director’s 150th Show

Jolie Barnhart

Jolie Barnhart

Mikaela Schmitt, Editor-in-Chief

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BV West Theatre’s department recently finished their annual winter mainstage musical, Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma.” This show marks a special milestone in director Laurie VanderPol’s career, becoming her 150th show she has directed. VanderPol has directed at countless middle schools, high schools and community theatres, spending notable time with the Summer Youth Theatre in Lawrence, Kansas, Lawrence High School and BV West.

“Oklahoma” was the first musical VanderPol ever directed at BV West, thus becoming the perfect option for her 150th show. Each production of “Oklahoma,” and every show, poses unique challenges and provides opportunities for VanderPol to grow as a director.

VanderPol asked Danae DeShazer to help direct a number in the show. DeShazer played Laurey in BV West’s first production in 2004, creating another connection throughout the generations.

VanderPol was accompanied by Kimberly Modelski, who vocal directed and choreographed the show. This is Modelski’s 8th show at BV West, and therefore her first time doing “Oklahoma.” Other staff members on the show included Andrew Book (Orchestra director), Chris Frye (Set designer), Emily Williams (Technical director) and Penny Stahly (Costumer).

Senior Josie Hansen and junior Cap Kelly played the leads Laurey and Curly, respectively. This was both Hansen’s and Kelly’s first opportunity to play a lead in the musical at BV West.

“Working with [VanderPol] was a trip; she really pushed me to the best I could be as an actor and I appreciate her for that,” Hansen said. “I learned what dedication really meant and that it’s not a bad thing to care and put work into something.”

BV West Theatre begins auditions for their next mainstage production “Letters to Sala” on Wed., Feb. 21.



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