Theater on wheels

Oklahoma
City Repertory Theatre has partnered with the University of Central
Oklahoma’s Broadway Tonight Series and the college’s Department of Opera
and Music Theatre for “The Great American Trailer Park Musical.”

It’s
the Oklahoma premiere of a one-of-kind music experience celebrating a
true icon of American life, the trailer park, and the strange and
wonderful creatures who dwell there.

“Trailer
Park” is set in Armadillo Acres, Fla.’s most exclusive trailer park,
home to larger-than-life characters like a bleached-blond matriarch, an
agoraphobic wife, her cheating husband, a stripper on the run, her
markersniffing ex-husband, a biker gal and a pregnant woman.

After
opening off-Broadway in 2006, “Trailer Park” went on tour under the
direction of Steven Smeltzer. Now teaching music theater at UCO,
Smeltzer returns to helm. He said he knows these characters well, having
grew up in central Florida.

“We
all have colorful relatives in our past who are very much like these
‘Trailer Park’ characters,” he said. “I wanted to have fun paying homage
to these people and their struggles, not just make fun of them.”

“Trailer
Park” is the most recent in a series of collaborations between CityRep
and local universities According to Don Jordan, CityRep’s artistic
director, working with the company is many students’ first experience on
a professional Equity show.

“Helping
them to learn protocol,  as well as the speed and intensity of the
professional theater, is a valuable part of the experience,” he said.

“Also,
the chance to work alongside well-respected professionals gives the
students a chance to observe seasoned veterans practicing their craft.”

Along
with the usual challenges inherent in mounting a professional
production, “Trailer Park” offered a unique hitch, because both the
CityRep and Broadway Tonight audiences wanted the show in their venues.

A
compromise was struck so the two-week run would be split between the UCO
campus and Civic Center Music Hall; “Trailer Park” will play the latter
May 20-22.

“Any
show can be made to tour with enough planning and creative ingenuity,”
Jordan said. “If Disney could move ‘Lion King,’ I felt certain we could
relocate our ‘Trailer Park’!”

Eric Webb

This material falls under the archives category because it was imported from our previous website. It will eventually be filtered into the proper category as time allows.

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