By Scott Bernarde
It took a while, but cast members of Westminster School’s upcoming production of the musical “Oklahoma” found a label for the accent they will use in dialogue.
As characters in the popular musical about a romance in 1906 rural Oklahoma, their accents will be decidedly country.
“We joke it’s country hick,” said Celia Quillian, who plays Aunt Eller. “It’s pretty hard.”
But cast members appear to be pretty good at it, based on a recent rehearsal in the Broyles Arts Center, and that’s no surprise to those familiar with the drama efforts of the school. Westminster has built a reputation of putting on high quality performances and reaching the inner-Muse of its students.
“This is my 13th show here,” said Quillian, who has aspirations to study theater after high school and eventually be a professional actor. “This is what I live and breathe. This is my second home.”
“I’m a bit of a Johnny-come-lately,” said Joseph Long, who will play Ali Hakim, the Persian peddler, in his second Westminster performance. “My friends tell me I’m kind of a theatrical person, so I decided to give it a try. … I don’t think I’ll be a theater major [in college], but I want to continue doing this.”
“Oklahoma” is one of three high-school productions scheduled this year at Westminster (the others are “The Skin of Our Teeth” in February and “The Taming of the Shrew” in April).
“Oklahoma” runs Oct. 1-3 (7 p.m. on Thursday and Saturday; 4 p.m. on Friday).
“The one thing I love about ‘Oklahoma’ is that it excites young and old,” said musical director Adam Fry. “When we announced it, I had little kids come and say, ‘I’m so excited.’ I had grandmas saying ‘Oh, I’m so excited,’ too.”