Art Works Blog

Molly Smith's New Look for Oklahoma!

Washington, DC

Artistic Director Molly Smith chose the Rodger's and Hammerstein musical Oklahoma to open the recently-renovated Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. Molly Smith is a recent convert to American musicals, and like many converts, she's now a passionate believer. According to Molly, "You can say things in a musical you can't say in a straight play because it's the music that subconsciously tracks through your brain and takes you places that sometimes the written word doesn't take you to" and there is a way of being able to interpret the material, which can make it modern, even when working with some of the older musicals like "South Pacific" or "Oklahoma"!. Molly Smith, who also directed Oklahoma, certainly put her stamp on this very successful and exuberant production. This may be seen most clearly in the casting, which is very young and multi-racial. In an excerpt from this week's podcast, Molly Smith explains the historical foundation for this casting decision.

To hear a far-ranging conversation with Molly Smith about American theater and her vision for the Arena Stage at the Mead Center, and listen to the entire podcast.

And save the date for our next Art Works podcast on January 6 with NEA Jazz Master, Dan Morgenstern.

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