EDITORIAL: Sooner arts performances deserve your support
by William Shakespeare
8 p.m. Sept. 21, 23, 27-29
3 p.m. Sept. 23, 30
School of Music:
OU Symphony Orchestra performance
8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sept. 24
Sharp Concert Hall
School of Dance:
“Iphigénie en Tauride”
Reynolds Performing Arts Center
School of Art:
Graphic Design Association exhibit
Our View: When you’re filled with Sooner pride during football season, don’t forget other fellow students who need your support.
Football season has begun and thousands of students will be braving the crowds to go to home games and cheer on the team. We’ve written often urging you to attend even those games that are easy wins. But there are other factors to OU’s excellence that are just as successful as the football team and just as deserving of your support.
The Peggy Dow Helmerich School of Drama is the second oldest academic theater program in the nation, and the A. Max Weitzenhoffer School of Musical Theatre is the only program of its kind. University Theater produces a full calender of shows each year — all of which are almost entirely produced by students.
The major shows often are well-attended, but sometimes more by donors than students. The minor shows often garner much less attention. If you see a show like “Seussical: The Musical” or “Dracula” in the calender, you might immediately get excited about seeing it. But what about shows like “Cheese” or “Iphigenie en Tauride” that you aren’t necessarily familiar with?
These productions all are engaging performances, and some are better than what you can see from a professional company. And it’s all student work that creates them. These students and their impressive accomplishments deserve your support — even if you don’t recognize the play.
If you find out more about upcoming productions, you might even be surprised at which ones catch your interest.
For example, are you interested in politics? The upcoming “Julius Caesar” will take place in a modern setting and sharply parody the election season. Does a darker take and a surrealist, psychological journey sound more like you? “Lion in the Streets” explores the power dynamics in a romantic relationship against the backdrop of a sexual assault.
Or maybe you’d prefer a witty exploration of edgier themes like sex and intimacy? “In the Next Room (or the vibrator play)” follows a young woman’s sexual journey as she receives the newly invented treatment for female hysteria.
Even if theater doesn’t appeal to you, OU students need your support across the arts district.
OU’s School of Dance was ranked in the top three of all dance programs in the nation by Dance Magazine. Students from the school perform several shows throughout the year with an emphasis on classical ballet and modern dance. Upcoming performances include “Iphigenie en Tauride” and the “Oklahoma Festival Ballet,” which will feature works from “Cinderella.”
Or, if music is more your thing, OU’s School of Music is a comprehensive program that offers instruction in a wide range of instruments. This school holds more performances than any other on campus, featuring a wide diversity of performers, instruments, styles and genres.
Whichever kind of performance excites you, this is the time to immerse yourself in cultural opportunities. College students have more convenient access to the arts, right here on campus, than they ever will again. And understanding and appreciating these works teaches things about humanity and society that are irreplaceable. Understanding art is essential to leading a full, rich life.
Even if you don’t particularly care about art for its own sake, attending these shows is your chance to show your pride in all of OU’s accomplishments and support your fellow students. So, after the fireworks fade from the last touchdown this weekend, exit the stadium and head to the theater.