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'It asks us to pretend': OU School of Drama to present 'Great Expectations' adaptation

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great expectations

Two actors from the OU School of Drama perform in costume and masks via the school's Facebook page.

The OU School of Drama is presenting “Great Expectations” from Oct. 6-10.

The play is an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic novel, written by Gale Childs Daly. Jerome Stevenson, directing teacher in the School of Drama and director of the production and acting, said the play does an incredible job of giving the audience the full impact of the original story.

“The playwright was able to take that expansive journey that goes on in the book and retell it using the device that is ... six actors,” Stevenson said. “One actor plays Pip, and every other actor in the show plays everybody else. And sometimes, everything else.”

Stevenson said the play requires the imagination of the actors and the audience.

“I think (the play) was chosen to give actors an opportunity to use their imaginations,” Stevenson said. “Instead of giving us all of the locations with scenery changes and massive drops … it asks us to pretend. What do you need to tell that story? Do you have to have a door or gate, or can you imagine that happening some other way?”

He said he wants the audience to enjoy the play because of how it relates to life today.

“(The play) provides us with an interesting challenge,” Stevenson said. “You don't have to like this because it's a classic. We want you to like it because you're enjoying what you're seeing on stage right now.” 

"Great Expectations" will run at 7:30 p.m. from Oct. 6-9 and at 3 p.m. on Oct. 10 at the E. Frank Gilson Lab Theatre. 

Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students with an ID and can be purchased by calling the Fine Arts Center Box Office at 405-325-4101.

A streaming option will be available here.

“I’m very proud of the work that the actors have done,” Stevenson said. “I think they have overcome obstacles. … I think they opened up new questions for themselves as artists … and hopefully they will take that with them as they proceed in their careers. I'm grateful for the opportunity to work with these students and to be part of their artistic journey.”

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