Okahoma Shakespearean Festival celebrates 45 years


The Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival (OSF) proudly announces its 45th anniversary season, showcasing an exciting lineup of performances that promise to enchant audiences of all ages. Following the successful opening of The Spitfire Grill Musical, the festival continues with a variety of captivating shows at the Visual and Performing Arts Center in Durant, Okla.

The festival’s opening show, **The Spitfire Grill Musical**, was met with rave reviews and enthusiastic applause from audiences. The production was a resounding success, setting a high standard for the rest of the season. Attendees were captivated by the stellar performances and the engaging production, which truly showcased the talent and dedication of the OSF team.

Upcoming Performances:

  • **Company Cabaret:** A lively, musical extravaganza featuring the talents of our festival cast, offering a night of song and dance that highlights the diverse skills of our performers. Playing in the SE Visual & Performing Arts Center on Thursday, June 6, and Friday, June 7 at 7 p.m.

  • **Julius Caesar:** Experience the timeless political drama by William Shakespeare, exploring themes of power, betrayal, and ambition in ancient Rome. Playing in Montgomery Auditorium on Thursday, June 13, and Friday, June 14 at 7 p.m.

  • **The Spongebob Musical: Youth Edition:** When the citizens of Bikini Bottom discover that a volcano will soon erupt and destroy their humble home, SpongeBob and his friends must come together to save the fate of their undersea world. With lives hanging in the balance and all hope lost, a most unexpected hero rises up. The power of optimism really can save the world! Playing Montgomery Auditorium on Thursday, June 20Friday, June 21, and Saturday, June 22 at 7 p.m

  • **Finding Nemo Jr.**: Dive into the underwater world of Finding Nemo in this heartwarming adaptation that brings the beloved Pixar characters to life on stage. Playing in Montgomery Auditorium Friday, June 28 at 7 p.m.Saturday, June 29 at 2 p.m., and Saturday, June 29 at 7 p.m.

**Keeping The Dream Alive Since 1979**

The festival’s slogan, “Keeping The Dream Alive Since 1979,” reflects the enduring legacy and vision of Molly Risso, the Artistic Director who founded OSF. Molly believed in the magic of theatre and built a strong theatre department at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Her creation of the Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival brought professional theatre, student training, and educational opportunities to the community.

Today, Riley Risso Coker, Molly’s daughter, keeps the dream alive as OSF’s Producing Director. Riley Risso Coker is the Director of Theatre and coordinator of dance for theatre at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. With a BA in Theatre from Southeastern Oklahoma State University and an MFA in Acting from California State University, Riley has immersed herself in theatre arts. Her extensive experience includes roles such as Educational Director, Production Stage Manager, Choreographer, Administrative Assistant, and Director at OSF.

Riley continues her mother’s legacy by ensuring the festival remains one of the top summer theatre festivals in America, making Durant and Southeastern Oklahoma State University a destination for tourists, professional and aspiring actors, and theatre artisans who, together, continue to make magic.

**Support the “Fill Will” Campaign**

In addition to this stellar lineup, OSF is thrilled to announce the launch of our “Fill Will” campaign. This initiative aims to raise $4,500 to provide scholarships for local students, fostering the next generation of artists and theatre enthusiasts. We invite our community to support this worthy cause and help us reach our goal.

**How to Support and Attend:**

Donations, tickets, and further information about the festival can be found at [oklahomashakes.com] (http://oklahomashakes.com) or by calling the box office at 580-745-2696. Your contributions to the Fill Will campaign will directly impact students in our area, providing them with invaluable opportunities to engage with the performing arts.

Join us in celebrating 45 years of the Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival and immerse yourself in a season of captivating performances. We look forward to sharing the magic of theater with you!

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