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OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, November 10, 2017 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Two Oklahoma Baptist University alumni are bringing a new holiday musical to Oklahoma City. "The Unusual Tale of Mary and Joseph's Baby" is an original folk musical that tells the Christmas story in a refreshingly, unexpected way.
New York City-based playwright Chris Cragin-Day wrote the play and Joshua Peterson, the founding artistic director of the River & Rail Theatre Company, based in Knoxville, Tenn., are both OBU grads.
Tennessee-based, award-winning recording artist Don Chaffer of the music group Waterdeep wrote the music and lyrics.
"The Unusual Tale of Mary and Joseph's Baby" will be presented at 7:30 p.m., November 30 through December 2 at the Civic Center Music Hall in Oklahoma City. A 2 p.m. matinee performance will also be held on December 2 and 3.
The musical is set in a modern context and carefully observes the human elements of this traditional story. A retelling of the Christmas story is set with racially-diverse actors, a minimal set and an emphasis on expressive movement.
The play was the breakout hit of the 2016 New York International Fringe Festival. New York City theatre critics marveled at the show. "It's smart, it's polished, it's honest...so wonderfully human," said Keith Paul Medelis, Theatre is Easy. Jose Solis of Stage Buddy said, "...it's simple beauty makes it a timeless work." Dr. Tom Stevens of Rising Action said, "the unsurpassed breakout hit of the 2016 New York International Fringe Festival...This musical is a must see."
It was chosen last year to be featured as the first production of the River & Rail Theatre Company.
A Shawnee native, Cragin-Day graduated salutatorian from Shawnee High School, class of 1995. She went on to double major in theatre and psychology. Her father, John Cragin, teaches at OBU. Cragin-Day received her master's in fine arts in stage directing from Baylor University before moving to New York City where she currently resides. She has written or co-written more than 20 plays and musicals. She is a writing professor at The Kings College in Manhattan and teaches playwriting in Regent's MFA Scriptwriting program.
Peterson is a Texas transplant via Paris and New York. He also holds a BA in theatre from OBU and received his MFA in acting from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He founded the River & Rail Theatre Company in 2014 with the focus forming a professional theatre company with a community heart. Prior to moving to Knoxville, Peterson served as the artistic director of Firebone Theatre Company in New York City. Between pursuing his degrees, he spent two years living and working for a humanitarian aid organization outside of Paris. He made his Knoxville acting debut last year in Clarence Brown Theatre's "A Christmas Carol."
To purchase tickets, go to okcciviccenter.com.
River and Rail Theatre Company is a fantastic non-profit with some pretty amazing values. The founding director is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University (as well as the playwright for this particular show). It isn't very often that we have a boutique theatre company from another state come to OKC with one of their shows! Which, in my opinion, is pretty cool and I would love to see more of.
River and Rail website: https://www.riverandrailtheatre.com
River and Rail Facebooking Page: https://www.facebook.com/riverandrailco/
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