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Press Release



February 3, 2010

Cowley Music and Theatre Departments to perform the musical "South Pacific"


"South Pacific" musicalHaving had a role in the musical “South Pacific” while in high school and again when he was working at a summer stock theatre in Pennsylvania in 1995, Cowley College Theatre Director Scott MacLaughlin is looking forward to performing the musical at Cowley College March 4-6 at 7:30 p.m.

“We have not done a classic in a long time and I thought it would be great to go back to an old classic,” MacLaughlin said.

“South Pacific” is a 1949 musical with music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and book by Hammerstein and Joshua Logan. The story draws from James A. Michener's Pulitzer Prize-winning, 1948 novel, Tales of the South Pacific, weaving together characters and elements from several of its stories into a single plotline. The musical won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1950.

Considered to be one of the greatest musicals in history, “South Pacific” has several songs that are known worldwide.

“The music is wonderful and timeless, people will remember a lot of the songs,” MacLaughlin said.

The Broadway production of South Pacific was nominated for 10 Tony Awards and won all of them, including Best Musical, Best Score, and Best Libretto. It was the only musical production ever to win all four Tony Awards for acting. The show was a critical and box office hit and has since enjoyed many successful revivals and tours.

The story is set in the backdrop of a South Pacific island during World War II and centers on love, war, and bigotry.

“It shows the seriousness of the times, but also brings to life the fun things of the times,” MacLaughlin said.

Auditions for the musical at Cowley College were held prior to Christmas break.

“The cast was able to immediately come back from break and hit the ground running,” MacLaughlin said. “For the most part they had everything learned. This has been a great cast, they have been really patient. There is a lot of dialogue with songs interspersed.”

MacLaughlin had an opportunity to see the national tour of “South Pacific” in Dallas over Christmas break. So did Vocal Music Director Connie Donatelli, dance instructor Jennifer Blatchford, and Technical Director of Theatre Jamison Rhoads.

Along with MacLaughlin, Donatelli, Blatchford and Rhoads, instrumental music instructor Josh Fleig, and humanities instructor Gloria Tham have also teamed to help with the musical.

“Doing a musical like this is such a collaborative effort,” MacLaughlin said. “It is challenging but also fun to work with.”

Tickets are available at the Cowley Box Office, Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. or by calling 620-441-5570. Cost is $8 for adults and $5 for students. Gold cards will be accepted.

A Dinner and Show combo is being offered on March 5-6 for $20. Dinner will be served at 6 p.m. in the Earle N. Wright Community Room. Reservations for dinner must be made by March 3.

“South Pacific” is presented through special arrangement with R&H Theatricals.

Cast List

  • Nellie Forbush– Nicole Hoerschgen
  • Bloody Mary – Kalon Steinaway
  • Liat – Shaelynn French
  • Ngana – Bethany Blatchford
  • Nurses, Islanders, & French Women
  • Head Nurse – Amy Dunlap
  • Dinah – Anne Harmon
  • Janet McGregor – Rachel Curtiss
  • Other cast members: Amber Mason; Andrea Workman; Dange’ Sanders; Jade Sparks; Jessica Hayden; Jessica Latham; Shenqual Latney.


  • Emile De Becque – Aaron Brooks
  • Luther Billis – Peter Fairchild
  • Lt. Cable – Bryce Sund
  • Henry  – Octavio Matamoros
  • Captain Brackett – Jeff Wejman
  • Commander Harbison – Peter Onelio
  • Jerome – Britton MacLaughlin
  • Marines, Seabees, & Sailors
  • Stewpot – Mitch Wright
  • Professor – Clinton Haas
  • Lt. Buzz Adams – Ian Sutton
  • Herb Quale – Josh Scheuermann
  • Bob McCaffrey – Mitch Hoover
  • Other cast members: Jeremy Norris; Sung Chan Walker; James Kaiser.