River City Players present first ever holiday show
TNE Editor

River City Players present first ever holiday show

Published 11/8/18

Colby Luper


TNE Writer


The River City Players are performing a holiday-themed show titled “A River City Holiday” at the end of November through the beginning of December. The show consists of a series of performances containing some of the most popular songs from the River City Players summer 2018 run. The upcoming show also contains several famous holiday-themed songs. This is the first time the River City Players have organized a show specifically for the winter holidays season.


“I have been directing River City Players since 2005,” said Dr. Robyn Pursley, College of Liberal Arts assistant dean and Theatre associate professor. “Over the years, we have consistently been asked to do a holiday show by our patrons. We decided to see if we can make it happen this year, and it has been a work in progress since the close of our summer season. It is a two-part show. Half of it is a celebration of the greatest hits from this past summer. The other half of the show is holiday music. We are scheduling rehearsals throughout the month of November.”


The River City Players is organized by the Sequoyah Institute, an NSU non-profit organization with the goal of promoting the fine arts beyond the traditional classroom experience. The first River City Players show was hosted in 1983. By capitalizing on the talent of students and combining the best of popular music, Broadway hits, country, rock and everything in between, the River City Players have become one of the most popular shows produced by NSU over the years. Each year, auditions are held for the main summer show, and competition to obtain a spot in the cast is high.


“I always compare River City Players to any show that you would see in Branson, Missouri,” said Hannah Truitt, Sequoyah Institute Coordinator. “The hard work and talent that is going into producing this holiday show, as well as the summer shows, results in the same quality of performance that you would see in Branson, just without the four-hour drive. We are actually very fortunate to have such talented individuals to provide such a great entertainment experience right here in Tahlequah.”


The performers of “A River City Holiday” are returning members of the River City Players summer cast. Many of the cast members are reprising their roles from the summer shows for the greatest hits performances. They are brushing up on these numbers during November rehearsals while also learning entirely new songs and choreography for the holiday portion of the show. Costumes are being designed to reflect the holiday season, and many traditional songs and carols that are synonymous with the holiday season are presented during the show.


“I am so excited to return to the stage for the holiday show,” said Carly Johnson, River City Players cast member. “We have gotten our music for the show, and I can assure you the audience will have a hard time not singing along. The rehearsal experience is going to be a lot of fun. We begin by working on music and dance in a classroom, and then we will move onstage and add costumes later on. I am looking forward to working again with all the amazing performers from the past summer show.”


The performances of “A River City Holiday” is at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 29 and Saturday, Dec. 1. An additional performance is  at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1. The performances are at the NSU Playhouse, located in downtown Tahlequah at 300 N Muskogee Ave. Tickets are on sale now. It costs $13 dollars for an adult ticket, $11 for NSU alumni and employees, $10 for seniors, $7 for youth under the age of 18, and all the performances are free to students.

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