Spring Musical Spotlights Acceptance


Emily Loughridge

Alfie, played by Caleb Townley (left), tries to convince Adele, played by Dan Harper (middle), to play Princess Salome in his adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s play “Salome.”

Paul Tointigh, Managing Editor

USAO’s School of Visual and Performing Arts will perform their spring production starting Thursday, March 30th at 7:30 p.m. in the Davis Hall Little Theatre. This spring’s production is the musical “A Man of No Importance.” The production will continue to Friday, March 31st and Saturday, April 1st at 7:30 p.m. and the final day will be Sunday, April 2nd at 2 p.m.

Composed of two acts, “A Man of No Importance” is based on the 1994 film of the same name. The musical sets in the 1960s follows a man named Alfie, a bus driver and director of a theater troupe, and on top of that Alfie is a middle-aged closeted gay man. Alfie is determined to stage the Oscar Wilde play “Salome,” at a local church, who attempts to shut down the play due to opposing values of tradition.

The title of the musical is a reference to two plays written by Wilde: “The Importance of Being Earnest” and “A Woman of No Importance.” Despite Wilde not being in the musical or that this musical was not produced by him, he still plays a large role in this production, according to Katie Davis, professor of theater and director of production.

Davis said she chose “A Man of No Importance” to be the production for this spring because of the many themes the audience can take away from the musical, as well as the relevance of the theme to the community of USAO.

“It is not an in-your-face advocacy for any kind of lifestyle,” said Davis. “It’s an example of what happens when you’re just a good group of people who love and are decent to your friends.”

“I think the reason we are doing this musical is the main core message of love who you want to love,” said Keane Harrison, a senior theatre arts major. Harrison will play the character Ms. Crowe in the musical, whom she states she resonates with very much.

The musical will be a very special production to Caleb Townley, senior theater arts major, who will be playing the main character Alfie. Like Harrison, Townley said he can relate to his character on a personal level and can bring the character to life by understanding the character’s psychology. This musical will be the final production for Townley and Harrison in their USAO careers, before heading out into the profession of theater.

“This is my last show here as a student,” Townley said, “and this is my collegiate finale in a way. There’s something about musicals that’s all showy, and it’s like going out in bang.”

A musical is not just about putting on a show for the audience, but it can be about building relationships amongst others as well. Working on “A Man of No Importance” fostered a sense of community for all involved.

“We give people who haven’t done art, music, or theater before the chance to try it. One of the things it does is it becomes a social world and a family,” said Davis.

Davis said another reason why she chose this musical was that it has a lot of roles for people who are not polished in the art of musical theatre. The production involves over 50 people, including actors, vocalists, set designers, technicians, and more.

Joshua Edwards, a junior history major, said that he happily made new friends throughout this project, and he had the opportunity to meet people that he probably would not have otherwise. Harrison continued this feeling of belonging when she said that the musical provides her and her character with the feelings of love and support.

“We really hope students would take two hours out of their time to come and see this play, because we really want that to be a part of their education,” said Davis.

Davis said she wants to remind USAO students that the musical is free to those who present their student ID at the door. Admission for faculty, staff, students, and alumni will be free. Tickets for the public are $20 and will be available at the door, as well as online.


Paul Tointigh is a third-year Communication major at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.