Photo by: Nick Conley
Oklahoma Christian University just got musical with the “The Wonderful World of OC” Spring Sing show.
Presenting “The Wonderful World of OC,” director Lee Branch anticipates viewers leaving the March 7-9 shows emotionally “uplifted.”
“I hope you leave happier than you showed up,” Branch, an Oklahoma Christian senior, said. “Disney World is the happiest place on Earth – that idea always comes with anything Disney.”
The 10 social service clubs and the freshmen class group will perform their individual acts based on Disney films and characters during four different show times. The groups, with individual themes ranging from “Hercules” to “Mary Poppins,” will compete for the top honor with their performance.
Branch said he hopes to spark more interest this year with the theme.
“I think the idea of Disney, a universally loved thing, might pull some extra people in,” Branch said. “For as big and broad as it is – it’s a huge crowd pleaser.”
Senior Danielle Reall, Branch’s club coordinator, said she is excited to see people’s reactions.
“I think overall it’s going to be a great show,” Reall said. “Everybody loves Disney. No matter how old you are – you’re going to enjoy this show.”
A Disney theme has been pitched before, Branch said, but legal concerns halted it.
“We kind of had to do our homework,” Branch said. “We talked with the legal department at OC, and they gave us some pointers on how to work it out. We made it happen.”
Branch, an Edmond native, is the third person in his family to direct a Spring Sing show. His father and sister have directed in the past. He said the theme is vital to the outcome of the show.
“You have to think of something a lot of clubs can follow,” Branch said of choosing the theme. “Something that’s really important when you pick the theme is that the clubs can work with it really well, and that your hosts can work with it really well. That’s what the whole show runs on.”
“The Disney theme has added extra hype, Branch said, “Everybody knows Disney so well and so there is a lot of speculation of ‘oh I think this club should be this,’” Branch said. “I think it’s been really fun for the campus, in general, to see who the clubs decided to be and what the hosts are going to be singing.”
For Branch, preparation for this year’s show started last April. He began by tossing ideas around for the theme, and then later choosing his executive staff to assist him in the production of the show.
“Picking those executive committee spots was crucial,” Branch said. “I lucked-out on having a great group around me.”
Branch’s staff includes: Natalie Howard, assistant director; Danielle Reall, club coordinator; Reece Kingcade, band and vocal director; Emily Grelle, advertising sales coordinator; Jaynes Parker, treasurer; Mary Watson, executive producer; Taylor Davis, lobby design coordinator; Kandyce Moore, tech director; Choreography and Costumes Coordinator Hannah Faye Foster and Light Design and Sound Coordinator Zeke Gustafson.
Brach said his staff has let him be worry free.
“As director you spend most of your time coming up with ideas of what you want to see, and then it’s those people who make it happen,” Branch said of his production staff.
The staff and several others work many hours in hopes of ensuring an exceptional show.
“It’s always surprising the sheer amount of work that a lot of people will go through just for Spring Sing,” Branch said. “People are passionate enough about this show that they’ll go to crazy lengths to make it good.”
Hosting this year’s show are seniors Katelyn Jackson, Sarah Risley and Brian Wilcox, junior Megan Helterbrand, sophomore Jabbarri Jones, and freshman Sean Steele.
This Spring Sing is Katelyn Jackson’s first time to host. She said the hosts started practicing in January.
“I’m super nervous,” Jackson said. “I’m trying to practice enough so I can automatically sing if I get nervous and not forget lyrics.”
Jackson said she went out for host on a whim.
“I thought, ‘why not give it a go,’” Jackson said. “I honestly didn’t think that I would be hosting this year. It turned out really well.”
This year’s show is expected to be different, Jackson said.
“I think that, comparatively, it’s going to be a really well done show,” Jackson said. “I think it always is well done, but this year will just be creative in a different way that other shows haven’t been.”
Spring Sing kicked off on Thursday and continues tonight at 8 p.m., and Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m.
“I hope everyone can go home with an appreciation of what we did with the Disney theme,” Jackson said. “And feel that same magical moment that they do when they watch the ‘Lion King.’”
Jackson anticipates the audience going home with a good impression.
“I’m satisfied with it just knowing that the reward isn’t really monetary, it’s seeing the show and knowing you created it,” Branch said.