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February 16, 2012 at 3:04 PM

5th Avenue Theatre's 'Oklahoma!' spawns discussions on race & the arts

A couple of local cowboys - Donald Jones Jr., left, Matt Owen and Ty Alexander Cheng - show some new moves in The 5th Avenue Theatre's production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Oklahoma! (Photo by Chris Bennion)

Audience response to the 5th Avenue Theatre’s current production of “Oklahoma!” — which includes a black actor in the role of Jud — has been so vigorous that the theater is planning a series of panel discussions on race and the arts.

Panels will take place between the matinee and evening performance of “Oklahoma!” at 5 p.m. on February 18 and Feb. 25, and at 4:30 p.m. Feb. 25 and Feb. 26.

Those panels will include 5th Avenue Theatre’s executive producer and artistic director David Armstrong and Spectrum Dance Theater artistic director and “Oklahoma!” choreographer Donald Byrd.

A session described as a “town hall meeting” featuring the 5th Avenue Theatre executive team and members of the show’s creative team will take place at 7 p.m. March 5.

All the sessions will be held at the theater, 1308 Fifth Ave. Info: www.5thavenue.org.

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