Youth Bridge Global is taking us to the Wild West this year with the feature play Oklahoma!
The show brings back veteran actors with a mixture of new talents from Assumption, Majuro Baptist Christian Academy, Marshall Islands High School, Majuro Cooperative, College of Marshall Islands and University of South Pacific.
The play will showcase a web of entangled romantic relationships between cowboys and damsels in the small Oklahoma town called Claremore in1906.
Claremore is roughly 140 miles away from Enid, a city heavily populated by Marshallese, which if compared to Marshalls, it’s like the distance between Majuro and Jaluit Atoll.
While Choreographer Marisa Clementi, who assisted Prof. Andrew Garrod’s plays the past few years, is scheduled to arrive in Majuro shortly, famed artist and singer Austin Willacy is arriving in Majuro this week to share his talents with local students. Willacy will also perform at the International Conference Center Saturday January 28 at 8pm.
Meantime, production of this play in Majuro has brought to the fore discussion about “giddy up” and its Marshallese translation.
This term may have first been heard in the Marshall Islands back in the 1950s when cowboy films were regular fare at the theater on Kwajalein and later in local Ebeye (Handel Dribo comes to mind) and Majuro theaters (including Retty Reimers theater) as they got going.
Cowboy fans back then caught up with the phrase and incorporated it with horse or horseback riding, thus creating the Marshallese word “Kiria.”
Read more about this in the January 20, 2017 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.