Seventh- through ninth-grade drama students performed March 11-13. Approximately 500 people attended the opening show Thursday night, with near-packed audiences the following nights.
Fairfield principal Kathy Washburn said she was overwhelmed with Thursday's attendance, especially since the play was competing with Layton High's performance of Victor Hugo's "Les Miserables."
But then again, Washburn said the Kaysville community has always been supportive of Fairfield events and its students.
"It's just excellent," she said. "It's absolutely incredible to see the support [the community] gives these kids."
"I'm excited and a little nervous," stated ninth-grader Parker Solum before the opening show. After the show, he said it was "an awesome performance. It was fun, I had a really good time."
Solum played Curly, a gentle cowboy who falls in love with the sweet Laury, played by Haley Yarbrough. However, Laury is literally fought over -- first with an auction match, then with a tumble -- by Curly and the roughened Jud Fry, played by ninth-grader Mario Heder.
Curly won out and married the beautiful Laury, who always had her heart set upon the gentle cowboy. Soon after the wedding, jealous Fry came to settle the score with Curly. As fate would have it, however, Fry received mortal wounds by his own bowie knife, while the newlyweds lived happily ever after, carried away in a carriage while the rest of the cast sang a jubilant "Oklahoma."
The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical consists of a "fair amount of kissing," explained drama teacher Janet Loureiro. The kissing was incorporated into the school play as well. "But the kids handled it very well, and were mature about it. And there were no parents who got upset," Loureiro continued.
With a grin, Solum said he was fine with the kissing scenes. "It didn't happen that way [so smoothly] during rehearsal," he stated. "It was good."
Heder originally tried out for Curly, but instead got the part of Jud Fry. "It was great," he said. "I told everyone beforehand not to be nervous. I loved the crowds cheering, and the singing."
"These kids really surprise you," added Heder's mother Karen. "I knew Mario could sing, but he surprised me; I didn't know he could sing that good."
Other lead characters included the talents of Angel Loureiro (Aunt Eller), Rachel Povey, (Ado Annie), Joel McAllister (Ali Hakim), Jake Slater (Will Parker), and Nicole Fowler (Gertie).
In all, 59 students performed with talents ranging from comical skits and dancing to singing solos. Two hundred students auditioned in December; those selected started practicing shortly thereafter, with a dress rehearsal conducted March 10.
Solum, who played a part in last year's "Guys and Dolls" under the encouragement of friend Kenzie Ferguson, said everybody got along great and collaborated well with each other, making it an enjoyable experience. He also said he plans to continue with acting in the years to come and gives thanks to Ferguson for encouraging him to get involved and try out for parts.
"I can't complain about my cast, they have been an absolute joy. They've had a lot of enthusiasm," Loureiro said. "We also have a really good area with a lot of people who support the arts. We're lucky that way."