Cochrane residents will have the chance to take a trip back in time to the early 1900s as Swamp Donkey Musical Theatre kicks off its production of Oklahoma! this weekend.

Journeying to the rural town of Claremore, Oklahoma, during the early 1900s, "Oklahoma!" unfolds the tale of several farmers, cowboys, and a traveling salesman competing for the affection of the town's women. 

Swamp Donkey founder & president Trisha Gizen said they pride themselves on offering a wide range of opportunities for people to get involved in local theatre. 

"Our oldest is 63 and then we have all ages in between and all abilities, which is a really fantastic thing about musical theatre is you have people coming from all different backgrounds, and all building something together."

Music Director/Co-Director Choreographer Melanie Baux said Oklahoma! is a classic that people can get excited about coming to see. 

"I think a lot of people are familiar with the music, Oh What a Beautiful Morning and the title song is Oklahoma. It's been fun to put together. It's got a lot of choreography, so there's quite a few big dance numbers, fun costumes, recognizable music and I think we have an awesome set."

Everyone involved in the production is local, said Baux. 

"Everything, our production team, all our actors and actresses are from Bragg Creek, Redwood Meadows, Cochrane, we've got a member from Canmore, and sometimes Olds."

Twelve-year-old Tilly Walsh plays Vivian.

"I love Swamp Donkey so much, it's such a great community and you just feel welcome here. It's such a fun thing from all ages, even if you're a beginner at musical theatre, acting or dancing, you definitely learn a lot and it's such a fun thing to be a part of."

Tilly Walsh Tilly Walsh plays Vivian in Oklahoma! 

Walsh is no stranger to the stage, having been involved in approximately 15 shows with Swamp Donkey. 

"It is the most fun thing, whenever I'm sad I can always look forward to going to Swamp Donkey that week. It's the most fun thing in my life probably, I love it so much." 

Charlee Sealy plays Gertie, the 15-year-old said the entire cast and crew is welcoming to everyone. 

"The community is really nice, everyone's always really nice and you can be yourself and not have to be afraid of what people will think. I think it's really fun to be able to sing and dance and do things you enjoy doing."

Charlee SealyCharlee Sealy plays Gertie in Oklahoma!

Oklahoma! runs May 3-5 and May 10-12. 

Swamp Donkey poster

Tickets for Oklahoma! can be found HERE