Music teachers take the stage in summer musical

Christopher Purdy and Becky Duggan practice what they teach. They are both music instructors and performers.

“Performing is my passion,” said Purdy. “I own 80 musical DVDs and have watched them all.”

The two are playing the romantic lead couple in “Oklahoma” this summer and are colleagues in the Boise School District — Purdy teaches music at Mountain View Elementary and Duggan teaches music at Grace Jordan Elementary.

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Purdy and Duggan practice their lines during rehearsal.

“The musical is one of those quintessential shows that is part of the American songbook,” Purdy said.

Purdy, 40, and Duggan, 39, are volunteer actors through Music Theatre of Idaho, a non-profit in Nampa. The two have been acting for more than 25 years in community theater and performing together on stage for 10 years. Acting is a hobby that provides them with experience to become better teachers in the classroom.

“This is a way for me to connect on a professional level with other adults,” Duggan said. “Acting is professional development for me.”

Rehearsals run nearly 20 hours a week for nine weeks in July and August. The teachers practice performing lines, stage placement, costume fitting and building sets.

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The cast of “Oklahoma” rehearses together.

“It’s quite the commitment to put a show together,” Purdy said.

The musical, set in Oklahoma Territory outside the town of Claremore in 1906, tells the story of cowboy Curly McLain, played by Purdy, and his romance with farm girl Laurey Williams, played by Duggan.

“We want to connect emotionally with the audience, “Duggan said. “Knowing each other helps us on stage.”

The duo will perform three shows in August. Opening night is the first week of school at the Nampa Civic Center.

“We will be busy the first week of school, but we will be fine,” Purdy said. “We’re just excited to perform.”

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For more information about the musical and pricing, click here.