USAO’s Davis-Waldorf Performing Arts Series kicks off Oct. 26 with world-premiere of “Hyde”

PUSH Physical Theatre
Show by PUSH Physical Theatre developed in residency at USAO .

The University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma is your destination to get spooked this Halloween season during the Davis-Waldorf Performing Arts Series season-opener.

Experience the world premiere of “HYDE”, a thrilling adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1886 Gothic novella “Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” developed with PUSH Physical Theatre during their residency on the USAO campus. The story of Jekyll and Hyde has often been adapted for the stage and film and has compelled audiences with its comment on good and evil and the duality of man.

The first and only performance of this production will be on October 26, at 7:30 p.m., in the Te Ata Memorial Auditorium on the USAO campus. Tickets cost $20 for the public and are available at the door or at Because of profanity, violence and mature themes, this play is suggested for adult audience members.

“We are excited to involve the audience in our creative process,” said Katie Davis, professor of theatre arts and executive director of the Davis-Waldorf Performing Arts Series. “For the last month, we have been developing two plays, inspired by a tale of horror and devised to complement each other. On Thursday night, the DWPAS will feature “HYDE,” the world premiere by PUSH, and on Saturday, the first and only showing of “JEKYLL,” devised by the USAO Theatre Arts Program. We have created work that allows people to see this story in new ways, and we can’t wait to share it.”

“HYDE” will introduce Edward, a troubled young man, who has re-invented himself by telling the classic tale. The physical theatre piece examines the terror of a broken mind, the danger of a double-life, and the power of the theatre.

PUSH first became acquainted with USAO in 2018 when they came for their first DWPAS performance. They enjoyed their experience so much they stayed connected with Davis, supporting the DWPAS, theatre productions and teaching an online course in physical theatre for the theatre arts program during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2022, PUSH and Davis collaborated to apply for a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as one from the National Dance Project for the creation of this multidisciplinary performing arts show to premiere at USAO as part of the DWPAS.

“We chose USAO because of our relationship with the university – primarily because of the efforts of Katie Davis to work with us before and during the COVID lockdown,” said Darren Stevenson, PUSH Artistic Director and CEO. “Her [Davis’] commitment to providing the best possible education for USAO students during that difficult time convinced us that this would be the ideal university to partner with.”

This marks the first time the theatre arts program at USAO has been involved so intimately in writing and development with a professional performing company. During PUSH’s month-long residency on the USAO campus, theatre arts students have received an exclusive and intimate experience through mentorship and daily workshops.

“As we helped them build their own show, we also got to build our own show inspired by theirs,” said Abbee Mann, sophomore theatre major. “We get to be trained in their style of acting.”

“Their whole style of theatre is very movement based,” said Rylee Trent, junior theatre major. “It is not really text-based, it is more about the body and how the body explains things. So, it is really cool to be exposed to that.”

The after-party celebrating the world premiere of “HYDE” is being hosted at Art Wrecker Studio in Chickasha, and pairs with the runway costume contest on Oct. 26 from 9:30 p.m. until midnight. The USAO Theatre Arts program will present “Jekyll” on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 7:30 p.m., in the Te Ata Memorial Auditorium. Audience members who attend the DWPAS show will receive complimentary tickets to “Jekyll.” This student-led adaptation introduces a contemporary teen who finds escape in the 1886 story and exposes how trauma challenges our sense of self. Tickets at the door for this one-night event will cost $20 for the public.