The Tony–nominated revival of Oklahoma! became the first production on Broadway to feature a performance with the Instrument of Hope, a project initiated by the survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting in Parkland, Florida. The instrument, a trumpet designed by NYC-based instrument specialist Josh Landress, is constructed from spent AR-15 bullet casings—the same type of weapon used in the Parkland shooting.
The project was a collaboration between Shine MSD, a non-profit organization created by Parkland students to advance healing through arts, as well as Oklahoma! co-producers Level Forward and the Gun Neutral Initiative. The latter organization pledges a donation for every visible firearm in a production, benefiting organizations working to take illegal firearms out of circulation and destroy them. The initiative also benefits organizations who provide arts and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programming to students in underserved areas impacted by gun violence.
“It’s an arresting sound and sight, to hear music with this story behind it, now reshaped as vessel for creativity and hope. The aim is neither partisanship nor worse, but continued conversation and collaboration to bring about healing and make strides for gun violence prevention,” said Abigail E. Disney, Chair of Level Forward. “Our partners at Oklahoma! are trailblazers of more than territory; they are leading the charge to extend the influence of this groundbreaking production.”
Check out the video above to see Oklahoma! music director Nathan Koci perform the song "Out of My Dreams" after the May 8 matinee, featuring the Instrument of Hope and the Oklahoma! band.