To quote the poet Robert Burns, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”

The citizens of Claremore must wait a little longer for the opening of the new Performing Arts Center, which has been officially dubbed the Robson Performing Arts Center.

Claremore High School production of the musical “Oklahoma!” was slated to open the center in early June, but due to delays with the theatre seating, the center will not be ready in time to mount the production.

“The seats were ordered September 7, 2005,” said benefactor Frank Robson. “The company providing the seats has notified us that due to manufacturing delays the seats will not be available for installation until the latter part of June.”

“We regret this delay in completion of the center and the inability to host the performance of ‘Oklahoma!’” said Rick Mosier, trustee board member, “however, the show will go on.”

Performances have been rescheduled for the outdoor amphitheatre on the campus of Rogers State University, June 8-11 at 7:30 p.m., with a pre-show barbecue on Friday and Saturday night.

The hillside location of the outdoor theatre is a fitting alternate location that seems to step straight out of the famous Rodgers and Hammerstein musical.

Although the cast and crew of “Oklahoma!” had hoped to open the center, no time is being wasted as the stage designs and performances convert to the outdoor stage.

Director of the musical, Linda Pollock said, “I am very excited about the quality of our show. The cast and chorus are really doing a great job and we are going to have a fantastic show wherever we perform. Plus, being able to use live horses, real wagons and a surrey will certainly add a fun and realistic dimension for our audiences. After all, ‘Oklahoma!’ is the best musical in the world to perform outdoors!”

This outdoor event promises to be a wonderful evening of family fun.

“It has been truly awe inspiring to witness the amount of work involved in creating this state-of-the-art center,” said Ruby Quinn, executive director of the Robson Performing Arts Center. “The community of Claremore has been so wonderfully supportive in the building of this facility, and their patience is appreciated because this center is well worth the wait.”

The Robson Performing Arts Center will be open in time for the next school year as it will welcome Claremore students to a year full of arts excellence. For more information regarding the Robson Performing Arts Center, visit Tickets for “Oklahoma!” are general admission at the Rogers State University Amphitheatre, June 8-11 at 7:30 p.m.. Adult tickets will be $8 and student tickets will be $5.