For any organization, thriving for 50 years is a major accomplishment, and Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma has defied the odds and will spend 2013 celebrating its 50th Anniversary in style. Deciding what show should open such a monumental season must have been challenging, but Lyric’s Artistic Director Michael Baron decided on SOME ENCHANTED EVENING, which will run January 30 through February 16 at the Plaza Theatre. The production is a rousing review of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s music featuring songs from CINDERELLA, OKLAHOMA!, THE KING AND I, SOUTH PACIFIC, THE SOUND OF MUSIC and many more.
“SOME ENCHANTED EVENING is the perfect way to open our 50th Anniversary Season because, in a way, the show is a celebration of theatre itself,” said Baron. “Rodgers & Hammerstein gave so much to the world of musical theatre and many of their creations have appeared on Lyric’s stages throughout its 50 years.”
There are five cast members that will make up the main characters of the show, but this production of SOME ENCHANTED EVENING will have a special feature: each performance will include a returning actor from Lyric’s past. Notable performers include Marilyn Govich, Lyn Cramer, Charlotte Franklin, Jane Hall, Bob Windsor, Lexi Windsor, Matthew Alvin Brown and many more. Performing during every show will be regional favorites Dallas Lish, Jamie Buxton, Heather Geery, Ethan Spell and Melissa Griffith.
To view a full schedule of guest performers visit LyricTheatreOKC.com. Tickets to all of Lyric’s 2013 shows are now on sale and are available for purchase online, at Lyric’s box office at 1727 NW 16th Street or by calling (405) 524-9312. Performances will be held at the Plaza Theatre at 1725 NW 16th Street. Performance times are Tuesdays through Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and at 2 p.m. on Saturdays.
Guest post by Michaela Webb
Year after year since its revitalization, the Plaza District continues to attract new and exciting retailers, restaurants, organizations and fans. Last year, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma debuted LYRIC’S A CHRISTMAS CAROL, turning the Plaza District into not only a destination for holiday shopping and a night on the town, but for the creation of new traditions.
“It was very exciting to see families, friends and couples coming to the Plaza District to celebrate the holidays with LYRIC’S A CHRISTMAS CAROL,” said Lyric’s Artistic Director Michael Baron. “Now that we’re in our second year of the production, it’s thrilling to have all those that loved it last year returning and bringing even more loved ones to experience it for the first time.”
Baron’s original adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic is unlike what audiences typically expect from the redemption tale—picture flying ghosts, larger-than-life puppets and beautiful carol singing. Not to mention, as an audience member, be prepared to experience a little snowfall.
Last year’s debut was met with rave reviews from audiences and they weren’t the only ones that fell in love with the show. The entire adult cast from 2011 opted to return for this year’s run, including Oklahoma City favorites Jonathan Beck Reed (Scrooge), Tom Huston Orr (Bob Cratchit), Matthew Alvin Brown (Young Scrooge/Fred), Susan Riley (Mrs. Cratchit), Jayme Petete (Christmas Past), Mandy Jiran (Christmas Present) and more. There are also several talented kids featured throughout the production, which is directed by Baron and choreographed by Lyric’s Associate Artistic Director Ashley Wells.
If you’re looking to start a new tradition or revisit an old favorite in a new way, LYRIC’S A CHRISTMAS CAROL shouldn’t be missed this holiday season and for years to come.
LYRIC’S A CHRISTMAS CAROL will show at the Plaza Theatre, November 30 through December 29. The theatre is located at 1725 NW 16th Street, Oklahoma City, 73106. For tickets call Lyric’s box office at (405) 524-9312, visit LyricTheatreOKC.com or stop by the box office at 1727 NW 16th Street.
Guest post by Michaela Webb
The Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre is presenting “The Normal Heart” by Larry Kramer. This show is an autobiographical tragedy. The names have been changed to avoid the complicated nightmare dealing with estate resolution in the case of the deceased and also to be more sensitive to family members. But the story is true and many of us remember first hearing about the ‘gay plague’ that was vaguely covered beginning in 1981. It took years, but we soon learned about AIDS.
The subject matter is sensitive to many because the disease is transmitted in many cases by a promiscuous life style in the homosexual community. Initially, not knowing that the transmission occurred in other ways as well, the disease was called GRID (gay related immune deficiency) and as more information became available, AIDS.
The specific interest in the production is narrow—the gay and lesbian community who are most affected and initially the only segment of the population known to be affected. Some are offended by the subject matter yet everyone is in danger. Taking place from July 1981 to May 1984 in New York City, this is the story of those at ‘ground zero’ from the first cases diagnosed.
What is universal to all, regardless of their feelings about the disease or homosexual activity is the frustration these men and women faced as they attempted to get answers and develop information for those infected with the virus and those in danger. They ran up against a brick wall of uncaring, unhearing, uninformed bureaucracy. This is familiar to everyone to a greater or lesser extent, and is probably the biggest threat to freedom faced in the 21st century.
Dr. Emma Brookner is the doctor in New York City who studied, treated and fought for answers and treatment from the earliest days. She steadfastly stood by her patients, a constantly growing number of individuals, but with changing faces as so many of them died. A victim of polio, she sets aside her own pain to help these poor young men coming to her with hope, and held their hands when hope began to die. The role of Dr. Brookner is beautifully played by Stacey Logan who captures her rough and tough exterior tempered by a heart filled with love.
Ned Weeks is the writer who struggles in the way that all writers do. His only love in life is that shared with his straight brother Ben, who accepts him. Unfortunately Weeks cannot commit himself to any relationship requiring him to give of himself that love which is romantic. When he finally finds that one person he can share his life with he loves unconditionally and completely. As he first discovers that many of his friends are afflicted he naturally begins to fight for information and help. As he becomes personally affected, facing the loss of someone he loves, his fight becomes desperate. Jonathan Beck Reed captures Ned Weeks perfectly revealing a man who is courageous, outspoken and above all highly principled. Michael Jones is an excellent Ben Weeks, a man who can love and accept a younger brother who has crossed a line that many of the era could not cross. This takes place only 30 years ago and there are still many people who refuse to accept such an alien life style, yet Ben Weeks, does so wholeheartedly and loves his brother unabashedly. The performance of Jones reveals this, and yet we see the natural reservations he hides from his beloved brother until they become temporarily estranged.
Weeks forms one of the first organization to combat AIDS in New York City. His colleague is Bruce Niles a handsome man firmly in the closet. Niles is elected President and his cautious approach is sensible but seems to reflect his need to remain hidden from public view to protect his position. Weeks and Niles butt heads continually. Drew Pollack shows the audience the horrible conflict he faces daily as he struggles with the bureaucracy and the loss of lovers. Tommy Boatwright is the flamboyant member of the organization. He likes to shock and swish just a little and could never stay in any closet. And he is the wisest member of the group in understanding the human condition. Brian Hamilton adds just the right amount of poignancy to the role, and a nice touch of humor.
Matthew Alvin Brown is Felix Turner, the young lover of Ned Weeks. The profoundly deep feelings that develop between the two of them as they meet and fall in love during this battle is stirring. Brown and Beck beautifully portray a loving couple facing tragedy with grace and strength.
Michael Corolla plays Mickey Marcus, the quiet, unassuming and very effective member of the organization. He takes care of the details with determination and dedication. When the depths of his passion and anger is revealed it is both shocking and natural, and Corolla’s characterization is superb.
Terry Veal is an officious bureaucrat in the Mayor’s office. He must balance his naturally bureaucratic attitude with his genuine concern as a gay man in a public setting. The character Veal develops of Hiram Keebler is one of the best performances Veal has ever given. Wil Rogers as Craig Donner and an orderly, Scott C. Hynes as David and an orderly, Scotty Taylor as Grady, Daniel Leeman Smith as an orderly and Larry Sharp as the Examining Doctor all perform excellently amidst this great cast.
Ben Hall, Assistant to the Director is invaluable, but the credit of this excellent production must go to Rene Moreno. Moreno takes a great cast and allows them full range in an extremely tragic story yet orchestrates this production with a light but firm touch. The piece is thought provoking and tears stream from the eyes of the audience as they leave the theatre, but they are also hopeful and ready to fight, whether the issue is the same as just seen or another, they understand and are ready for any fights they must face. Further, Moreno’s direction allows the audience to be entertained. It is hard to make such a tragedy as this entertaining to a general audience, yet in “The Normal Heart” this is accomplished.
The crew, the understudies, the CityRep management the actors and most of all Director Moreno should be congratulated heartily for this production – a production Larry Kramer could see himself in as if gazing in a mirror. There is a wall of petty indifference that Weeks came up against and could not dent, not because he is gay, but because the wall doesn’t care. While “The Normal Heart” is of specific interest to the gay and lesbian community, it is universal because sooner or later we will all bang our heads with futility and desperation against such a wall.
“The Normal Heart” plays through November 18, 2012 in the Freede Theatre at the Civic Center Music Hall. Curtain is at 7:30 pm for the convenience of the parking public and 1:30 for matinees. For tickets call CityRep at 405-848-3761 or visit www.cityrep.com. Go – not because you’re gay if you are, but because you are human as we all are.
On Thursday, November 1, 2012 CityRep Theatre hosted a benefit tribute to Lyle Dye Jr. The room at The Castle where the event took place was filled to the brim with the warmth that can only be generated by the heat of love stoked with respect. Everyone had one thing in common: Lyle Dye as a mentor, or as a mentor’s mentor. The event raised some important funds for CityRep but more importantly raised the spirits of everyone who remembers Lyle Dye Jr.
The man is someone you’d walk through fire for, or, in my case, eat it. Years ago when I first worked with Lyle I understood immediately his important contribution to my character as an actress and as a person. Here was a man who never expected you to be able to do the impossible. He did demand your best, and the best only looks impossible!
Ethics, humor, talent, empathy (shhh, that’s a secret) and dedication create a lasting legacy. Lyle Dye has created the legacy here in Oklahoma City, Akron, Ohio, New York City and Johnsburg, New York where he has just been named “Person of the Year.” He has a feather touch in the lives of all of us, and all those we touch as well.
There were many stories at the benefit remembered by many associates here in Oklahoma City. They all have the one thing in common that touches my soul. Lyle Dye Jr. is a man who loves the theatre, loves the people who love the theatre and never compromises his integrity. There is always a smile lurking behind his eyes as he develops each creative soul. Tears blurred the vision of all as he rose to express his thanks and love of every testament he heard and those he remembers from the old days as well as the new days. He remembers every face and every character, and even if he may not remember every actor’s name he remembers their triumph. He is glad to know that we credit him with the triumphs he saw then as well as the triumphs we see now.
His talent is large and evidenced by his great body of work. His heart is large and shown by the continued affection of the community. His soul is large and is clearly seen in the exactness of character each of us creates in the mirror as we imagine his reflection along with whoever we wish to become. So we all love him unreservedly.
Thank you sir, for those wonderful years in Oklahoma City at Lyric and the Oklahoma Theatre Center. Thank you for your contributions in New York, Ohio, New York and everywhere you touch. Your continued efforts are an inspiration to us now and forever. Have good shows back in New York at the beautiful Lyle Dye Jr. Theatre and never forget that you are remembered with love and respect.
Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre (CityRep), is hosting a benefit and tribute to Lyle Dye Jr. The event is “Black Tie to Tie Dye and Anything in Between” and honors Dye’s contribution to the theatre community and Oklahoma City particularly.
Dye has a prestigious resume as a director from New York to Los Angeles to Oklahoma City and back again to New York. A graduate of Drake University with an MFA in directing from Yale University, Dye came to Oklahoma City in 1971 as Artistic Director of Lyric Theatre. He made profound contributions to the growth of Lyric Theatre during his tenure. He also became Executive Director of the Oklahoma Theatre Center. During his time in Oklahoma City, Dye’s influence radiated throughout the theatrical community.
Lyle Dye has an excellent grasp of human nature, a generous spirit and wit, and the rare ability to turn a flaw into an asset. He has earned great respect and good will from colleagues and from the many performers who worked under his direction. He is remembered with much fondness by those who knew him in the good old days, but he has also provided a lasting legacy for the Oklahoma City community. Actors and directors who never met him benefit from the traditions he established–traditions of common sense, wit, honesty and integrity. Dye has given the Oklahoma City community great foundations in theatre.
The “Black Tie to Tie Dye” benefit will take place on Thursday, November 1st at Castle Falls, 820 N MacArthur Boulevard from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. The cost is $100 per person or $175 per couple, and black tie is not required. There will be entertainment to salute Lyle Dye for his achievements and contributions. Do not miss this is an opportunity to see a beloved mentor again or meet for the very first time a man whose life still shapes the performing arts community in Oklahoma City. In addition to honoring Dye, the benefit supports CityRep and its continuing commitment to excellence in Oklahoma theatre. Contact Michael Jones at CityRep (405-410-8035) for further information or for tickets to the benefit.
The Plaza District seems to be a few degrees chillier than the rest of the city these days. This is likely due to the fact that Halloween is arriving at Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma’ s Plaza Theatre a little early this year with the premiere of “The Mystery of Irma Vep” on Wednesday, October 10. The show runs for three weeks, closing on Saturday, October 27. If the start of “Lyric’s A Christmas Carol” means the holiday season is in full swing, then this show is surely the way to kick-off the year’s spookiest celebration.
For those who have not recently brushed up on their theater history, “The Mystery of Irma Vep” was written by Charles Ludlam and is one of the most-produced plays in history. The script, a spoof on Victorian melodramas and horror films, requires masterful comedic timing and the humor is likened to that of the “Carol Burnett Show.” Much like the theater favorite “Greater Tuna,” all eight parts in the show are portrayed by just two actors. Think lighting fast costume changes, a slew of funny accents and (you guessed it) men portraying Victorian era women. Spooky hilarity ensues, to say the least.
Lyric’s Artistic Director Michael Baron is directing the play as an answer to decades of fascination with Charles Ludlam and his work. The theatre has brought in two of its audiences’ favorite actors—Monte Riegel Wheeler and Jeffrey Meek. Wheeler was most recently seen playing the Ed Sullivan-loving Mr. MacAfee in last summer’s BYE BYE BIRDIE. The ridiculous faces he is able to make alone are enough for me to go see “Irma Vep.” Wheeler’s on-stage counterpart, Jeffrey Meek, not only acts as the resident costume designer at Lyric year-round, but you may have also seen his work at The Boom as Norma Jean Goldstein.
I spoke with Meek and Wheeler earlier this week. “Irma Vep is going to be one crazy ride,” said Meek. “The perfect Halloween treat—it starts off spooky and quickly takes the audiences on a fast-paced, out of control night of old school fun.”
“The show is filled with thrills, chills, horror, high drama and outrageous comedy,” said Wheeler. “Audiences can expect colorful characters, excitement, intrigue, a lot of laughs and some fun surprises!”
Start your Halloween off right with “The Mystery of Irma Vep,” October 10-27, at Lyric’s Plaza Theatre. Click here for tickets or call the box office at (405) 524-9312.
By Elizabeth Hurd and Anna Holloway
In professional theatre, the dream of a lifetime is to grasp with humility a Tony Award. Presented by the American Theatre Wing in honor of Antoinette Perry, an accomplished actress of the early 20th century and one of the Wing’s founders, the Tony recognizes excellence in Broadway theatre.
Yet the American Theatre Wing does not stop with noting the deserving performer in New York City. Over the past 55 years, the American Theatre Wing has shown its dedication to not-for-profit theatres by distributing some $3 million dollars through its Theatre Company Grants Program. These grants, although less well known, are equally prestigious. Among these are the Jonathan Larson Grant (awarded to musical theatres) and the National Theatre Company Grant. This can only be awarded to companies that are between 5 and 15 years in continuous operation with an established record of excellence in theatre.
In the American Theatre Wing’s own words, the grant of $10,000 is “…for general operating support to companies which have articulated a distinctive mission, cultivated an audience, and nurtured a community of artists in ways that strengthen and demonstrate the quality, diversity, and dynamism of American theatre.”
This year, for the first time, one recipient of the National Theatre Company Grant is an Oklahoma company. The dedicated and talented members of Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre (CityRep) have earned this national recognition for their hard work, attention to detail, accuracy and expertise. CityRep is led by Artistic Director Donald Jordan, and this dedicated group is proud to receive the honor.
CityRep has just completed 10 difficult and rewarding years of operation providing professional theatre to Oklahomans. From their home base at the Civic Center Music Hall in downtown Oklahoma City, the company has produced Oklahoma premieres and returning favorites. Their efforts and talents are showcased in the upcoming 11th season opening September 7 with the timely show November by David Mamet. This production should not only entertain us but will also encourage us to perform our civic right and duty – to vote.
In addition to Jordan as Founding Artistic Director, the company includes Development Director and Production Stage Manager Steve Emerson, Artistic Associate Michael Jones and Artist-in-Residence Jonathan Beck Reed. Kurt Leftwich serves as Box Office Manager, Anna Holloway as Dramaturg and Historian, and the Official Photographer for CityRep is Wendy Mutz. The company operates under a Board of Directors consisting of twenty members headed by President Ruth Charnay. Many of the actors in each production are members of Actors Equity. CityRep is now in its eleventh season of producing professional theatre for culturally aware and sophisticated Oklahoma audiences.
Oklahoma is nationally remembered for disasters like the dustbowl and the Murrah Building bombing, or for sports teams taking national and international attention from the Oklahoma City Thunder NBA team to the football programs at the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University. We don’t often get credit for Oklahoma’s significant contribution to the arts.
Oklahoma is a hotbed of talent. Many Broadway and Hollywood stars have been nurtured in this heartland by the great theatre training programs at our local colleges and universities. We should all be proud: of our young performers, of those who have gone on to represent us on the national stage, of our diverse residents who support the arts in this great state.
CityRep is one company that offers talented young performers a doorway to professional excellence. And the American Theatre Wing, by making CityRep the recipient of one of the 10 National Theatre Company Grants in 2012, has chosen to remind all of us, and the nation, that Oklahoma is a land of creativity and endeavor that rivals the Big Apple in texture, taste and talent.
The grant money is welcome, of course, but the honor gives all Oklahomans another reason to be proud. Artistic Director Jordan states: “The recognition from the American Theatre Wing is a tremendous honor. It is a tribute to the efforts and talent of the artists from Oklahoma, Broadway and throughout our American professional Regional Theater whose work has been represented on our stages as well as the steadfast support of our loyal patrons, dedicated Board members and generous supporters. Together we are striving to enhance our community’s Artistic, Educational and Economic future. We are very grateful to the ATW for this award and for all they do to promote and support professional theater in our country.”
The National Theatre Company Grant is our Tony Award – a Tony for the state as well as for CityRep. It is just as inspiring as a Heisman or Olympic Medal.
Congratulations to CityRep as a truly professional theatre and to Oklahoma as a truly cultural haven.
On a broken day it makes a lot of sense to curl up in front of the television with a box of tissues and watch old movies. Movie stars are fantastic. On a day that could be fixed it makes a lot more sense to take a shower and go out and see a live performance. The theatre is electric. The gleam in the eye of Jerome Stevenson as he speaks of making connections with an audience is communicated around the room and Michael Baron begins to get excited as he speaks about the stars at Lyric Theatre making that connection. Donald Jordan actually jumps up with joy telling how actors and directors make that connection. These three dedicated gentlemen are the Artistic Directors for the three Equity or ‘Professional’ Theatres in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area.
Stevenson is Artistic Director for the Pollard Theatre in Guthrie, just twenty short minutes from downtown Oklahoma City. The Pollard Theatre is just winding up 25 years in operation with a resident company living, working and entertaining in Guthrie. Baron is the Artistic Director for the Lyric Theatre, just beginning their 51st season in Oklahoma City with outstanding musical theatre using local Equity Members and talent, and bringing in other Equity Actors from all points east and west. Jordan is Artistic Director of CityRep with 10 delightful seasons of Equity Performers bringing the best and newest theatre to central Oklahoma with the heart of the heartland.
There are numerous theatre choices in central Oklahoma: University Theatre, Community Theatre and Professional Theatre. The students are learning their craft and as students often perform at a professional level. Community talent is strong in Oklahoma and consists of those talented performers who either did not choose to join Actor’s Equity or, well, Life Happened. Lyric Theatre, CityRep Theatre and the Pollard Theatre consist of actors who are paid for their services and have committed to provide the public with professional level performances consistently. That is not to say that professional level performances do not occur at the community or college level because that certainly happens. However, these three professional theatres always do so.
Having worked as a critic for several years here in Oklahoma City and Guthrie it is easy to see that professionalism has been without exception the rule. It is the job of the critic to let readers know whether or not a show is one they should see and, at the professional level, there has not ever been a show that shouldn’t be seen because it wasn’t good enough. There are occasions where a show might not be appropriate for sensitive or youthful audiences. Everything a review is about is a combination of nit-picking and constructive criticism. No one can claim to like every play ever written and performed. Every performance in Oklahoma City mounted by these theatres is an acclaimed piece of writing. If that writing is directed towards a mature audience that needs to be noted, but that is not a criticism. The review is invariably about the production and should be limited to criticism on that level. There are a few delightful occasions when we get an original script, and that review may include script criticism with the understanding that, here, we are drama critics, not literary critics.
With the apologia for this perspective out of the way, let us consider the goals of these three artists. Watching them connect with each other the way Stevenson talks about connecting with the audience is just as magical as the performance. Baron is ecstatic as he discusses the recent performance of Chita Rivera in “Chita Rivera My Broadway” an evening of love. The love that Rivera has for her craft and the love and respect she has for her audience as she labors to extend this feeling out in radiating and pulsating sound. Baron admires Rivera because he shares her commitment. And he has a troupe of performers and technicians helping him share that commitment with each audience. Jordan mentions several of his guest artists as well as several Oklahoma regulars. Their commitment is to entertain, educate, illuminate and inspire the audience. This commitment is not on a shallow or surface level. It is, rather, on an organic and basic level. These productions are meant to confirm, change and enable an audience to a greater understanding of life itself. These productions must be chosen with that in mind, because that is invariably what happens. As Stevenson describes the connection that occurs between the audience and the cast in a show, one can see something happening on a personal level. This connection just doesn’t happen with a box and a screen as wonderful as they are.
Jordan noted one of his favorite quotes from Thornton Wilder: “I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being”. There is nothing more beautiful, inspiring and thought provoking than the naked emotion that is genuinely communicated between people and lovers. When it comes across the footlights the emotion is often more realized than coming across the candle lights.
So what value do these organizations have for the community at large? Education, Entertainment and Economy. Jordan directs me to a National Endowment for the Arts Study which shows that every dollar spent on live entertainment generates $11.00 in local income. That’s a pretty important contribution too!
These theatres have made these commitments and, obviously, they have been excellent stewards of public funds as well as public trust. They have provided diversity here in Oklahoma that is an outstanding asset and just like the excellence in other artistic areas; sports and nature have fostered an attractive business climate for job creating. That’s adds a little something to the pot doesn’t it? And out of the pot?—about $25.00 a pop as a comfortable average.
Clearly Oklahoma has a strong foundation in talent. Witness the number of successful community theatre organizations and University organizations. Oklahoma City University, the University of Oklahoma, the University of Central Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University all have excellent programs which nurture that innate talent that arises out of the prairie. Central Oklahoma can support three professional theatres because there is so much heart in the heartland. And that leads us back to the connective tissue Stevenson discusses: It is the audience that is the force behind the phenomenon of Oklahoma talent.
Yes – it is you.
Don Jordan is Founding Artistic Director for City Rep since 1998. Don has extensive experience in the craft, and his bio is posted below.
I was asked to contribute a few thoughts to the blog for OKLAHOMA ARTS: SCENE AND HURD, so this is what is on my mind in the way of starting a discussion in this new virtual green room.
50 years ago this month President Kennedy inspired us with the challenge to “Ask not what your country can do for you but rather, what you can do for your country.”
Those of us who love and recognize the value of the arts in our nation owe so much to the President’s vision and leadership. For those of us who love the stage, the creation of the National Endowment for the Arts was the catalyst for our national professional regional theater movement. In the last half-century we have seen enormous growth and accessibility of the arts in hundreds of cities, available to hundreds of millions of Americans fot the first time in our nation’s history.
I want to paraphrase President Kennedy’s challenge now in the context of our economic challenges of the last 3 years. What can you do to help foster and support our theater scene?
Like the dramatic folks we are, we often fume and complain about theaters that don’t pay enough (or AT ALL), ticket prices that are too high, design budgets that make it difficult if not impossible to realize the creative requirements of our art, etc, etc, etc (as Yule liked to say).
But what are WE doing about it? I ask you bluntly, do you support our arts institutions as a donor? Do you at least have season tickets to theaters in town who are doing worthy work and who (and in this I KNOW whereof I speak) really need your support?
Yes , I know you can usually get a friend to slip you a comp, but how can we expect our “real world” patrons to buy a ticket to the theater if we do not value the experience enough to lead by example and pay our own way?
At this point in the discussion there might well be a chorus of voices in 12 part harmony belting out “We can’t afford it —We are starving artists!” like a shouting match between Merman and Lapone.
To you I ask, have you bought a cup of coffee or a coke this week? We think nothing of paying $4 bucks at Starbucks for a cup of java, $2 for a soft drink with lunch, $1 for a candy bar from the vending machine.
We go to the movies and pay $9 for admission and that much again for popcorn or a pretzel and that coke.
Heck, a double dip of ice cream will run you $3 bucks…
Suppose we put our money where our mouth is (instead of in our mouths?) and supported our local theaters and other arts organizations with a mere $2 bucks a day…what would that mean in real numbers?
Well it would mean you make a $60 dollar donation to an arts organization every month of the year and still have $10 bucks left over to give!
At CITY REP that would buy you a season ticket! At the OKCMOA you would have a membership. You get the idea…
One less cup of coffee, one less coke or candy bar, skip the popcorn at the movie and help OKC have a vibrant and thriving theatrical and Arts scene!
If you are reading this, you are almost certainly interested and involved in our amazing theater community. We have grown so much in the last decade, which has seen the addition of ambitious community theaters like O.C.T.C., the Ghostlight Theater, Reduxion, not to mention, ahem, a certain small professional theater with a regional theater profile (CITY REP) to our community’s long time members like Lyric, Carpenter Square, Shakespeare in the Park, The Pollard and others.
We have added spaces including Lyric at the Plaza, the CITYSPACE and Reduxion’s new Broadway theater.
But for this exciting trend to continue,YOU must make the difference. I know you think you will die with one less cup of coffee, coke or Hershey bar, so think instead of trading that two minutes of caffeine/sugar buzz for two hours (or 3 hours in the case of AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY) of artistic inspiration when you are watching a show that you are really enjoying…and if you can’t find a show you enjoy in our thriving and diverse theater scene, you are too broken to fix!
So volunteer, serve on a board (or 3), buy a ticket and DONATE—–put your money where your heart is!
And I will look forward to seeing you at the theater with your season ticket, volunteering, or at a board meeting!!
While my tone is light, I want to close by earnestly telling you that I feel privileged to be a part of our theatrical and creative community and I believe it is up to us to see that it survives and thrives for the next generation, and I want to share one of my favorite quotes
“I regard the theater as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.”
Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre
Founding Artistic Director
P.O. Box 1913
OKC, OK 73101-1913
214-454-7676 direct line email@example.com