Directing (for Stage or Screen)

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we speak with the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Frankel about his new book, "High Noon." It's a detailed history focused on the making of one of Hollywood’s most popular, and most critically acclaimed, Westerns. It's also, as we learn on today's program, a quite deliberate if veiled parable about the then-current Hollywood blacklist.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, an interesting chat with the locally based filmmaker James Payne. His new movie, a feature-length, award-winning documentary called "Far Western," will have its Tulsa debut screening at the Circle Cinema on Thursday the 5th at 7pm.

Earlier this summer, the Tulsa-based theatre company, Clark Youth Theatre, was honored to perform at the very first YouthFest during the American Association of Community Theatre's 2017 National Festival. Only a handful of youth theatre companies from across the U.S. were invited to participate in the festival, which happened in Rochester, Minnesota. At this special gathering, Clark Youth Theatre staged "Snow Angel," by playwright David Lindsay-Abaire, as our guest today tells us.

What can American motion pictures tell us about the American South, and what can the South tell us about the movies? Our guest is Robert Jackson, an Associate Professor of English here at the University of Tulsa.

Theatre Tulsa -- founded in 1922 -- is the longest-running local theatre west of the Mississippi River, and the seventh oldest in the United States. To mark its 95th anniversary, the company will present a special presentation this weekend at the Tulsa PAC. The show, featuring a cast of one hundred or more, is called "Local Landmark, National Treasure: An Epic Concert Celebrating 95 Years of Theatre Tulsa" -- and it will be staged June 23rd and 24th at 8pm, and then on the 25th at 2pm.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we learn about "The Light Fantastic, or In the Wood," a new play that will be staged by the locally based Heller Theatre Company tonight (the 19th), tomorrow night (the 20th), and Sunday afternoon (the 21st) at the Nightingale Theatre in downtown Tulsa, which is located at 1416 East 4th St. Our guests are David Blakely, who wrote this play, and Susan Apker, who is the president of Heller Theatre Company (or HTC).

Photo Credit: Wendy Mutz

On this edition of our show, we learn about a newly created original musical called "Pryor Rendering," which is being staged from today, the 13th, through Sunday, the 16th, at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center (at 2nd and Cincinnati). Tulsa's American Theatre Company has joined forces with the Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre and the University of Oklahoma to create this work. It's a coming-of-age story about a young boy who struggles with his loneliness, his sexuality, and his father's absence, and it's adapted from a novel by Tulsa native Gary Reed.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak with the filmmaker Kyle Ham, who grew up in Tulsa before studying theatre and film at DePauw University. Ham has a new movie out, his first feature, which he actually co-wrote with his former professor from DePauw University, playwright Steve Timm. That film is "Reparation" -- it's an award-winning independent motion picture about a troubled Air Force veteran who searches for clues to his lost memories in his daughter's artwork.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak with University of Tulsa theatre professor Machele Miller Dill, who has written what she calls "a play with original music." "The Lowdown Dusty Blues" features songwriter and actor Chris Jett as a journeyman blues singer, whose life and muse have been molded by the Dust Bowl, and by the death of his father to a dust storm. The one-act piece tells the story through a series of scenes all set on April 13th, the character's birthday and the anniversary of his father's death.

On this edition of ST, we speak with Alison Moritz, a rising young star on the contemporary American opera scene. Moritz is currently in town to stage-direct the Tulsa Youth Opera production of "The Hobbit," which will happen at the Tulsa PAC this weekend (on both the 18th and 19th).

On this edition of ST, we speak with the highly regarded theatrical director David Schweizer, who's currently in town to direct Tulsa Opera's staging of Andre Previn's "A Streetcar Named Desire" (happening on Friday the 4th and Sunday the 6th).

On this edition of ST, we learn about the newest production from Tulsa's own American Theatre Company, "Waiting for Godot" by Samuel Beckett. Our guest is Lisa Wilson, who's directing this postmodernist/absurdist classic. The play will be staged from tonight (the 30th) though November 7th at the ATC space in downtown Tulsa near 3rd and Lansing.

Theatre Tulsa's much-praised SummerStage production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, "Next to Normal," returns this weekend for a set of "back by popular demand" performances at the Tulsa PAC's John H. Williams Theatre. A novel and quite jolting blend of rock music and intense drama, this play depicts a mother who struggles with bipolar disorder, exploring how the affliction affects not only herself but her family.

Our guest on this edition of ST is the locally based filmmaker Sterlin Harjo, who tells us about his latest feature, "Mekko." Most of this movie was shot in Tulsa, and it profiles a Native American ex-con (the film's title character) as he tries to rebuild his life after 19 years behind bars. Mekko has no home, no immediate family, and little cash -- so he soon ends up on the streets, where he's eventually taken in by Tulsa's homeless Native community.

(Note: This interview originally aired in March of this year.) Our guest is the film historian and journalist Mark Harris, who's written for Entertainment Weekly, Grantland, New York Magazine, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other publications.

"God of Carnage," a Tony Award-winning play written about ten years ago by Yasmina Reza -- and translated from French into English by Christopher Hampton -- tells the story of two sets of parents who sit down together after the child of one couple injures the child of the other. The parents have arranged to meet so that they might resolve the matter in a peaceful and diplomatic matter -- yet things quickly (and hilariously) go from bad to worse as the conversation continues, and of course things only get uglier when the rum starts to flow.