On this edition of ST, we learn about the new Heller Theatre Company presentation of "Dead Man's Cell Phone," which opens at the Henthorne PAC here in Tulsa (at 4825 So. Quaker) on Friday the 23rd. (It runs through February 1st.) "Dead Man's Cell Phone" -- a celebrated and off-the-wall comedy by Sarah Ruhl, the forty-ish American playwright and MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship recipient -- was given the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play after it premiered in 2007.
On this edition of ST, we speak by phone with James Pepper Henry, director of the well-regarded Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, who's just been named at the new director of the Gilcrease Museum here in Tulsa. Pepper Henry will begin his tenure at Gilcrease in late March. He's a member of Oklahoma's Kaw Nation, and in a statement released on Monday the 5th, he referred to his upcoming arrival at Gilcrease as "a real homecoming.... I have lots of family and friends in Oklahoma. The museum's founder, Thomas Gilcrease, and I share Muscogee Creek heritage.
The Osage ballet, "Wahzhazhe," had its premiere last summer here in Oklahoma; it was first conceived of about four years ago, and was originally inspired by a suite of music by Lou Brock, an Osage composer. This contemporary ballet brings together certain special qualities of Osage history and culture: a reverence for classical ballet (which was, of course, the legacy of two famous Osage ballerinas, Maria and Marjorie Tallchief) and a deep respect also for the richness of Osage traditional music, dance, and textile arts.
Thirty-five years ago, in March of 1977, in the heart of downtown, the Tulsa Performing Arts Center first opened its doors --- and Ella Fitzgerald, backed by the Tulsa Philharmonic, offered this beloved venue's debut performance. Built with a combination of public and private funds, following a 1973 bond issue, the Tulsa PAC is owned and operated by the City of Tulsa; it remains a leading arts/cultural/performance space for Tulsans of all ages and backgrounds.