Theater

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.

Our guest is Todd Cunningham, the Executive Director of Arts Alliance Tulsa, which is, per its website, "a United Arts Fund that strengthens and supports the arts for a greater Tulsa through fundraising, support services, audience development, and responsible investment and allocation of resources." Comprised of dozens of outstanding nonprofit arts groups from throughout the Tulsa area, Arts Alliance Tulsa has only been around for a couple of years now -- but its very presence highlights the important role that the arts play in our community'

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, an equally fascinating and entertaining discussion with the one-and-only Rebecca Ungerman, the influential and diversely-talented and fan-tabulous singer/songwriter/performer who's been wowing Tulsa audiences for 20+ years. She's bringing not one but two different shows to the Tulsa PAC's SummerStage series this month: "Cats of Any Color" will be staged on the 17th and 18th, and "Oy, Gestalt!" will be presented on the 24th and 25th.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we are discussing "In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play)," a contemporary comedy by the much-acclaimed American playwright Sarah Ruhl, which will be staged here in Tulsa from May 12th through the 22nd. It's being presented by American Theatre Company, and you can fine more information (including ticket details and show times) at this link. Our guest is Lisa Wilson, who is directing this production.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, an interesting chat with Basil Twist, the New York City-based puppeteer who was a MacArthur genius grant recipient in 2015. He has been universally acclaimed for his puppet-related design, construction, choreography, staging, and other work on productions such as "Symphonie Fantastique," "Dogugaeshi," "Red Beads", "Petrushka," "Hansel and Gretel," "Master Peter's Puppet Show," and so on.

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 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 installment of StudioTulsa, we learn about "Mothers and Sons," a play by Terrence McNally which originally opened on Broadway in 2014, and which opens tonight (Friday the 13th) at the Tulsa PAC's John H. Williams Theatre. It's a tragic yet often amusing depiction of an older woman from Dallas who pays an unexpected visit to the New York City apartment of her late son's partner, who is now married to another man.

Tonight (Friday the 6th, at 7:30pm) and Sunday afternoon (the 8th, at 2:30pm), Tulsa Opera will present "a grand opera of biblical proportions" -- namely, Camille Saint-Saëns' "Samson and Delilah," in which Samson seeks to free his Hebrew kinsmen from the bondage of their Philistine oppressors, although the alluring and seductive Delilah has other plans.... Our guest today on ST is the legendary bass, Samuel Ramey, who's been an internationally known opera singer for decades -- and who's appearing in this production as the Old Hebrew.

(Note: This interview first aired last fall.) How long has atheism been a part of human experience? Most people today regard the sustained, intellectually rigorous adherence to non-religion as an invention of the European Enlightenment -- or, more recently, of modernity. But as our guest argues on this edition of ST, atheism is actually -- like so many other aspects of Western life and culture -- a phenomenon with origins in the societies of the ancient Mediterranean.

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 installment of ST, we learn about "The Vaudeville Museum" -- a special evening of Vaudeville history, perspective, and performance -- that will be staged at TU's McFarlin Library at 7pm both tonight and tomorrow night (the 22nd and 23rd). It's an interactive, interdisciplinary, and free-to-the-public presentation that's recently been created by Machele Miller-Dill, Director of TU's Musical Theatre Program, who also performs in this throwback event and is one of our guests today.

Last fall, about 40 local non-profit arts organizations joined Phil Lakin, CEO of the Tulsa Community Foundation, in launching Arts Alliance Tulsa (or AAT), a United Arts Fund that aims to provide funding for -- and audience-development support for -- the City of Tulsa's various cultural assets. (United Arts Funds, as noted at the AAT website, "seek to raise money to provide ongoing operating support to local arts institutions. Over the past 65 years, more than 100 communities across the country -- both large and small -- have established UAFs.

How long has atheism been a part of human experience? Most people today regard the sustained, intellectually rigorous adherence to non-religion as an invention of the European Enlightenment -- or, more recently, of modernity. But as our guest argues on this edition of ST, atheism is actually -- like so many other aspects of Western life and culture -- a phenomenon with origins in the societies of the ancient Mediterranean.

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.

On today's ST, we learn about a new musical -- a "bro-mantic" comedy, no less -- loosely based on the thousand-year-old epic poem, "Beowulf." It's the still-in-development "Beowulf, Lord of the Bros," and it will be workshopped at a pair of free-to-the-public performances on Friday and Saturday, the 30th and 31st, at the Theatre Two space in Kendall Hall on the TU campus, with both shows starting at 7pm.

On this edition of ST, we speak with the critically acclaimed singer and actor Jason Graae, who has starred on Broadway in "A Grand Night for Singing," "Falsettos," "Stardust," and "Snoopy!" -- among other shows -- and has appeared Off-Broadway in such hits as "Forever Plaid," "Olympus on My Mind," "All in the Timing," and more. A comic performer with a strong voice and a broad range of abilities, Graae, who actually grew up in Tulsa, has also appeared in various operas, and has done several one-man shows and cabaret concerts nationwide over the years.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak with acclaimed playwright Lee Blessing, who's best known for his 1988 Tony-nominated play, "A Walk in the Woods." Back in January, he workshopped his most recent play, "The Hourglass Project," here at the University of Tulsa. It's a comedy, with interesting ethical overtones, about several elderly couples who, though an experimental procedure, regain their youth.

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.

On this installment of ST, we learn about "Red," an award-winning play about the Abstract Expressionist artist Mark Rothko that will soon be presented at the Williams Theater in the Tulsa PAC by the locally-based American Theatre Company. Our guest is Lisa Wilson, who is directing this production.

"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.

On this installment of ST, a fascinating discussion with the Tennessee-based storyteller and performer Jim Pfitzer, who will soon appear onstage in Tulsa in "A Standard of Change," the one-man play that he created about the life and work of Aldo Leopold (1887-1948). An influential American author, scientist, ecologist, forester, and conservationist, Leopold -- the "father of wildlife biology," as some have called him -- is probably best known as the author of "A Sand County Almanac," which is a literary classic that's especially popular with environmentalist readers.

On this installment of ST, we speak with Holcombe Waller, an award-winning musician and performance artist who is based in Portland, Oregon, and who will present a multimedia production entitled "Surfacing" tonight (Friday the 6th) and tomorrow night (Saturday the 7th) at the Liddy Doenges Theatre in the Tulsa PAC. Both shows begin at 8pm, and both are offered as part of the now-underway New Genre Festival XXII-A from Living Arts of Tulsa.

On this edition of ST, we present a chat with the prolific and award-winning contemporary American playwright, Lee Blessing, who's working on the University of Tulsa campus this week with students and faculty in TU's Department of Theatre and Musical Theatre.

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.

This coming weekend, on both Saturday the 10th and Sunday the 11th, Tulsa Opera will present Tulsa Youth Opera’s production of composer Susan Kander's "The Giver." This piece, as noted at the Tulsa Opera website, is "an opera for young people based on the bestselling novel by Lois Lowry. 'The Giver' tells the story of a seemingly utopian society free from pain or strife, but also devoid of color and memory.

From "American Sniper," "Into the Woods," and "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" to "Wild," "The Imitation Game" (shown here), and "Boyhood," we're dishing on this installment of StudioTulsa about several of the notable movies that arrived (or else will soon arrive) in theaters in 2014. Our guest is Michael Smith, film critic at The Tulsa World.

Tonight (Thursday the 11th) at 7:30pm, in the Williams Theatre of the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, American Theatre Company (or ATC) will begin its annual production of "A Christmas Carol." (Several shows are scheduled for this run, which happens through the 23rd; you can see a full schedule of performances here.) It's the 38th consecutive year for ATC to be presenting this locally-created, all-original-music, ever-popular stage adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic -- and to say that this work of musical theatre has bec

Pages