Category Archives: President’s Blog

“The message and heart of 13 will inspire young people in their everyday lives”!

starsTheatre Tulsa is bringing Broadway Bootcamp back this summer – and we’ve made it better than ever!

Broadway Bootcamp gives young people the opportunity to learn about musical theatre in a fun, supportive environment – surrounded by friends and taught by a team of Tulsa’s most experienced, enthusiastic theatre directors and teachers.

This summer we’ll be working on a fully staged production of the hit Broadway musical 13. The musical will run during the SummerStage Festival in the Williams Theatre at the Tulsa PAC, July 11-13 – the largest venue during one of the busiest weekends! It’s a huge vote of trust in the quality and artistry these talented young people bring to the stage.

Several years ago, I was involved in a production of 13 at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in OKC. For all the youth involved it was a profound, moving experience – and I’ve long since wanted to bring that same opportunity to Tulsa youth.

13 is one of the only musicals written specifically for middle and high school students. The play’s themes center on the challenges teenagers face and how important it is to make the right choices, to rely on your friends and family and to stay true to yourself. There is so much truth in the show. Anyone can relate to its heart, its honesty and its empowering message.

More than anything, 13 shows the power of theatre – to provide a creative outlet for expression and to inspire healthy discussion about the joys and trials of being a teenager today. With positive, nurturing leadership, this opportunity for young people can transcend any other performance experience they’ve ever had.  The message and heart of 13 will inspire them in their everyday lives as they grow into positive, confident young men and women.

I know, because this is exactly what happened with 13 in OKC.

Theatre Tulsa’s youth programs strive to give young people the most diverse and professional training available in Tulsa.  The opportunity to perform 13 is a huge step in that direction. With Broadway Bootcamp, we will guide our students into becoming great performers – and exceptional young men and women.

 

Peace,

Sara Phoenix

To learn more or to sign up your son or daughter for Broadway Bootcamp, please click here!

Giving Thanks for All Your Talent and Support

Happy Thanksgiving week to all you theatre lovers! I haven’t posted in a long time and I’ve wanted to! But, ma-an! It’s been nuts at Theatre Tulsa — in a good way! We’ve been a little busy, to say the least.

Everyone on Facebook is giving thanks for the things in their life that make it special and I want to do the same here…

Ohmigod You Guys – What an Amazing Ride!

The most important member of the "Legally Blonde" - our sold-out crowds!

The most important part of “Legally Blonde” – our energetic, sold-out crowds!

Ohmigod, ohmigod you guys!

Those lyrics have pretty much been running through my head non-stop for the past 3 months. And now that this incredible, exciting, wild ride known as Legally Blonde is finally over, well, I already miss them! If you’ve ever been involved acting in or producing a show (even one as massive as LB) you know what I mean.

“Ohmigod you guys!” Honestly, no other phrase could describe the incredible thanks I have for all of you who came out big time to support LB. More than 2,500 of you came out, filling the seats at the John H. Williams theatre and rocking the house each and every show. Over 2,500!

Ohmigod you guys!!!!

Thoughts on ‘Legally Blonde’

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“Legally Blonde” director and choreographer Sara Phoenix (center) with a couple of the stars of the show, Cherish Moon (left) and Kelsey Lutjen (right).

Well, we have had a blast on this little ride called Legally Blonde! One weekend left and I can’t wait. I am very proud of the fact that we, as a local, non-profit theatre company took a huge risk in producing this show! It’s BIG, its expensive, it’s full of challenges and we did it anyway!

We believe in what theatre in Tulsa CAN be. We believe in a variety of offerings and Blonde is just one way of stretching, reaching with a big vision for Theatre Tulsa. If you haven’t joined us yet, we have just a few more performances left this weekend!

We Can’t Wait for the Theatre Kids!

SummerSTARS

I am SO excited about the upcoming summer youth theatre sessions! We are less than two weeks away from our awesome kick-off. We start Broadway Bootcamp on June 10th and follow it with SummerSTARS on June 17.

Anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE working with young people. As a twentysomething drama teacher in OKC, I founded a new youth theatre program with my friend, Jay Prock, who is now Artistic Director at The Poteet Theatre in OKC.

In 2004, we started a musical theatre program for kids and teens with no money and just a lot of enthusiasm and ambition for youth theatre. We were a little young and nuts! Jay and I could tell you crazy stories about the fun times we had working with those kids throughout the years, figuring out things as we went along. There is a story about flip-flops being thrown out of a rehearsal window because YOU CAN’T DANCE IN THEM, SO DON’T WEAR THEM TO REHEARSAL!!! (I’ll share that some other time.)

Bonding With Strangers in a Dark Theatre

Audience LaughingAudience bonding! In theatre, it doesn’t always happen. However, some awesome audience bonding developed during our recent run of Boeing-Boeing. I love this about farce.

Not only is the cast having fun together on stage and giving all they have to their audience, but they are also verbally and physically inviting the audience into their crazy world. Then about 20 minutes into this show, the audience starts to bond with each other.

There are sideways looks of “Oh no… he did NOT just say that!” A non-verbal communication begins to grow throughout the show’s entire bumpy ride — looks, nudges and shared laughter that says: “Are you hearing what I’m hearing?” “Can you believe we are seeing this?” “You know what’s about to happen!?!?” “Good! He’s caught!” and “How did he work his way out of that?”

Our audiences were on a voyage together, held captive by the outrageous antics of the cast. It was journey filled with, “Oh God! What next?” And THAT folks, that’s true community! Comic relief during a two-hour tryst in Paris with 150 of your closest friends: Priceless.

When it’s over, everyone emerges from the theatre with smiles on their faces and all head different directions into the night. They go to their homes, or have a drink, or meet with friends, or just get back to life. But it was a memorable journey for the group. For those of us producing and performing the show, the experience of watching the audience join together night after night was the highlight of our ride!