Non-profit fundraiser meets ìsomething amazingly crazy fantasticî on Feb. 9 as The Art Directors of Tulsa sponsor their 3rd annual Block Party at Living Arts.
"The Art Director's Club of Tulsa created the Bock Party in order to simplify our annual fundraiser formally named 'Visual Aide,'" said Block Party Chairman Bryan Cooper.
Seventy 4x4 blocks were handed out to 70 artists with the instructions to do whatever they envisioned: sculpt, carve, photograph it -- the sky is limit. The blocks will then be sold in a silent auction, amid food, drink, music and lots of fun. The results are as imaginative as they are diverse.
"'Visual Aide' allowed any artist to bring any piece of art to be silently auctioned at the Visual Aide Party. This was a bit cumbersome because of all the diverse pieces. Some needed to be hung on a wall. Some suspended from the ceiling, some had liquid, some were tall, short, flat, small, huge... you get the picture. So we simplified it by changing it to 'ADCT Block Party' where we give artists a 4x4 wooden block and they spend 2-3 weeks getting artistic with it by carving it, burning it, painting it -- whatever they want. Then they return the blocks and we have a huge party, exhibit and silent auction."
Some remarkable results have come from allowing the creative minds in Tulsa to run wild.
"The craziest block was created by an artist who burned the block, then took the charred bits and drew a block on a sheet of paper. Then took the paper and folded it up in a cube with the charred bits inside. The folded cube came with a CD of a recording of the block burning," Cooper said.
All this wacky, artsy, weirdness is for a good cause?
"We have an awards ceremony/party in May called 'Graphex' to acknowledge exceptional art professionals and students in the fields of Graphic Design, Interactive Media and Photography," Cooper said. "The students with the best portfolios, judged by professionals, receive the money raised from the block party. These students are typically close to graduating and need the money to pay off student loans, and help them survive during the lag time between graduation and getting a job. Awards usually go to 10 or so outstanding art students from various schools."
The Art Director's Club of Tulsa, celebrating its 43rd year, hosts events every month from September through May. Recently, the club sponsored Third Thursday at Philbrook Museum, and featured famed graphic designer Michael Beirut, who created the graphics for the game Guitar Hero.
Art Directors Club presents the Third Annual Block Party Celebration, Thursday, Feb. 9, from 6-10pm at Living ArtSpace, located at 307 E. Brady St.
Hell of a Storm
Lightning flashes in a storm that can only be described as unholy; electricity ignites the senses and the skies with an unnatural display as the sea is churned by hellacious winds. The misery is compounded by the sharp drop in temperature, while, overhead, the skies open up and a torrential downpour sullies the view.
Make no mistake, this is not Hollywood magic, but the beginning of Playhouse Theatre Tulsa's production of William Shakespeare's The Tempest, presented in repertory with William and Judith. One may remember The Tempest from English classes long ago, however, William and Judith is an original work, and a fitting component in the spell Playhouse is conjuring at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center Feb. 10-19.
"The play is inspired by a passage in Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own, in which she imagines Judith, a fictional sister of Shakespeare, who was both a talented playwright and equally ambitious," said Cody Daigle, playwright of William and Judith.
"The play puts this fictional character in William's real world in 1610, around the writing of The Tempest. So, in the play, you see The Tempest being written, its evolution, all while William, Judith and Will's wife and daughter play out a high stakes drama to save their family."
What is like to produce two plays side by side?
"It's been a real marvel working on these two plays side by side. The rep experience gives the audience a chance to experience these plays more deeply than if they were being produced alone. It's a richer theatre experience, and I think the rep makes the Shakespeare in both shows more accessible. These shows might feel intellectually a challenge, but they're really going to hit you emotionally," Daigle said.
Step into the magic as Playhouse presents The Storm Repertory at Tulsa Performing Arts Center's Doenges Theatre. The Tempest runs Fe.b 11,15 and 17 at 7:30pm, and Sunday, Feb. 19 at 2pm. William and Judith runs Feb. 10, 16 and 18 at 7:30pm, and Sunday, Feb. 12 at 2pm. Tickets are $18 for Seniors, $25 for Adults, and a $10 student rush special will begin one hour before each performance. A package of $40 for both shows is also available. For tickets, please phone 918-596-7111.
Sapulpa, Okla.: The name conjures up images of tiny mom-and-pop stores, and a few Route 66 signs intermingled with barn and feed stores. This might be an unlikely backdrop for live theatrical performances; however, community theater is surprisingly alive and thriving at this city where highways 75, 97, and 44 meet. A long-running favorite, The Mousetrap opens at Sapulpa Community Theatre.
"Agatha Christie is one of my favorite playwrights and being able to direct a show written by her is an honor in itself," said Todd Campbell, director of Mousetrap.
"I guess my real vision for the play is just to do it justice. Agatha used the art of 'red herrings' so well in her writing and I have really tried to bring those out so that it will keep the audience guessing right to the end."
Established in 1988, Sapulpa Community Theatre, located at 124 S. Water, is a non-profit organization that prides itself on bringing first-class entertainment to local audiences. They also provide a creative working experience for local actors, director, and craftspeople. "The thing I have learned about Agatha Christie is that she was a very private person and kept her political views and feelings pretty much to herself. She didn't really write with a hidden agenda of making a point about politics or economics, etc. She wrote for the love of writing, she wrote to entertain and with the Mousetrap she certainly does that," Campbell said.
A surprising newcomer has blossomed at Sapulpa's best kept secret, "We do have a newcomer in the cast that has been a pleasant surprise. Elizabeth Bernhardt is new to Sapulpa Theater and has done a remarkable job in the part of Mollie, who with her husband Giles, own and operate the guest house which is at the center of this story. She brings many different levels to the character and has done an incredible job creating a most believable character."
The Mousetrap runs Feb. 10-12, and 17-19 with 7:30 performances on Friday and Saturdays, and 2pm performances on Saturday and Sunday. For reservations, call 918-227-2169.
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