POSTED ON OCTOBER 10, 2012:
Native Art, a Coburn, and some Puppets
Performance and visual arts new season in full swing
On October 13 and 14, the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino hosts the seventh annual Cherokee Art Market -- an event that has grown in prestige with each incarnation.
"The first few years, we held it as an outdoor market, just because we didn't have the facility we have now, which is the expanded Hard Rock Casino," said Molly Jarvis, who works as vice president of marketing and cultural tourism for Cherokee Nation Businesses. "For a few years, it was held in tents outside," she said.
Now, the event is held inside the Sequoyah Grand Ballroom, lending further credibility to an already-prestigious event.
"There are three major Native American art shows throughout the U.S.," Jarvis said. "I would say ours ranks up there in terms of the artists we bring in. ... We have space for about 130 artists, so they have to qualify to get in."
And getting in is a big deal, because art will be on display not only for viewing and for purchase, but also as part of a competition.
More than $75,000 in prize money will be awarded to artists in 20 different categories, which is pretty awesome for the winning artists.
Despite the fact that that there aren't many artists out there who don't want a piece of 75 large, in order to keep the quality of the artists present at a high level, Jarvis and her crew travel around looking for artists at the top of their respective fields.
"We go to those top three art shows to recruit, and many of our artists now are repeats, but they still have to go through the application process," Jarvis said.
In addition to big-name artists, Jarvis said that there is also a need (apparently one that continues to be met) for big-time buyers.
"It's kind of a chicken-and-egg thing," she said. "I think it's important to note that we want the quality artists, but we also want to attract the quality buyers. We want to reach out to buyers who will help make this a success."
Not that the average, non-rich, Average Joe can't find something wonderful at the show that isn't affordable.
"You have buyers looking for the $50-and-under category, but you also have pieces that range up to the $10- and $20,000 range," Jarvis said. "I'll see people who walk in looking to fill a certain space in their home, or looking for a specific artist."
Organizers of the Cherokee Art Market expect even more visitors than last year's 5,000-plus mark, which would further bolsters Baker's earlier assertion that this extravaganza is a big deal to more than just Tulsans.
The seventh annual Cherokee Art Market will take place at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa, and the $5 tickets will be available at the door, by calling 918-384-6990 or visiting CherokeeArtMarket.com.
The White Liars and Black Comedy, presented by Broken Arrow Community Playhouse
Director Justin Mayer is 23. He looks it, but he sure as hell doesn't sound like it. He has the demeanor and knowledge to rival the demeanor-est and most knowledgeable directors in town. And he should, really, since he's recently taken a degree from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, and got off a plane from a workshop in Paris to come and direct for BACP.
He spoke about this pair of one-act plays with an assurance that makes it surprising that this is his first post-education directorial gig.
"Peter Schaffer wrote these plays to be performed together," he said. "They are a drama and a comedy respectively, and they both explore dichotomies of human nature."
See? He's a smart guy.
Both shows deal with lies and, with apologies to Sen. Al Franken, the lying liars who tell them.
"In White Liars, these characters have created lies to sort of define themselves," Mayer said. "Every single thing they say for the first bit of the play is a complete fabrication, so the play explores the dire consequences of those kinds of actions."
"Black Comedy is a play wherein someone has only temporarily decided to lie by stealing all of the neighbors' furniture to make himself look richer, and just as he's about to have very important guests over, they have a power failure, rendering everything in complete darkness, and he has to get the furniture back before everyone finds out," Mayer said. Now that sounds like a comedy.
Mayer quickly shifted gears to praise his cast, made up of some BACP regulars with some new faces thrown into the mix.
"We had a pretty strong rehearsal schedule set up from the beginning," he said of the potential difficulty of casting and rehearsing two separate shows. "When you cross-cast, you have to find actors who have the stamina to do that, and I very much have."
"I guess it should be mentioned that the lighting scheme is reversed in Black Comedy," Mayer said. "When the lights are on and the audience can see the actors, the characters are in the dark and can't see anything. When the lights are off, the lights are on for the characters. When the lights go on for the audience, they go off for the characters."
Get it? Playwright Shaffer gives a term for this kind of lighting, but Mayer is fairly certain that it's a politically-incorrect term. Nonetheless, it presents a challenge to the actors and the director alike.
"We didn't want to make a cartoon out of it, so we've done some exercises in the dark, because we're trying to find the balance between the truth of not being able to see anything and the requirements of the story," Mayer said.
The White Liars and Black Comedy run Oct. 12-13 and 19-20 with shows at 8pm and Sunday matinees Oct. 14 and 21 at 2pm. Tickets start at $8 and are available through bacptheatre.com.
The Man Who Planted Trees, presented by the Performing Arts Center Trust
This week, the PAC Trust brings to town an inspiring and clever environmentally-themed puppet show.
The Puppet State Theatre Company comes to us from Scotland, bringing puppets to tell the story of The Man Who Planted Trees. Originally written by French novelist Jean Giono, the show tells the story of a shepherd who, astoundingly enough, plants trees.
Puppeteer Richard Medrington summed it up succinctly.
"It's about a man who comes to a desolate, deforested place in France, and he sees the big problem is that there aren't enough trees," he said. "So over about 40 years, he plants thousands of trees, and it changes the landscape."
Obviously, it's an environmental story, and it is much more prescient today than it was when it the tale was first penned in 1953.
Medrington is quick to dispel the two most likely perceptions of the show, those being that puppets are for kids, and anything environmental is going to be all preachy.
"It's not really just for very young children, it's also for adults," he said. "We don't patronize our audience."
While The Man Who Planted Trees will mainly play to audiences of students during the school day, the two public performances will be Oct. 12 at 7pm and Oct. 13 at 11am. Both shows are in the Liddy Doenges Theater in the Tulsa PAC, 110 E. 2nd St., and tickets are available at the box office or through tulsapac.com.
The Daughter of the Regiment, presented by Tulsa Opera
Oklahoma's favorite opera star returns to the PAC to kick off Tulsa Opera's season this week.
Bona fide superstar Sarah Coburn lends her pipes to TO's production of Gaetano Donizetti's The Daughter of the Regiment.
Tulsa Opera artistic director Kostis Protopapas is visibly thrilled about this show.
"This one is a romantic comedy," he said. "It's Lucille Ball with the high notes."
Opera lovers know that an opera can be funny -- witness a good chunk of Mozart's operatic output -- but to the uninitiated who think opera is a play where, when someone gets stabbed, he sings instead of dies, comedy can seem like an improbability.
For Protopapas, though, the unusual nature of this specific opera stems from its form.
"It's French comic opera, which means that it has spoken dialog, so it's kind of a unique opera," he said.
So this is something a little more akin to what people think of as a musical. And we all know the rom-com nature of most musicals, "Rent" notwithstanding.
The Daughter of the Regiment plays Oct. 13 and 19 at 7:30pm and Oct. 21 at 2:30pm in the PAC's Chapman Music Hall, 110 E. 2nd St. Tickets are available by phone at 918-587-4811 or online at myticketoffice.com.
Send all comments and feedback regarding Arts Experienced to email@example.com.
URL for this story: http://www.urbantulsa.comhttp://www.urbantulsa.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A53013