POSTED ON AUGUST 8, 2012:
New Willows, New Moderns and Old Fish
Gallery and theatre favorites round up a great arts experience.
Team building and meeting space" might not conjure up the ordinary image of an art gallery, but Rachel Wimpey, who just opened the Willowbrush Studio+Gallery multi-purpose facility isn't an ordinary person.
"I want to help provide Tulsa with a classical gallery that showcases a lot of local work, as well as work from out of state, and even abroad," Wimpey said. "My hope is that native Tulsans and those visiting Tulsa can add one more art stop to their route."
Willowbrush Studio+Gallery will feature Impressionism, Contemporary realism, photography, sculpture, blown glass, fused glass, ceramics and more in the 4000 square foot art destination.
"We will also be focusing on training students to achieve new levels of excellence with classical training," Wimpey said. "Open studio nights and drawing nights for area high school students and college students will help give them a place to not only learn but to connect with other artists."
Wimpey prides herself on having the opportunity to travel and study with some of the best artists and teachers in the country.
"It would have been so nice to have had the opportunity to study in Tulsa as well, which is what my studio will be able to provide," Wimpey said.
Willowbrush Studio+Gallery is located at 8545 E. 41st Street. Classes schedules and hours will be posted on rachelwimpey.com.
One might not have heard of Tollefsen Arts, located in Broken Arrow, but the powerhouse cast of locals and the venue graciously provided by Living Arts will bring a welcome excitement to their upcoming production of Thoroughly Modern Millie.
Pamela Rosenbaum, Producer and Director, explains that Tollefsen Arts was built with the idea of enjoyment for all.
"When we came to Tulsa," Rosenbaum said, "we started thinking about the outward building, but we really wanted people to enjoy what they are living. Art is living. We did the Chicago street theatre. Wherever you are, you can do have arts. To have kids and young adults perfect their craft and do it really well; to really develop that was our goal."
The storyline of the show centers around Millie Dillmount, a fearless young woman from Salina, Kansas, played by local favorite Tabitha Littlefield. Millie is determined to experience life and sets out for New York during the '20s. A bobbed haircut, high hemlines, and the thrill of the chase with the opposite sex is a romp during another time, sure to delight audiences.
"What's the best part about staging Thoroughly Modern Millie?" Rosenbaum asked. "The incredible talent that walks through our door; the volunteers that were willing to take a chance to perfect her craft. Rebecca Liston, for example, just wanted to do something so badly, that they are really willing to take risks."
The production wasn't without its drama and its comedy. Finding a place to perform the show became an uphill battle, until ...
"Steve Liggett was a savior!" Rosenbaum said. "Originally, it was to be done in the Doenges, then at the PACE -- and their sound went out. So Steve Liggett said, 'Come be here.'"
Thoroughly Modern Millie, produced by Tollefsen Arts, plays at Living Arts, located at 307 East Brady Street, August 9-12 at 7:30pm. Tickets are $15 and available by phone at 918-749-3676 or at the door.
"The first show in this series was Greater Tuna," said Sherry Whisman, president of Sapulpa Community Theatre, and director of the third installment of the comedic Tuna quadrilogy.
"(There) we were introduced to the rather eccentric and somewhat red necked inhabitants of Tuna, Texas, the third smallest town in Texas," Whisman said. "Didi Snavely runs a used fire arms store where her motto is 'If we can't kill it, it's immortal,' as well as Arles Struvie and Thurston Wheelis, who are DJ's at the local radio station, plus 20 more characters."
The second show was the Christmas version of the original, which centers on the 14-year reigning Christmas Yard Display Contest champion, Vera Carp. Staney Bumiller attempts to leave the city, Joe Bob Lipsey wrestles with a production of A Christmas Carol, and Bertha Bumillers just tries to keep her family together for the holidays.
"In the third play, Red, White and Tuna, we will still see our favorite residents of Tuna, plus two new characters, new-age hippie friends, Star Birdfeather and Amber Windchime driving back to Tuna, Texas at night to the high school reunion," Whisman said.
The Tuna series has avid followers. Those familiar with the storylines will chuckle at newcomers realization that two men play the entire cast of more than 20 eccentric characters of all ages and both genders.
Fans of the series will find answers to many burning questions the last two plays left in limbo.
"Did the romance blossom between Bertha and Arles? Did Stanley make his fortune in the Albuquerque taxidermy business? Did Didi get any cosmic message from RR?" Whisman said.
Due to the popularity of the shows, Sapulpa Community Theater has had great success in staging them as fundraisers benefitting general funds. Whisman notes that this production is especially important due to the economy, and funding has been cut from organizations that normally provide grants and support to theater companies.
"Staging this show at Sapulpa Community Theatre is bit of a challenge since we have a very intimate theatre, seating only 90 patrons per performance," Whisman said. "Since a great part of the show is behind the scenes with costume changes, we had to have enough room behind the flats for four dressers, costumes for over 20 people, room to change in and still leave room for the actors in front of the flats."
Not only do the two actors onstage shine, but the work of volunteers also helps make the production a success.
"Todd Campbell and Terry Abell not only are our wonderful actors, they built and painted the set and hung the masking," Whisman said. "Todd made many of the costumes and Terry, who is a stage hand, had the wigs done by friends he works with."
Red, White and Tuna plays at the Sapulpa Community Theater August 2-4 and 10-11 at 7:30pm and August 4-5 and 11-12 at 2pm. For tickets call 918-227-2169.
Send all comments and feedback regarding Arts Experienced to
URL for this story: http://www.urbantulsa.comhttp://www.urbantulsa.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A51459