Tulsa Project Theatre is looking to its future as it prepares to mark its 10th anniversary, with a season of shows that have been among the company’s most popular and successful.
In its rather peripatetic history, Tulsa Project Theatre started out as a company determined to present edgy, adult-oriented musicals such as “Rent” and “The Rocky Horror Show” in venues such as the Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
After a year, the company made the change to focusing more on family-oriented shows such as “The Music Man” and “Annie.”
Artistic director Jenny Guy said this dichotomy will continue.
“After producing a greatly reduced season in 2018-2019, one of our primary goals for (this season was) to bring everyone back to Tulsa Project Theatre,” Guy said.
“We’re still keeping some of our edge with some distinctly NOT PG-rated shows,” she said. “However, after reflecting on our past successes, we realized we’ve had some of our best times when working with casts of all ages, so we wanted to give plenty of opportunity for young performers to join us.”
Tulsa Project Theatre is the only Tulsa theatre company operating under a contract with Actors Equity Association, the union for stage performers and stage managers.
Guy said the company “started almost a decade ago with the goal of paying actors for their work in Tulsa, and it’s a goal that the leadership team and board are still committed to today.
“The road hasn’t always been smooth,” she said, “but we’re still here and still working hard to provide a paid outlet for artists in our wonderful town.”
The season opens with what Guy said will be a definitely adult version of “Little Shop of Horrors,” Oct. 25-Nov. 3. This musical by composer Alan Menken and writer Howard Ashman is based on the low-budget 1960 black comedy film by Roger Corman, which featured one of Jack Nicholson’s earliest film performances.
Seymour, a nerdy worker at a run-down florist is romantically pining for a seemingly unattainable beauty named Audrey, when he discovers an unusual plant that only thrives when it is fed human blood. When Seymour realizes he might be able to use the plant’s appetites for his own ends, things begin to go terribly wrong.
The season continues with productions of two of the most popular musicals based on biblical stories.
“Godspell,” the first hit musical by Stephen Schwartz (“Wicked”), will be presented Feb. 14-23. It transposes events from the Gospel of Matthew to a modern urban setting, and features such songs “Day by Day,” “Learn Your Lessons Well,” and “Light of the World.”
This will be followed by “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat,” the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice reimagining of one of the best-known narratives from the Book of Genesis. It also was a sell-out attraction when the company presented it during the holiday season in 2012. It will be presented April 10-18.
Closing out the season will be “Seussical the Musical,” the Stephen Flaherty-Lynne Ahrens musical that mixes together characters for some of Dr. Seuss’ beloved books for children, with an emphasis on “Horton Hears a Who,” as a faithful elephant tries to save a civilization only he can hear. It will be presented June 5-14.
All Tulsa Project Theatre shows will be presented at the Tulsa PAC, and tickets will become available at a later date.
For more information: tulsaprojecttheatre.com.
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