A New Season, A New Theatre Pops | by Artistic Director Meghan Hurley
For the last 3 years, I have had the privilege of helping shape this incredible company’s future. To say the last three years have been a period of growth would be an understatement. We have weathered storms, achieved huge milestones, all while making new friends, extending our “family.” When our leader and friend passed away in November 2014, Theatre Pops’ future was uncertain; but not long after, we produced an incredible run of August: Osage County and took home the First Place Tulsa Area Theatre Excellence Award. We stretched even further and produced Monty Python’s Spamalot at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center that summer. Not only was it our first musical, but it cemented our place in the Tulsa theatre scene. We continued to stretch our limits of creativity. Soon, we had become wrapped in the myth that you must produce big shows in big venues in order to sell tickets. With the rise of production costs, we were no longer motivated by the work of art but by the dollar. And that is when art dies.
However, we quickly dispelled the idea that a big venue and big show was necessary with our production of Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill. The winning formula of combining a great stage with a more casual venue that provided food and drink showed us that the art is what matters; not the venue. When this last season began, Theatre Pops was beginning to think outside of the “box”…meaning, outside the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. We experimented yet again with a “no name” show at our “casual venue,” IDL Ballroom. We took a risk. We were bold – and mighty forces did indeed come to our aid. Not only did we see your delighted faces in the audience each night of this one-of-a-kind production of Andrew Lippa’s Wild Party, but some of you came back multiple times to see it. The art was alive again. It felt incredible.
Before we opened Wild Party, we had already told the Tulsa Performing Arts Center that we would not be back next year. As we finalized our next season, we were able to breathe, picking pieces that spoke to us and the company. You proved you trusted us to provide an evening of theatre, with stellar acting and talent, and money well spent. While we spread our wings again, we promise to continue producing quality theatre for you.
Our next season, we will be pulling back the curtain. We start our year off with a trio of plays that deal with matters of the heart, with our fall and spring productions revolving around societal issues and how they shape our world. We will explore exciting new ways to tell the story and add new definitions to immersive theatre. With IDL Ballroom becoming our official home, we are able to offer many new options that you and other theatre lovers will enjoy. Over the next few weeks, you will see our website and social media platforms take on new roles. You will see more behind-the-scenes videos as we produce our shows, getting a first-hand-peek at the sets, the costumes and the faces that will take the stage. Discounts on local restaurants and bars will be part of our new season subscriptions, and we will offer more food and beverage options to enjoy during the shows. We are also working with a host of community partners that help further our mission and enhance your theatre experience. Theatre Pops has taken an innovative approach, and with your continued support, we hope to push the envelope —to be bold— and to continue to elevate theatre in our community.
Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to serving you for many more years.
Theatre Pops, Inc.