In Loving Memory – Ken Spence

Ken Spence was a leading actor and director in the Tulsa community theater scene for over 25 years and changed the direction of Theatre Pops when Valla left the company.

Spence was born Aug. 18, 1950, in Glendale, Calif. He was educated in New Hampshire at the University College of London, Occidental College in Los Angeles, Emerson College at the University of Sussex and California State University-Los Angeles.

He moved to Tulsa in 1979 and went to work for Theater Tulsa, where he worked with its Student Theater Enrichment Program and appeared in its production of “Witness for the Prosecution” that fall.

Spence commanded stages as both actor and director, building Heller Theater from its birth and later going on to work with every major theater group in town.

Spence probably played as many leading roles and directed as many productions as any individual in Tulsa. He directed the city of Tulsa-sponsored Heller Theater from 1981 to 1992, developing it into the most ambitious theater in the city. He directed standout productions of Wit and Little Shop of Horrors for American Theater Company, “Our Town” for Theater Tulsa and “Bash” for Theatre Pops.

His last acting credits include acclaimed performances as Willy Loman in 1999’s Death of a Salesman and in Copenhagen.