The theater is open; a new troupe starts summer productions at OKC at the right time
OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Imagine a group of people in silent retreat and you have a little bit of tension that develops when these people are actors who feed off the social interaction of each other and the audience as well.
“It’s a challenge,” admits actor Mackenzie Holley.
Director Jacob Muscrove adds, “We can’t communicate with people the way we want to.”
For over a year now, theater students like Holley, Mia Kendell, Arman Hakimattar, and director Musgrove hadn’t done much at their respective colleges.
“Oh. Last summer?” Hakimattar shakes his head. “Whoof!”
Musgrove explains again: “For many programs our actors are from, they’ve done masked productions or socially distant productions if they’re lucky.”
It was another actor, Jackson Gifford, who put them all on the phone with an idea.
“He didn’t have to do much to convince,” Mia Kendell laughs.
Arman remembers Gifford telling him, “It will be quiet and out, and I said, ‘I’m not doing anything. I can do it.'”
“I always knew I wanted to start a theater company,” says Gifford.
He and Musgrove were old friends who had grown up in local theater productions.
Jackson’s plan, form a new summer theater program and make it more accessible to the general public.
Gifford says, “I think what that means for the future is not having to stress about getting dressed or anything. The Myriad Gardens are very laid back. It’s “come to the park”. “
“Small Mouth Sounds” is therefore their first adventure on the Myriad Water Stage in Oklahoma City.
Gifford wanted a relaxed setting, a good place to clean up cobwebs and fill empty seats.
“We took a risk in deciding to do it,” continues Giffords. “We didn’t know where we would be in terms of COVID. But it worked and I think it’s really exciting.
If the actors seem even more enthusiastic than usual, they have good reason.
They have all been in a desert of silence for a year now, and finally, the masks are removed.
“I really feel like we tell so many different stories,” says Mackenzie Holley.
“I really enjoy times like this,” says Arman Hakimattar.
The premiere of the company “ Small Mouth Sounds ” takes place Friday evening at 8 p.m.
For ticket reservations or information on Southern Plains Productions, visit www.southernplainsproductions.org.
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