Announcing Our 2019-2020 Season

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Follow Heller Theatre Company as we perform across venues throughout Tulsa, offering original works that entertain and provoke.  We are thrilled to announce our best season yet! Entering our sixth year as an independent theatre company, we are reflecting on our past while blazing ahead.

For our third all-original season, we honor our past by presenting a series of shows that highlight what we do best. In August, Heller Shorts celebrates its tenth year by pairing a mix of never-before-seen world-premieres alongside some of our favorites from the past decade of Shorts. In the Fall, we present The Deaths of Sybil Bolton, the newest work by Playwright-in-Residence David Blakely, an expanded reworking of his TATE-winning* one-act play Four Ways to Die. Returning in Spring 2020 is our newest tradition, Double Feature. Do you have a favorite Short that didn’t get its due or a Second Sunday Serial you didn’t want to end? They may pop up again in Double Feature!

This season, we are holding one set of auditions for both of our longer productions. Saturday July 13 and July 20 from 1-4 at Flyloft, we will be holding auditions for The Deaths of Sybil Bolton and Double Feature! In addition, we are overjoyed to announce that we will be providing a stipend to our actors for these two productions.  Heller Theatre Company believes in the value of all artists and is proud to be the first non-equity company in Tulsa to pay every artist. (As “Heller Shorts” is a fundraiser, actors will not receive a stipend for that production.)

Heller Shorts 2019: Now and Ten
The Tenth Annual Festival
August 22, 23, 24 & 25 at 7:30PM
August 25 at 2:00PM
Henthorne PAC, 4825 S. Quaker Ave.

(Auditions will be held Saturday, June 29 2-5PM at Henthorne PAC.)

Since its premiere in 2009, Heller Shorts play festival has produced 66 plays by 42 playwrights, most of whom live right here in Tulsa, Oklahoma. From humble beginnings, the annual collection of shorts has morphed into a Tulsa theatre tradition (and HTC’s biggest fundraiser). The popular event has sold out the last few years, so we are expanding once again: this year’s Shorts will run Thursday through Sunday evenings at 7:30PM, with a matinee on Sunday afternoon (2:00 PM).

This year’s Heller Shorts festival, subtitled “Now and Ten” will feature ten short plays, a mix of brand new world-premieres and a few of the favorites from the past decade of Shorts. The scripts are all original pieces written by Oklahoma residents and directed and brought to life by some of Tulsa theatre’s MVPs and up-and-comers.

A Ten Years of Shorts Gala will be held in the gymnasium at Henthorne PAC immediately following the Saturday, April 24 performance. Join us as we celebrate ten years of Heller Shorts with all manner of food, drinks, and fun! Tickets for the event may be purchased at the door or online with your Shorts tickets.


The Deaths of Sybil Bolton
from the book by Dennis P. McAuliffe, Jr.
Adapted by David Blakely
Nov. 1, 2, 8 & 9 @ 7:30PM
November 10 @ 2:00PM
Dennis R. Neill Equality Center, 621 E. 4th St.

(Auditions will be held Saturdays July 13 and 20 from 1-4PM at FlyLoft, as part of our Season Auditions.)

HTC Playwright-in-Residence David Blakely returns to recount a shocking true-life piece of Oklahoma history: the Osage Oil Murders. Based on Dennis P. McAuliffe, Jr.’s 1990 nonfiction book The Deaths of Sybil Bolton, Blakely’s adaptation depicts a journalist uncovering lies, cover-ups, and murder on his quest for the truth: what exactly happened to his grandmother during the systematic reign of terror that killed an estimated 60-plus wealthy, full-blood Osage Native Americans in the 1920s? Blakely expands his four-time TATE-winning one-act play Four Ways to Die into a full-length true-crime story from Oklahoma’s past, with an intimate look at how it resonates culturally, and personally.


Second Sunday Serials
Second Sunday of each month at 8:00PM, September 2019 through May 2020.
Studio 308, 308 S. Lansing Ave.

(Submissions will be accepted over the course of the season, with the submission deadline for each month’s event being the 1st of that month (ex. Deadline for March’s event is March 1st).

Heller Theatre Company’s dedication to fostering local playwrights takes us to the third season of our most daring and unique project yet. “Second Sunday Serials” allows playwrights to create new works one scene at a time over the course of a theater season. We are relocating this monthly event to Studio 308 and pushing the show time back to 8:00PM.

Each month, 5 short pieces compete for bragging rights and royalties. With only 3 audience favorites moving forward to the next installment, plays that don’t move on will be replaced by new pieces alongside the returning stories. While there is a serialized nature to the plays, each returning piece is a self-contained story and short recaps will be provided for the audience. What happens next? Find out on Second Sundays!


Double Feature!
April 17, 18, 24 & 25 @ 7:30PM
April 26 @ 2:00PM
Nightingale Theater, 1416 E 4th St.

(Auditions will be held Saturdays July 13 and 20 from 1-4PM at FlyLoft, as part of our Season Auditions.)

The next part of our third all-original season, HTC presents an evening of one-act plays by two local playwrights. We are excited to bring back “Double Feature!” as a new audience-favorite tradition. This year, at least one of the plays will be adapted from one of the most popular plays from the first two seasons of Second Sunday Serials or from the long history of “Shorts”. You loved them the first time around, but you have never seen them like this: revised scripts, full costumes, sets, props, lights, and sound.

The plays are currently being commissioned and titles and content will be announced at a later time.

25-Hour Play Festival
June 2020
Location TBA

Closing out our season, we will keep the fun rolling into Summer with the second iteration of our 25-Hour Play Festival. Playwrights, directors, and actors will meet at 6:30PM on Friday and have 25 hours to write and rehearse a series of short plays, culminating in a performance at 7:30PM on Saturday. Food, drinks, rehearsal space, and all necessary supplies for participants will be provided by HTC. More information and sign-up details will be made available in Spring 2020.

These shows may contain mature themes and adult language. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.hellertheatreco.com or check out Heller Theatre Company on Facebook and Twitter.



Heller Theatre Company is looking for a Playwright-in-Residence

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Heller Theatre Company, long committed to bringing compelling, provocative, and  engaging original works to Tulsa, is seeking a Playwright-in-Residence for a two-year residency, spanning the 2019/20 and 2020/2021 seasons (July 2019 through June 2021). Applications will be accepted May 1 - May 31.

HTC recognizes that skilled playwrights already reside within Oklahoma and with the  Playwright-in-Residence program, HTC continues to create an environment to uplift and embolden exciting new voices.

We are seeking a playwright who lives within Oklahoma to develop a full-length original play to be produced in our 2020/21 season. The playwright will also teach workshops on playwriting as part of our community outreach programs. As a benefit to the playwright, two play reading opportunities will be offered.  There is a stipend attached to the playwriting residency.

To apply (May 1 - 31) send the following in .DOC or .PDF form to hellertheatre@gmail.com:

  • Submission of a complete work (either full-length, a one-act or two short plays)

  • Submission of a resume highlighting writing/teaching experience

  • Contact information.

After the initial submission period, the field will be narrowed to three candidates by selection of the HTC Board. The final three will be interviewed by a committee of the Board. The selected playwright will be announced by July 1, 2019.

For more information, visit www.hellertheatreco.com or check out Heller Theatre Company on Facebook and Twitter. Email us at hellertheatre@gmail.com with any questions or submissions.

Announcing the Cast of "Double Feature! The Prairie and La Frontera"

Coming off the smash success of last year’s “Triple Feature!” (winner of four awards from the 2018 Tulsa Awards for Theatre Excellence [TATE] including Outstanding Original Play, Outstanding Ensemble Cast, and Outstanding Direction), Heller Theatre Company has selected two one-act plays by Tulsa playwrights to continue its mission of supporting original work.

Subtitled The Prairie and La Frontera, “Double Feature!” pairs two world-premiere one-act plays that explore and celebrate diversity, humanity, and building bridges.

“Trade Privileges”
written by David Blakely; directed by Michael Wright

Heller Theatre Company’s Playwright-in-Residence and winner of both Outstanding Direction at the 2018 TATEs and Outstanding Original Play at the last two ceremonies, David Blakely presents his latest world premiere one-act. "Trade Privileges" examines race relations among whites, Indians and freed former slaves in Indian Territory in 1859.  Though historical, its look at personal and societal conflicts remains timely.

CAST:
JOHN COHEIA (GOPHER JOHN): Nash McQuarters
CHRISTIAN WELLS: Steve Barker
JOHANNA WELLS: Sophie Kimery
WHEELER: Monte Jones
OLD WOMAN: Liz Masters

“Niñas de la Tierra”
written and directed by Shadia Dahlal

¡Viva la vida! Life is magic. But for immigrants who choose to cross our southern border seeking a better life, the path is filled with danger from humans, and sometimes from supernatural spirits. “Ninas de la Tierra” is a modern Mexican folktale of struggle, survival, and magical realism along la frontera.

CAST:
MICAELA: Maria Carmona
JESUSITA: Indigo Kifer
SPIDER: Sidney Flack
CHILULO: Jeremy Garrett
BORDER AGENT: George Romero
ABUELITA: Miriam Mills
MANGO: George Romero
MAYAHUEL: Meghan Hurley
EL IGUANA: Javier Santiago Sagel
OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE: Kristy Young
THE DESERT: Xuemei Zhao and Xinying Zhang

Performances will be held April 19, 20, 26, and 27 at 7:30 PM at Nightingale Theater, 1416 E 4th St. An ASL interpreter is available for the April 20 performance. Sign Language Interpretation provided by Arts Alliance Tulsa’s HEART Initiative. Tickets are now on sale at hellertheatreco.com/tickets .

This production is made possible through the generosity of the George Kaiser Family Foundation. Heller Theatre Company is a member of Arts Alliance Tulsa. This show may contain mature themes and adult language. For more information, visit www.hellertheatreco.com or check out Heller Theatre Company on Facebook and Twitter.

Announcing the Cast of "Sovereignty"

The personal and the political are one and the same in the deeply moving, daring drama from native Oklahoman playwright and lawyer Mary Kathryn Nagle. Sovereignty splits its time in two parallel, deeply connected timelines: the early 1830s in Cherokee Nation, and in what is now called Oklahoma in the year 2020. In the first, tensions rise as Andrew Jackson’s White House threatens to remove the Cherokee from their land; in the second, Sarah Polson must confront her ubiquitous past in her work as a young Cherokee lawyer fighting for the restoration and preservation of her Nation’s inherent jurisdiction.

Cast (in order of appearance):

Mitch/Samuel Worcester – Luke Thompson
Ben/Andrew Jackson – TBA
Watie/Elias Boudinot – Quentin Blevins
White Chorus Man (Drunk Man/Father/Georgia Guard/William Wirt/Bartender/Reverend Schermerhorn) – Andy Axewell
Sarah Polson – Candice Byrd
John Ridge – Chance Rush
Sarah Bird Northrup/Flora – Tina Flournoy
Major Ridge/Roger Ridge Polson  – Zack Morris
John Ross/Jim Ross – Tommy Cummings 

Crew:
Director – Carolyn Dunn
Stage Manager – Susan Fenrich
Set Designer – John Cruncleton
Costume Designer – Paulette Record
Fight Coordinator – Candice Byrd
Lighting Designer – Chris Vaughns
Sound Designer – Aaron Veale
Cherokee Language Advisor – Joe Byrd
Producers – Susan Apker & Daniel Hitzman

Heller Theatre Company has been dedicated to producing compelling and provocative new works that challenge and entertain the audience. While Sovereignty has been produced twice before, this run will mark the Oklahoma premiere, the play’s setting and the home state of playwright Mary Kathryn Nagle. The story is timely, relevant, and focuses on very real and very painful truths that have been largely left out of the national conversation.

Sovereignty marks the latest in a series of plays Heller Theatre Company is producing that highlights plays by and featuring women and people of color. We are dedicated to supporting and magnifying the voices of the marginalized through these powerful and well-written works.

Performances will be held Oct. 26, 27 & Nov. 2, 3 at 7:30PM and Oct. 28 & Nov. 4 at 2:00PM at Tulsa Performing Arts Center, Liddy Doenges Theater. Tickets are available in advance here and card-carrying members of the Cherokee Nation can receive a discount with the promo code “CN2018”. Group rates for parties of 10 or more are also available in person at the PAC Box Office or by phone at 918-596-7109.

This production is made possible through the generosity of the Cherokee Nation, Tulsa PAC Trust, and George Kaiser Family Foundation. Heller Theatre Company is a member of Arts Alliance Tulsa. This show contains mature themes and adult language. For more information, visit www.hellertheatreco.com or check out Heller Theatre Company on Facebook and Twitter.

Announcing the Cast of Heller Shorts 2018 - "On Cloud 9"

This September, Heller Theatre Company kicks off its 2018-19 Season with the ninth annual Heller Shorts play festival.  This year's festival features seven original short plays by seven different playwrights with Tulsa, OK roots. Varying in tone, genre, and topics, this theatrical sampler platter showcases the wide-ranging perspectives and talents of Tulsa playwrights.

"A Dream to Save Your Back"
written by Riley Van Zee; directed by George Romero
Honey - Karlena Riggs
Baby - Deja Jones-Linares

"The Gates of Bliss"
written by John Fisher; directed by Thomas Hunt
Eliza - Sloopy McCoy
Mikaela - Miriam Mills

"Make a Wish"
written by Dan Hitzman; directed by Luke Thompson
Poppy - Paul Henry
Nathan - Brian Grace
Alex - Thomas Duncombe
Sharon - Alyssa Brown
Grammy-in-the-Kitchen - Holly Harper

"The Makeover"
written by Susan Apker; directed by Jenny Clyde
Lou - Liz Masters
Ron - Steve Barker
Ian - Jeff Jimenez

"The Moon is My Neighbor"
written by Shadia Dahlal; directed by Tara Moses
Alfonso - Phoete Mshairi
Mohamed - Durrell Ousley-Wray
Police Officer 1 - Brian Grace
Police Officer 2 - Robbie Bonot

"Renovations"
written by Luke Thompson; directed by Beka Buster Schenck
Hayden - Charlie Walter
Alyson - Melissa Storm
Wendy -  Reynada Robinson
Jack - Steve Barker

"Wind and Shadow"
written by Brad Sinor; directed by Nichole Martin
James - Jeremy Goodvoice
Michael - Jeremy Garrett
Saul - Andy Axewell
 

We are so excited to continue the tradition of "Heller Shorts" for a ninth year. Performances will be held Sept. 6-9 at Nightingale Theatre. Tickets will go on sale mid-August.