Open the curtains, it’s action time.
The Oklahoma Christian University Theater Company will perform “The Magic Flute”, a one-act play based on Mozart’s opera, this fall. The production is part of the Theater for Young Audiences show.
Theater coordinator Anna Wilcox said she is excited about the five upcoming productions this year. The first show open to the public is Friday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. Two other shows will be presented the following day, Nov. 16, at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.
“’The Magic Flute’ is appropriate for all ages,” Wilcox said. “Two of the performances are closed to the public. On Thursday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m. we invite Oklahoma Christian University students, faculty and staff to see the show for free. Then on the morning of Friday, Nov. 15, at 10 a.m. we will host all of Orvis Risner Elementary’s 4th and 5th graders. Orvis is a Title I school, and it is our goal to share the theater arts with underserved children. There will be three performances open to the general public.”
In addition to this performance, a 10-minute faith-based playwriting competition will take place this semester as well as a festival during the spring. Wilcox said the Oklahoma Christian students put the productions together every year.
“Some of the students that participate have theater scholarships or are theater work-study,” Wilcox said. “Other participants are interested in theater and were involved in their high schools. There is a wide range of degree plans represented by the cast of ‘The Magic Flute.’”
Sophomore Melissa Gibson is a theatre student involved in the program. She said the production is an opportunity for kids to experience theater for the first time.
“By teaching them moral values from the plays and hopefully sparking interest of theater in them, they can learn the valuable life skills taught by theater that they will use for the rest of their lives,” Gibson said.
Wilcox said the presence of theater is important to maintain in the college of liberal arts.
“Theater not only allows for creativity and expression but is also an opportunity to build communication, problem-solving, reasoning and team-building skills,” Wilcox said. “By participating in the OC Theater Company, students have an opportunity to strengthen these skills and to provide some fun, family entertainment for OC students, faculty, staff and the Edmond community.”
Gibson said the kids can learn group management along with collaboration and communication skills. However, they are not the only party benefiting from the theater experience.
“The Oklahoma Christian community can benefit from all these things and learn valuable life skills to use in the workplace no matter what occupation,” Gibson said.
Wilcox said after each performance of “The Magic Flute” there will be a cast talkback with the audience.
“This is an opportunity for especially youth to ask questions about acting, theater production, technical aspects and even about being a college student at Oklahoma Christian University,” Wilcox said. “The outreach that OC Theater Company is doing with elementary schools and other community organizations allows young individuals to have a positive experience on the Oklahoma Christian University campus. Perhaps one day they will have an interest in going to OC.”
To help the program to improve, Gibson said it is important to get more people involved and financial funding.
“With more people, we wouldn’t have to wear multiple hats, and we could each focus on our task to improve it to the best of our ability,” Gibson said. “And with more funding, the quality of our show would improve to hopefully draw more people in and show what a valuable asset theater is to Oklahoma Christian University and the Oklahoma City community at large.”