March 11, 1997
If you enjoy live theatre and you're looking for real entertainment this weekend, consider a trip to Stillwater where the Oklahoma Community Theatre Association will be holding its biennial festival, featuring some of the best amateur performers and stagecraft folks in the entire United States. The affair is called "OCTAFest '97," and stage of the Vivia Locke Theatre in the OSU Seretean Center will be the location.
The Oklahoma association is well regarded in all amateur theatrical circles because of the high quality of work demonstrated by the numerous community theatres in this state, including our own Stagecoach group. On alternate years, OCTAFest is held as a statewide festival to select a winning entry which then goes on to a regional festival that features companies from Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arkansas. The regional winner is certified to the national level of competition, and quite often an international festival in Monte Carlo or some other exotic location also is held. Oklahoma theatres have won regional, national and international honors through the years, and adjudicators at our state festivals always have been lavish in their praise of the quality exemplified by this state.
Because the state festival this year is in Stillwater, many from Perry can avail themselves of the opportunity to see these groups in action. They are rarely this close to home. Each of the performances is limited to a maximum of one hour. Tickets can be purchased at the door, but be sure to arrive early because latecomers will not be seated after the curtain goes up. Here's the schedule of plays:
Friday - 1:30 p.m., "4/10/95 9:02 a.m.," a drama concerning the Murrah Building bombing, presented by Weatherford Arts Council; followed by "The Duck Variations," by Lawton Community Theatre; 7 p.m., "All in the Timing," Stone Soup Theatre of Norman; followed by "The Compleat Works of Wllm Shkspr (abridged)," a comedy, by Muskogee Little Theatre.
Saturday - 1:30 p.m., "Trespasses," by Heller Theatre of Tulsa; followed by act II of "The Miracle Worker," by Oklahoma Sign Theatre Unlimited of Oklahoma City; 7 p.m., "A Piece of My Heart," by Gaslight Theatre of Enid; followed by "Indian Meadowlark," by Tulsa Indian Actors' Workshop. Theatre workshops will be sandwiched in between performances for those who wish to attend, and an awards brunch will be held Sunday at the Stillwater Country Club to announce the winning entry. Several from Perry will be attending the festival and you won't be disappointed if you join in the fun.
A lot of TV commercials take a whimsical turn that is intended to provoke a smile, but one that's on quite regularly does this by accident, I think. It's the insurance company ad featuring an "over 50" gentleman who claims, among other things, that changing doctors has improved his bowling score. I don't think anyone else is making that claim, at least not publicly. It still gives us a chuckle even after seeing it so many times.
Marcia Moore of Severy, Kansas, has provided me with, several interesting items of information about early Perry which she has come across as a serious collector of souvenir china pieces. Recently she sent along a photo of a plate which she purchased at a souvenir china auction in Ocala, Florida. It has a painting of the old Perry high school building which once was located in the proximity of our present high school auditorium. It was a two-story building with two dormer windows on a third floor level and a soaring bell tower in front. This building was demolished in the 1920s and was replaced by a three-story brick structure. The plate is approximately six inches in diameter, and a legend imprinted on the back reads: "Made in Germany for Barton Book Co." The plate is a Jonroth piece, Marcia says. Many of you will remember our discussion in previous columns about the Barton Book Co., the Malloch Book Store and similar souvenir plates bearing paintings of the Carnegie Library which Marcia had found. This is the first I've heard of a plate bearing the likeness of the old high school.