NSU Stars in the Summer Series will continue in Tahlequah

Tahlequah – Only four weeks into the 2011 Stars in the Summer season, discussions are already under way for the 2012 musical reviews of Downtown Country and River City Players at Northeastern State University.

NSU’s Stars in the Summer Series has been a summer highlight in Tahlequah for many years, with River City Players beginning in 1983 and Downtown Country in 1995. This summer, like many past, each show will present 32 performances, and if attendance trends continue, the series will have more than 8,000 patrons. 

“Response for tickets this summer has remained steady as in years past,” said Amber Cowan, managing director of the Stars in the Summer Series. “Both RCP and DC have been very well attended even in struggling economies the past couple of years. We’re thankful to our loyal and continued patronage and support.”

To build on the successes of seasons past, NSU will continue presenting a country music variety series and a rock ‘n’ roll/oldies series. As preparations for 2012 begin, there is a growing possibility that the shows may be staged differently.

“Trying to present two shows at once four days a week puts an enormous strain on our physical and human resources,” said Dr. Paul Westbrook, dean of the College of Liberal Arts.

With shows running mid-June into the first week of August, participating faculty, staff and students involved give up any plans for true summer vacations to rehearse and stage the productions.

“We’re very thankful to all those who have been involved over the years, especially to our artistic, musical, technical and managing directors who have been so dedicated to the success and legacy of these programs,” said Westbrook. “Our students and community have greatly benefited from their hard work and sacrifice.”

Equipment is also strained to its limits with the high volume of performances.

“This summer we have had to rent microphones, purchase new cables and perform emergency repairs on speakers and lights to get through to August,” said Westbrook. “Since this is the same equipment we use to teach theatre classes during the academic year, looking to reformat the number of shows each summer or how often the shows are performed may be a practical response.”

NSU is exploring all possible scheduling and production options for the shows, but has confirmed that the Stars in the Summer Series will present country music and rock ‘n’ roll options in 2012.

Dr. Martin Tadlock, NSU provost and vice president for academic affairs said, “Both DC and RCP are exemplars of NSU’s commitment to the fine arts and to the role we need to play as a regional university. The summer productions will continue and so will our commitment to partner with others to promote Tahlequah as an entertainment destination for Oklahoma by building on the history of these productions.”

River City Classic: Hits of the '50s and '60s is performed Fridays and Saturday afternoons. River City Retro: Hits of the '70s and '80s is performed Thursday and Saturday evenings. The River City Players venue is the Shawnee Street Theatre at 124 W. Shawnee St. in Tahlequah.

Also included in the Stars in the Summer series are shows by Downtown Country. A Grande Ole Celebration is performed Fridays and as the Saturday matinee. This is Country Music! is presented on Thursday and Saturday evenings. Shows are at the University Playhouse at 300 N. Muskogee Ave. in Tahlequah.

Tickets remain on sale for Stars in the Summer Series. Prices are adults $12, NSU alumni and employees $10, seniors 60-over and groups of 12 or more $8, students and children $6. To reserve tickets call (918) 458-2075. For more information visit the Sequoyah Institute.

Published: 7/18/2011 8:52:31 AM

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