Mission & History
The mission of Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma is to produce quality professional theatre; to encourage and educate talented individuals; to promote collaboration among the arts; and to enrich the quality of life for the people of Oklahoma.
Founded in 1963, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma is the state's only professional, year-round theatre company. For 50 years, Lyric has produced classic and contemporary musicals and plays featuring both nationally known Broadway stars and local favorites.
Lyric was originally housed at Oklahoma City University and performed a four to five show season in OCU's Kirkpatrick Fine Arts Auditorium for many years. Lyric's first production, OKLAHOMA!, was performed in this auditorium in 1963. This auditorium housed all of Lyric's summer productions until 2002.
Lyric began experimenting with productions outside of its summer season in 1991 and used several theatrical venues around the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, such as the Omniplex (now Science Museum Oklahoma), Stage Center and the Freede Little Theatre at the Civic Center Music Hall. Some of these productions included A COUNTRY CHRISTMAS CAROL, CABARET, THE FANTASTICKS and I WANT MY 80'S MUSICAL.
Beginning in 2002, Lyric moved its summer season into the Thelma Gaylord Performing Arts Theatre in the newly renovated Civic Center Music Hall in downtown Oklahoma City. Though the summer performances had moved to a new location, Lyric continued to produce the best of classic, as well as modern, musical theatre for audiences totaling more than 50,000 patrons.
In the winter of 2004, Lyric launched its Second Stage series. These shows were aimed at the adventurous theatergoer and featured mature, edgy content. This series was eventually absorbed by Lyric at the Plaza.
After raising $10 million during the Campaign for Lyric, renovations on the historic Plaza Theatre located on 16th Street in Oklahoma City were completed in December of 2007. The money raised provided funds for the cost of restoring the Plaza Theatre, as well as an endowment to continue theatre upkeep and management. This renovation brought life back to this beloved neighborhood landmark and helped to revitalize the Plaza District as a whole. The Plaza is now home to year-round productions of rarely-performed musicals, plays and new works, shown in its intimate, 270-seat setting. The theatre stage also provides Lyric's Thelma Gaylord Academy students with the ultimate "classroom," giving them the perfect venue to showcase their talents.
In 2011, Lyric combined the Civic Center and Plaza series into one cohesive unit. Lyric now produces four smaller works in the Plaza Theatre during the spring, fall, and winter, as well as four large scale, fully orchestrated musicals at the Civic Center Music Hall each summer.
Lyric provides over 250 jobs annually and employs nationally recognized directors, designers, actors, artists and artisans who join local professionals from across the state. The theatre operates under an URTA contract with Actors' Equity Association and employs members of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, Musicians Local 375-703 and I.A.T.S.E. Local 112. Lyric is proud to be Oklahoma's leading professional theatre and continually strives to produce Broadway-caliber productions for Oklahoma audiences.