After attending a performance of BYE BYE BIRDIE at Oklahoma City University in 1962, Mrs. Norman Handel, felt that the production has all the ingredients for a musical theatre in Oklahoma City.
She contacted several Oklahoma Cityans including Charles Bennett, James A. Bermingham, Jr., Luther T. Dulaney, Jack Durland, Dow Gumerson, Breene Kerr, John E. Kirkpatrick, Hardin Master, Don Watters, J. Robert Wootten, Mrs. Gordon Ferguson, Mrs. E. L. Gaylord, Mrs. Norman Handel and Mrs. Don Gardner to ask if they had an interest in helping her start up a “special project” she had in mind.
So on November 7th, 1962, these 14 prominent Oklahoma City civic-minded citizens met over lunch at the Beacon Club to discuss the idea of institution a lyric theatrical company in the heart of Oklahoma City. At this special luncheon, plans were made for a “command repeat performance” of BYE BYE BIRDIE to a selected, invited and large audience, which was sponsored by guarantors.
But on January 9 of 1963, they made it official, the birth of Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma. They scheduled another meeting to nominate officers, make committee assignment, and write the “Statement of Purpose.” On this special day, John Kirkpatrick was elected President with Luther Dulaney as Vice President, Jack Durland as Secretary and Bob Wooten as Treasurer on his side.
We are so proud of our legacy and we want our patrons to celebrate the birth of Lyric with us! This blog is where you can read, watch, and hear stories told by past and present Lyric performers, artist, patrons, volunteers, board members and supporters as we prepare for our 50th anniversary in 2013.