This is post number 13 in our 50 Post for 50 Days series- see what it’s all about here
When you see a show produced by Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, you know that you’re seeing the fruits of hard work by the cast and crew on that particular show. What is less noticeable is the impact of approximately twenty individuals, who work at Lyric full time. These individuals (including me!) all make sure that each show is a great experience for our audiences, raise money to produce the next show, produce and distribute marketing materials, run our training programs at the Thelma Gaylord Academy, and so much more.
As a part of our “50 Posts for 50 Years” series, you get to meet several of our staff members and hear their Lyric story. Today, you’re getting the opportunity to meet Jeffrey Meek, Resident Costume Designer, Michaela Webb, Public Relations Manager, and Robert Matson, Academy Administrator. Here at Lyric, we’re like family, and its one of the reasons why our staff members love this organization so much. I hope you’ll enjoy their stories!
Jeffrey Meek, Resident Costume Designer
1. Did you have a background in theatre? If so, tell me about it! I performed as a child and in my teens. I originally went to college to study acting and then changed to a degree in costume design.
2. Describe to me what you do for Lyric. As the costume designer I am responsible for every piece of clothing worn during a production. I work with the directors to come up with an overall look for the show. From there I design the costumes and buy the materials needed to create them. Along with a very talented crew, the designs are created in our costume shop for each actor.
3. What do you love about Lyric? I love the family that Lyric creates. Creating art with people you love to be around is such a wonderful experience. I still keep in contact with people I worked with at Lyric years ago.
4. Out of all the shows that you’ve seen at Lyric, what is your favorite? Why? I loved Pippin for the spectacle of the piece. It was one of the first shows where I felt all the aspects of the design team came together in a cohesive vision. Oklahoma will always hold a special place in my heart because it was wonderful to share the joy of our state’s centennial with the people of OKC.
5. What’s your favorite memory that involves Lyric? I will always remember the night we opening our first show at The Civic Center. We had worked so hard and it was pure delight to see everyone’s hard work pay off in a huge, beautiful night of theatre!
Michaela Webb, Public Relations Manager
1. Did you have a background in theatre? If so, tell me about it! Not necessarily theatre, per se. 🙂 My mom is a ballet teacher and I grew up performing in ballet productions, but my only real experience with theatre was drama class in high school and a couple of productions in college.
2. Describe to me what you do for Lyric. I am the Public Relations Manager, which means I arrange interviews and media appearances for our actors. I write and distribute press releases. I pitch to the media. I basically work to garner the most possible media coverage for all that Lyric and its entities do.
3. What do you love about Lyric? Something I always loved about ballet was the group effort to create and execute a production and the bonds you build while doing it. Well, what I love about Lyric is exactly that. No matter what time of year it is, we’re working together to build the best possible productions we can. It’s like a little family.
4. Out of all the shows that you’ve seen at Lyric, what is your favorite? Why? Since I haven’t worked at Lyric for even a year yet, it’s hard for me to have a lot to choose from, but I would have to say that BYE BYE BIRDIE would have to be my favorite. That’s because it was my first production as an employee at Lyric and I’ll never forget the magic I felt when I saw the whole thing on stage for the first time.
5. What’s your favorite memory that involves Lyric? My favorite memory to date that involves Lyric would be driving Tony Award-winner Beth Leavel around in my Mini Cooper. She was one of the kindest, most down-to-earth actors I’ve worked with and that was such a joy to discover.
Robert Matson, Academy Administrator
1. Did you have a background in theatre? I have a Bachelor’s in Theatre from Northern Michigan University and a Master’s in Theatre from Oklahoma City University. I’ve performed in over 50 plays, directed around 20 plays and written about 20 plays. I have done Shakespeare, Musical Theatre, Children’s Theatre, Physical Comedy, Classical Drama, Melodramas, Absurd, Experimental and more.
2. Describe to me what you do for Lyric. I am the Academy Administrator and enroll students into classes and communicate to the parents and students about upcoming courses and events.
3. What do you love about Lyric? My boss, Paula Stover, she is hard working, strongly committed to the arts in Oklahoma and always supportive of outside theatre/art projects that we involve ourselves in.
4. Out of all the shows that you’ve seen at Lyric, what is your favorite? Thelma Gaylord Academy’s production of CATS. I believe it is one of the best shows that our Academy students have ever performed. Everything blended beautifully together from the make-up to the costumes to the performances.
5. What’s your favorite memory that involves Lyric? I have two, playing my dream role, The Child Catcher in CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG and working with comic genius Beth Leaveal in CALL ME MADAM. Loved her.