In a development likely to reshape the Tulsa skyline and set the theatre-world buzzing, the Tulsa Alliance for the Arts and Tulsa Theatre Scene curator, Robert Young, announced their intention to create a new black box theatre to be suspended over downtown Tulsa. The long-in-gestation building, which has been designed by the Tulsa architectural firm of Speck Design, is expected to open in the summer of 2021.
“It’s time for theatre in Tulsa to find our corner of the sky,” Susan Hurley, chair of Tulsa Alliance for the Arts, said in an interview Sunday. “It’s become apparent that the only direction for theatre in this town to go is UP!”
The new theatre will be financed by adding another small fee to ticket prices at existing venues. Additionally, any funds collected that would have been paid to local actors will be transferred immediately to pay for the new facility. “Given that the actors don’t typically get paid anyway for performing, they likely won’t miss it”, laughed
Hurley, adding that actors preferred to be paid in resume experience anyway.
Not everyone is as thrilled about the new venue. Artistic Director for Globe Playing Space Theatre, Maybelle Phoenix, wants assurances that her actors aren’t going to fall off the edge of the stage. “We do some pretty heavy choreography, and I can’t have them jazz-squaring out of a black box!” exclaims Phoenix.
Ed Gallagher, a local lighting technician, is also skeptical about lighting the space, stating “this idea is not very good; are you sure this isn’t a really bad April Fool’s joke?”
Phase one will break ground Summer 2019 with the building of the black box theatre. Phase two will begin in Spring 2021, with the attachment of 525,600 balloons to the top of the building.