Marcel Proust has his little madeleine cakes. Calvin Trillin has Arthur Bryant's BBQ in Kansas City. And Tulsa-based writer and editor Mark Brown has, well, his mother's bygone fried chicken. Food, for so many of us, is about much more than taste and sustenance, much more than flavors and rations. It's about culture, society, tradition, and practically everything else --- about the past, the seasons, our memories, our loved ones. Food is as basic to the human species as are celebrations, rituals, fingerprints, or dreams.
On this edition of ST, we're talking about the past, present, and future of Theatre Tulsa, one of the oldest arts organizations in the state. Established in 1922, Theatre Tulsa is actually the oldest community theatre west of the Mississippi River. Over the years, it's brought hundreds of productions to the people of Tulsa. It premiered the first-ever community theatre productions of "Our Town" in 1939, "All My Sons" in 1947, and "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change" in 1993.
Did you know that more than 16% of Oklahomans live in poverty? Or that more than 23% of the children in our state live in poverty? Or that more than 80% of the students in the Tulsa Public Schools qualify for the free and reduced-cost lunch program? Or that 17% of the residents in Tulsa County are "food insecure" --- meaning, they're unsure of where they'll get their next meal? On this installment of StudioTulsa, we hear about a new anti-hunger campaign in our community that kicked off just last month: Live Local, Give Local.
On our show today, we present a conversation with the Tulsa-based writer and curator Diana C. du Pont, who has recently published a book called "You Can't Eat Dirt: Leading America's First All-Women Tribal Council and How We Changed Palm Springs." It's a profile of one Vyola J. Ortner, who led the first-ever all-women tribal council in the United States, and it's co-written with Ortner herself.
On today's show, we hear from Susan Barrett, an associate professor in the TU Department of Theatre and Musical Theatre. Barrett is directing a new production of the Tony Award-winning musical, "The Drowsy Chaperone," which opened on Broadway in 2006. As Barrett tells us, this funny and terrifically fun-to-watch musical actually began as a spoof --- written for a wedding reception --- of old-time musicals . . . and of the out-dated styles, politically incorrect jokes, and wonderful, jazzy tunes that tend to define such musicals.
[Aired on Monday, February 27th.] On today's show, we speak with Kelly Kurt, a former AP reporter and freelance writer here in Tulsa whose article, "Death's Yellow Door," is the cover story in the current issue of This Land.