Back in 1938, the legendary local oilman Waite Phillips announced that he was giving his Italianate mansion --- and its surrounding 20-plus acres of uniformly gorgeous grounds --- to the citizens of Tulsa as an art museum and park space. Today, as has been the case all along, the Philbrook Museum of Art is an important and truly unique aspect of the art scene not just in our community but throughout this part of the nation.
Moviegoers, rejoice! The Circle Cinema is turning eighty-five! The theatre opened on July 15, 1928, with a showing of "Across the Atlantic," starring Monte Blue --- in this picture, according to advertisements from the period, Blue "flies to France...and...finds romance." The Circle is Tulsa's only remaining historical movie theatre (and the only theatre in town built before the 1960s); it's listed with the Oklahoma Historical Preservation Office and on the National Register of Historic Places.
Our guest on this installment of StudioTulsa is Jonathan Rossetti, a young actor/writer/director who grew up in Tulsa and is now based in Los Angeles. Rossetti joins us by phone from Oklahoma City, where his newly completed indie film, "Home, James," will have its public debut tomorrow, Saturday the 8th, at 2pm at the Harkins Bricktown Cinema 2. "Home, James," which Rossetti directed, co-wrote, and stars in, is appearing as part of OKC's annual deadCenter Film Festival.
The "new KAKC" --- an AM Radio titan from the annals of Tulsa broadcasting --- emerged in the middle 1950s, when rock and roll was just starting to make its very significant mark on American culture. KAKC was the Top 40 station in our community, and invariably one of the most popular stops on the radio dial, well into the 1970s.
In 1901, the first-ever oil well in Tulsa (from the Creek word, "Tallasi," meaning "Old Town") was established; the city itself had been officially incorporated in 1898. In 1905, the discovery of the fabled Glenn Pool oil field occurred --- and a boom town was born. And not just any boom town, but a petroleum-driven city-on-the-go, as Tulsa's population climbed to more than 140,000 between 1901 and 1930. On this edition of ST, we revisit the pivotal decade in this remarkable growth spurt as we discuss a new exhibit at the Tulsa Historical Society (or THS).
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.
On this edition of ST, we speak with the Tulsa-based writer, consultant, and activist Ann Patton, who's just published a biography of the late (and legendary) Father Dan Allen, a Catholic priest turned social activist who worked incessantly (and memorably) to combat poverty and promote equality in Tulsa in the 1960s and beyond. Father Dan is probably best known for creating the Tulsa-area social service agency, Neighbor for Neighbor, which still exists today.
Last week, the nonprofit John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation released a survey of Tulsa residents' views on race relations. This survey was called for, and completed, before the recent (and perhaps racially motivated) shootings in North Tulsa in the pre-dawn hours of Good Friday --- but it's hardly surprising that, given the shocking tragedy of those violent acts and the coincidental appearance of this new survey, people throughout our community are speaking about issues of race with a candor that seems, in many cases, as rare as it is welcome.