RSU Theatre to Present Premiere of Original Play by Oklahoma Playwright

RSU Theatre will present the premiere of “Quietly Standing in the Shade,” an original play by Oklahoma playwright Judy Lee Oliva, on Oct. 23 through Nov. 1.

“Quietly Standing in the Shade” is a contemporary, dramatic story of the Turner family, whose lives are interrupted by personal loss, a fire and the arrival of a mysterious woman.

The play will be presented at 7:07 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 23-24; at 2:07 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 25; at 7:07 Thursday, Oct. 29; and at 2:07 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 1, in the Black Box Theatre of the Robson Performing Arts Center in Claremore. Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for senior citizens, and free for all RSU students, faculty and staff.

“As they stand in the charred remains of a small Episcopal church, the family struggles, both physically and mentally, and provides the audience with a view of life in America during the present-day recession,” said David Blakely, RSU theatre coordinator.

Cast members include RSU students Darren Wright of Claremore, Nikki Forehand of Claremore, Ashlee Overton of Oologah, David McWilliams of Muskogee and Traci Rainwater of Pryor.

Oliva is an award-winning Chickasaw playwright from Albuquerque, N.M., whose play “Te Ata” recently garnered attention when it was performed at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma in Chickasha. She holds an master of fine arts in directing from the University of Oklahoma and a doctoral degree in theatre and drama from Northwestern University. Her work has been seen by audiences from coast to coast. She has written over 27 plays and has won 22 awards for her writing. She is also an author of two books on theatre. She has been working in the professional theater for 15 years, alongside her work in higher education. Her work in Native American theatre has been honored by numerous awards. She was the recipient of the Best Native American Musical Prize and recently received an Expressive Arts Grant from the Smithsonian. She was named the 2006 Dynamic Chickasaw Women of the Year by the Chickasaw Nation.

For more information about the play, call (918) 343-7521.