Backstage with Oklahoma Shakespeare

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at What Goes into the Polished Production

Since 1985, Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park has been entertaining Oklahomans with their fresh interpretations on Shakespearean classics from outdoor stages in Edmond and Oklahoma City. They now have a new home in their indoor theater in the Paseo Arts District.

Today, the company is headed up by co-founder and artistic director Kathryn McGill and managing director Tyler Woods. Kathryn and Tyler also rotate in as actors and directors throughout the season.

Tyler takes on much of the day-to-day logistical tasks such as bookkeeping, maintenance of the theater, box office operations, IT, web design and actor relations. Kathryn is responsible for project development, marketing, education and research for future productions to ensure the company stays relevant within the community.

As they prepared to open their recently wrapped The Book of Will with guest director Rex Daugherty, I visited the theater to see what a day looks like for this busy team.

8 a.m. Tyler begins his day at home answering e-mails and reading production reports from the previous day, after getting his infant daughter dressed and fed.

10 a.m. Tyler and Kathryn arrive at the office. Kathyrn answers e-mails and returns calls from patrons, while Tyler tends to managerial duties such as bookwork and day-to-day financials.

12 p.m. Tyler and Kathryn attend a lunch meeting at the Paseo Grill with the board president to discuss donors and new board members. 

1 p.m. Kathryn reviews grant proposals and correspondence from other production companies. Tyler meets with the scenic painter to go over the current status of the set, repaints a wall in the theater and fields questions via text from Rex.

3 p.m. Kathryn works on plans for an upcoming tour production that will take the company all over the state. Tyler meets with Catherine Pitt, the prop master, and assists an actor with his union paperwork.

5 p.m. Tyler and Kathryn grab a quick bite and return to work for a production meeting.

5:30 p.m. Costume designer Emily Herrera arrives to look at costumes and dress the actors who will be posing for promotional photographs.

6 p.m. A professional photographer arrives to take photos of the actors for marketing the production. 

6:30 p.m. Rex leads rehearsal. 

10 p.m. Upon conclusion of rehearsals, Tyler and Kathryn wrap up any end-of-day correspondence and address any last-minute production concerns.

To see the schedule of upcoming productions, visit OKShakes.org.

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