'Up the Down' On the Cheap

Theatre Tulsa announces the admission price to tonight's IDR for "Up The Down Staircase" comes at the low, low price of canned food for the local food bank. Just come on down to the Liddy Doenges Theatre of the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. 110 E. 2nd St., and bring some canned food items for admission to the IDR on a first come, first served basis.

This program is part of Theatre Tulsa’s continuing mission statement to make live theatre accessible to everyone in the city of Tulsa.

Theatre Tulsa presents "Up the Down Staircase" with Clark Theatre in a first-time collaboration. Performance dates are March 27-28, April 2-4 at 8pm and March 29 2pm.

The show is directed by Frank Gallagher and Julie Tattershall. The set is by Erin Scarrberry and Joel Cheatham. The lights are by Anthony Batchelder, the stage manager is Cathy Blackmore, and the producer is Anthony Batchelder.

The cast includes Phil Blackmore, Deborah Bosworth Campbell, Ron Friedberg, Beth Anne Herrmann, Deborah Hunter, Miriam Mills, George Romero, W. Bryan Thompson, and Sherry Zyskowski

It also features Tim Bowman, Erin Bridwell, Chazz Browne, Ethan Cantrell, Grace Cuellar, Jon Dicandeloro, Scorpio Flynn, Tanner Friend, Jose Gonzalez, Michaela' Hanneyer, Shannon Harris, Madeline Lackey, Erika Loney, Ryan Mannschreck, Julia Mills, Hannah Moore, Simone Summers, Marjorie Tanner, Nicholas Thomas, and Tiffany Wright.

Best remembered as the 1967 movie with Sandy Dennis, "Up the Down Staircase" tells the touching and humorous story of a new teacher in an inner-city high school. Confronted with situations her Ivy League education never prepared her for, Sylvia Barrett struggles to find ways to reach kids who don't care. Or do they?

The directors’ vision is to update the play to have more of an impact in today’s modern times. The original was almost a “Laugh-In” version of stock characters coming in and out of the classroom. The students in the play were played more for comedy. It was easy to fit the play into today’s classrooms and the problems young teachers still grapple with. Just as in 1967, schools are over run by the educational bureaucracy and mountains of monotonous paper work that interfere with the students’ actual learning process. Sylvia must learn to accept the kids as they are and motivate them by example. Trust runs both ways and a classroom where real ideas are exchanged is built by mutual trust and not practical rules. All the problems of the 1967 movie of teen suicide and bullying still exist and we need caring teachers to create a different model in which students are seen as individuals and not stamped out by cookie cutters.

For more information on Clark theatre visit www.clarktheatre.com or Theatre Tulsa visit www.theatretulsa.org.