Founded in 1985, Theatre Arts, Inc. has continued to honor its core mission of supplying Oklahomans with performance education and opportunities. Within a newly renovated 10,000-square-foot facility, students train tapping toes in more than 10 styles of dance—including tap, jazz, and hip-hop—and channel their inner thespian in acting classes or private lessons that focus on both improvisation and script work. Private instruction and classes also accommodate vocalists who receive personalized tips on stage presence from the faculty and practice harmonizing by singing duets with humming radiators. Numerous alumni have harnessed their training into careers, working locally and nationally on television and Broadway, and two—Lauren Nelson and Shawntel Smith—have gone on to become Miss America.
Under the tutelage of Shannon Studios’ trained professionals, burgeoning musicians master their instrument of choice during 30-minute one-on-one lessons taught inside a quaint house turned child-friendly studio with a dedicated drum room and recording area. The talented Kayle Grieman—lead singer of the electronic-rock band Bruder—leads stick-wielding novices to drumming glory by teaching them how to hold a beat, and vocalist instructor Ashley Shannon molds would-be warblers into veteran crooners. Axman Matthew Shannon draws on his touring experience to show students difficult stage-dive poses and how to shred while technically being asleep. A new addition to the staff, Carissa Murillo teaches four-stringed neophytes how to tuck chins, tune strings, and string bows before tackling difficult musical pieces for violin.
The certified instructors at Foyil Music Studio conjure students’ symphonic skills during private music lessons. Musicians of all experience levels can jam with certified instructors during weekly 30-minute lessons, internalizing curricula ranging from popular genres, such as classical, jazz, folk, and contemporary, to obscure disciplines such as 20th-century gum jingles. Tone vocal chords in a voice lesson or foxtrot fingers across pianos or guitar strings. Customers can also wet their tune-making whistles on variety of woodwind instruments, including flute, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, saxophone, and trumpet. Enrolled students have the option of performing in one of the school's frequent showcases, giving proud parents a chance to applaud their fledgling instrumentalists or badger them with requests for Jethro Tull covers.