Though he played the guitar for years, Josiah Wiens found himself running up against stalled progress, anxiety over learning new material, and frustration with his lack of advancement. So he threw his ineffective practice philosophies aside and began to experiment with new learning techniques. Josiah eventually hit on a method that dispelled his anxiety while jump-starting his technical abilities and musical sensitivity. Now, he helps both beginners and more experienced players hung up on the same difficulties that plagued him by teaching classes that interweave functional mastery with theory, which deepens spontaneous musicality. He also ministers to the instruments themselves, fixing guitars that have played one too many solos or been given life by fell magic.
Founded in 1985, Theatre Arts, Inc. has continued to honor its core mission of supplying Oklahomans with performance education and opportunities. Within a 7,900-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.
Kid Co Theatre's teaching team of Ben and Lia Oldham draws from extensive teaching experience to lead young cast members in a collaboration to create their own pirate-themed play. Aspiring actors work together, bolstering communication skills as they rehearse the nuanced spectrum of pirate emotions and gain self-confidence with every mimicked parrot squawk. Fourth through 8th graders comprise the main cast, learning to collaborate as they pen the show's plot and play games of human Jenga. Junior cast members in 3rd and lower grades form a separate contingent to perfect their roles as a band of pirates marauding their way into the same show.