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.
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.