ARTISTIC DIRECTOR'S NOTE

Dear Friends,

In December 2020, I founded Southern Plains Productions with one goal in mind: to make live theatre more accessible to more people. With this vision, my colleagues and I set out to build a professional, nonprofit theatre company from the ground up. Six months later, this is exactly what we’ve done. We’ve also produced our first show, the Bess Wohl play, Small Mouth Sounds, which was well-attended and which BroadwayWorld favorably reviewed. We’re grateful for the opportunity to share our art with Oklahoma City, and flattered at the support and encouragement we’ve received. Thank you!

I’m blessed and fortunate to have been able to study at Interlochen Arts Academy in northern Michigan. This experience changed my life. It was here where I was introduced to the concept of accessibility in the performing arts. Like many, I’d always considered Broadway the pinnacle of the acting profession. But my teachers at Interlochen helped me understand that producing world-class art is as much a responsibility as it is a privilege.

 

Art is for everyone. But not everyone is able to enjoy and experience the arts. Many simply cannot afford it.

Southern Plains Productions is my effort to expand our idea of how we reach the public with our art and engage with the communities we serve. This is why we strive to keep our ticket prices low. And it’s why we give way 10 percent of our seats to every show. But my vision of accessibility also includes performing artists themselves—the actors—and the creative teams that help bring live theatre to our audiences. By working with collegiate and early-career actors and creatives, we’re helping them gain valuable professional experience; we’re expanding their professional networks; and we’re helping them earn a modest paycheck in the process.

We’re not yet where we want to be. We’ve only just begun. But we’re on our way and are thrilled at the opportunity to share with the Oklahoma City community meaningful and unique art in the form of musicals and plays. And we’re doing it with a sense of urgency. If there is one thing the COVID era has shown us, it’s that society cannot live well without art. To that end, we are doing our part to share professional theatre with the world, right here in Oklahoma City. I hope you’ll join us and maybe even invite to our shows someone new to live theatre. It could change their entire worldview, and yours too.

Thank you for your support and encouragement. Here’s to the arts!

 

Sincerely,

 

Jackson Gifford

Founder and Artistic Director

Southern Plains Productions