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STANDING OVATION: Drama students seek funds for independent summer theater production

Courtesy of Jakob Mullendore
Fertile Ground Compost Service

McLOUD, Okla. – For many teenagers, summer is a time to relax and goof off before the grind of school starts again, but for a few theatrical youths from the McLoud, Harrah and Choctaw areas, they’ll be using those three months to put on quality theater for their community.

One such teen is McLoud High School junior Jakob Mullendore. All his life he’s had a passion for music and theater and has gathered numerous like-minded souls who’ve decided that their school plays and musicals just weren’t enough for them once the “theater bug” that had bit them, reaching out to the State Theater in Harrah and proposing their own independent productions during their summer vacations.

After a successful student-funded production of Into the Woods last summer, Mullendore and crew have been invited back to put on another show for the upcoming season. For him, it’s the realization they just might have something here that can become something bigger for the area.

“This year we decided want to make this a tradition for the community,” Mullendore said. “We feel that it is important that they see our communities come together as one, especially when we’re all coming together from different schools and different areas to produce such beautiful art. I think that’s heartwarming and groundbreaking.”

The main roadblock the teens are running into, however, is funding. Mullendore said that most of the funding for Into the Woods came out of their own pockets because of the “lack of support for the arts in our town.”
“It costs a lot more than one would think to produce a show,” Mullendore said. “Performance rights, musicians, scores, scripts, sets, props, costumes, lights, and microphones are just a few of the many things one must pay for to produce a show. Since we are simply a self-funded high school theatre troupe, we are struggling to raise the funds once again and are seeking some helping hands.”

In need of $3,000 in order to produce this summer’s next production, the Pulitzer Prize winning Next to Normal, which Mullendore said is show with a “message and a meaning about a struggling suburban family that many people can relate to,” the teens have started a GoFundMe to help raise the funds needed.

With the budgets repeatedly cut in their high school drama departments, Mullendore believes that teens with such positive energies need a “vessel for their creativity and emotions” and these theater productions will help to not only channel them in the right direction, but also bring the community together and maybe then they’ll “realize how important it is to fund productions such as this.”

“It’s important because students are learning to come together and work together as a unit to make one big message,” Mullendore added. “You get to see young people pursuing their dreams, putting effort behind something. A lot of kids our age are just out partying and getting drunk and getting involved in drugs, so when see young people devoting time to something that’s important and help improve the community, you should get behind it.”

To help make this production a reality, please donate here

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About the Author

Louis Fowler

Güicho. Gadfly. Chicano. Choctaw. Cristero. Freelancer. Leftist. Activist. Vilified. PKD....

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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