June 18, 2012

RSU Sponsors Three-Day Theatre Workshop by Noted Actor, Playwright Joe Sears

Joe Sears (Photo credit: Brenda Ladd)
Joe Sears (Photo credit: Brenda Ladd)

Rogers State University is sponsoring the "Joe Sears Theatre Workshop at RSU Bartlesville" for area high school students on August 8-10 at the Bartlesville Community Center.

Teaching staff for the workshop include Sears; RSU Theatre Director David Blakely; Jeff Gentry, Professor and Head of the RSU Department of Communication; and instructors Bob Shell from the Bartlesville campus and Jim Brown of the Pryor Campus. RSU Bartlesville Provost Bill Beierschmitt is serving as host for the three-day event.

Sponsored by RSU, the workshop will emphasize character acting and pursuing theatre as a career. Registration is limited to high school students entering 10th, 11th or 12th grade. The event is free, and lunch will be provided. The workshop is limited to the 30 eligible students on a first-come, first-served basis. Students should come to the workshop with a 2- to 3-minute memorized monologue.

Sears, along with co-authors Ed Howard and Jaston Williams, created the popular series of plays based in the fictional town of Tuna, Texas, including "Greater Tuna," "A Tuna Christmas," "Red, White and Tuna" and "Tuna Does Vegas." Sears and Williams perform the comedies nationally with the actors portraying multiple roles throughout the performance. He also was commissioned by the Cherokee Nation in 2001 to rewrite its signature outdoor drama, "The Trail of Tears" and created the comic opera, "Ochelata's Wedding," that debuted at the OK Mozart Festival in 2000.

"We're honored to be able to offer this free workshop to area high school students," Beierschmitt said. "Recognizing Bartlesville's robust history in the arts, this provided a natural extension of the university's mission of service and outreach to the greater Bartlesville area."

Sears said the workshop will provide a good opportunity to help inspire future actors and directors.

"I've developed a lot of hard-earned knowledge and insight during my years as a working actor and director," Sears said. "It is such an honor for me to have this opportunity to work with this great workshop team and share with the students some of the lessons I've learned over the years."

Interested students can contact Lynsey Simmons at or 918-343-6825 to obtain a registration form.