What: Lyric Theatre’s Thelma Gaylord Academy Production of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

When: May 5th-7th

Where: Lyric’s Plaza Theater; 1725 NW 16th Street, Oklahoma City, OK  73106

How: www.lyrictheatreokc.com or call (405) 524-912 for tickets


OKLAHOMA CITY, OK- Lyric Theatre’s Thelma Gaylord Academy is presenting a musical showcase to celebrate its 10 year anniversary.  Show dates for this 2011 spring production are May 5, 6, and 7 on Lyric’s Plaza Theater stage. 

Lyric’s Thelma Gaylord Academy production will highlight talent the Academy has nurtured for the past 10 years through classes in singing, dancing, and acting.  The Academy is celebrating its 10 year anniversary by performing numbers from every show produced during those years, from the very first production of Guys and Dolls to last fall's Bye Bye Birdie, Little Red and RoKademY.

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow production’s first act – Yesterday – takes a blast from the past while the second act – Tomorrow – focuses on the future as it features blockbuster numbers from Lyric's upcoming 2011 summer season of Oliver!, Hairspray, Ragtime – and  will finish with a rendition of “One-Singular Sensation” from A Chorus Line. This production will feature the entire Academy in numbers performed by students ages seven through 18 including solos, duets, and group selections. As a tribute to the Thelma Gaylord Academy, Lyric is inviting Academy alumni back to present the talents they currently showcase in professional venues across the country.

Like many former academy students, Oklahoma’s own Annie Funke, who was in the Academy’s original pioneer class in 2001, has benefitted from the Thelma Gaylord Academy training.

“The Thelma Gaylord Academy was single handedly the most important tool I had as an aspiring actor,” says Funke. “The teachers instilled a respect and a passion for theatre that has been invaluable in my career. Along with a professional teaching approach to the performing arts they also instill confidence and encourage personal growth in a completely safe environment.”

Since her last semester at Lyric’s Thelma Gaylord Academy in 2003, Annie has achieved many goals that the Academy pushed its students to strive for.  Funke received her BFA in musical theatre from Weitzenhoffer School of Musical Theatre at the University of Oklahoma. After graduating college, Annie moved to New York where she starred on Broadway as Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray and moved onto starring in San Francisco’s production of Wicked. Annie will be heading to Chicago this summer to study at The School at Steppenwolf.

“The vision of the founders, back in 2001, was to provide young performers in the Oklahoma City Metro area with an opportunity to further their skills and to become a training ground for future professionals,” says Stephen Hilton, Lyric Theatre’s Director of Education. “We want to celebrate that vision by highlighting what has been done in the past – with excerpts from previous Academy productions such as Fiddler on the Roof and Annie- to presenting Academy alumni who have gone leaps and bounds with their career in theatre and have appeared in Broadway shows.”

Performances will run from May 5th – 7th at 7:00 pm with a Saturday matinee at 2:00 pm at the Plaza Theater on 16th Street. Tickets are now available and are $7 in advance and $10 the day of the show. Call (405) 524-9310 to get your tickets.

The Thelma Gaylord Academy was founded in 2001 as the educational arm of Lyric Theatre and strives to give young people a professional musical theatre training that will benefit them in the future, either by preparing them for theatrical endeavors or simply by helping them build confidence in themselves, forge friendships, and have a great time doing something they enjoy.

Lyric’s Thelma Gaylord Academy is proudly sponsored by Chesapeake Energy, the Kerr Foundation, Kirkpatrick Family Fund, Globe Life, SandRidge Energy, Inasmuch Foundation, Allied Arts, The Oklahoma Arts Council.


If you would like more information about this performance or Lyric Theatre’s Thelma Gaylord Academy, or to schedule an interview, please email Cristen Shepherd at cristen@lyrictheatreokc.com or call Cristen at (405) 524-9310.