Rock Room Art Gallery At The Historic Owen Theatre

When the Branson Regional Arts Council began operations from their new home in the Historic Owen Theatre in January 2018, one of their short term goals was to create an artist gallery, within the venue, as a place to feature a variety of area artists in rotation to coincide with major theatrical musicals and plays on the Owen Theatre stage.

“This gallery space fits perfectly into our long term goal of preserving the rich cultural heritage that Jim Owen brought to our community when he built the entertainment venue in 1936. In fact, in addition to the movie theatre, the original use of this facility included a jewelry and art gallery shop curated by Elsa Bates Freund, the famed Ozarks artist and good friend of Jim Owen.”
– Jim Barber, Executive Director of the Arts Council

Elsa Bates Freund was commemorated by the City of Branson and the Branson Art Council with a metal plaque in her honor, mounted to the front entrance of the Historic Owen Theatre building on South Commercial Street.

Two of her four original wall murals are still on display inside the seating area of the theatre. Unfortunately, a previous tenant painted over two of the four murals, but the Arts Council is exploring the possibility of restoring those original works for future generations to enjoy.

Creation of this new artist gallery space was possible because of the generous donations and hard work from several volunteer board members of the Branson Regional Arts Council and others. Special thanks to Marty Schmitt (donated art wall hanging system), Darla Howe, Nathan Howe, Kim Hale, Art Hale (room preparation, sanding painting, staining, lighting fixtures and curtains), and Lowe’s Hollister (donated paint and stain).

James “Kwaku” Addai

Lisa Murphy, BRAC Board Member Emeritus and Art Committee Chair, invited Internationally renowned artist, James “Kwaku” Addai, to be the first artist featured in the new gallery space.  An opening night reception at the gallery was celebrated by patrons attending the musical Seven Brides For Seven Brothers on November 1st, with special music provided by pianist Delyla Uebel.

Several of Addai’s works have been on display for the past two theatre productions, and were enjoyed by approximately 2,000 patrons. He also donated his artistic skills to paint a canvas mountain scene backdrop for the Seven Brides for Seven Brothers musical production.

If you didn’t get an opportunity to see Mr. Addai’s work at the Historic Owen Theatre, he is also currently featured at the Branson Convention Center Art Exhibition along with a dozen other talented area artists. This Branson Regional Arts Council sponsored exhibition is located on the second floor tier of the Branson Convention Center, and open year round to the general public.

Coming to the Rock Room Gallery in 2020…

In 2020, the Arts Council plans on featuring a wide variety of local area artists in the Rock Room Gallery, with rotating exhibitions that relate in some way to the featured stage production at the time.

Currently, the gallery exhibits will only be open to the public in conjunction with any live musicals or plays presented at the theatre. Discussions are in the works, however, to secure a full or part-time curator so that regular gallery visiting hours may be established year-round.

Call For Artists…

On February 14th, the musical The Wizard Of Oz will be presented, and any artists who would like to submit theme related works for consideration to be displayed in the gallery are asked to contact the Branson Regional Arts Council at info@bransonarts.org. If selected, artists will be able to offer their exhibited works for sale to the public during the run of the musical which is expected to play to sold out audiences through March 1st.

Rock Room Gallery at the Historic Owen Theatre

The Branson Regional Arts Council is thankful for the tremendous financial support we have received from our theatre patrons, benefactors, members and grant providers in 2019. You are helping us to grown an incredible community arts program that our area has needed for so very long.

Please consider making a year-end financial contribution! 

“The prescription for a healthy Community Arts program includes an annual vision check to be certain we have a clear understanding of where we are heading as an organization. If you take a look at what we’ve accomplished in just the past two years, everything comes into focus! Please consider making a year-end 2019 financial contribution to help us achieve our 2020 Vision for all residents of the Branson area!”
– Jim Barber – BRAC Executive Director

Our 2020 Vision is to continue the growth that was started in 2018, and make significant progress towards paying off the theatre venue so we can ensure that our community will continue to benefit from these arts programs for generations to come!

Since moving our offices into the Historic Owen Theatre in January 2018, BRAC has presented NINETEEN major productions (musicals and plays), and several cabaret style concerts. Over 18,000 patron tickets were generated for those programs! That year we also founded a Youth Arts Education Program for students ages 8-18, providing high quality education in vocal music, theatre arts and dance from certified instructors. In February 2019, our youth show choir STACCATO successfully represented the Ozarks at Festival Disney, a national music competition in Florida. Our Branson Convention Center Art Exhibition has been viewed by an estimated 100,000 visitors each year! In November 2019 we opened the “Rock Room Gallery” inside the Historic Owen Theatre as a new way to promote local area artists, as well as hold visual arts painting classes for kids and adults! These programs are making a positive impact on our entire region, and we would be honored if you would join us in our efforts to grow arts opportunities for residents across the Ozarks!

HERE ARE A FEW WAYS YOU CAN GET INVOLVED BEFORE THE END OF THE YEAR, AND HELP OUR 2020 VISION BECOME A REALITY!

  • GENERAL DONATIONS OF ANY AMOUNT (The Branson Arts Council, Inc. EID: 43-1606888)
    Since we are a 501(c)(3) Non-profit organization, your donation will be fully tax-deductible. Donations may be mailed to: BRAC, PO Box 2004, Branson, MO 65615
  • BRAC MEMBERSHIP (Personal or Business)
    Various levels of membership that include special perks! Visit BransonArts.org/membership.
  • BUY-A_SEAT at the Historic Owen Theatre
    $500 Donation includes a brass nameplate in your honor. Visit BransonArts.org/buyaseat.
  • CENTER STAGE SPONSORSHIP of an upcoming musical or play Put your business in the limelight as a production sponsor. Contact us for various sponsor opportunities.
  • HISTORIC OWEN THEATRE CAPITAL CAMPAIGN FUND
    Your tax deductible donation will assist BRAC with the purchase and preservation of the theatre. Donations for this fund may be mailed to: BRAC, PO Box 2004, Branson, MO 65615 (indicate Capital Campaign on the check)
  • SEASON SHOW PASS to the Historic Owen Theatre
    Get the best seats and save money by purchasing tickets in advance. Visit BransonArts.org/pass
  • VOLUNTEER in 2020
    If you aren’t able to support the arts financially, we still have important ways for you to get involved in all we are doing. Visit BransonArts.org/volunteer.

The Branson Regional Arts Council is excited to announce the cast of their 2020 opening musical, The Wizard of Oz. “Despite the cold weather, we had a great turnout for the auditions this week, and our show Producers and Directors had a real challenge in selecting just the right people for each role because everyone was so talented,” said Jim Barber, BRAC Executive Director. “For those who were not selected this time, please try out for one of our upcoming auditions as we would love to work with all of you.”

Congratulations to the following 32 cast members of The Wizard of Oz – The Musical:

Featured Cast Members

  • Dorothy GaleTaylor Haverstick
  • Hunk/ScarecrowMichael Phillips
  • Hickory/Tin ManCarlos Morales
  • Zeke/Cowardly LionSean Neil Myers
  • Almira Gulch/Wicked Witch of the WestJennifer Kersey
  • Professor Marvel/The WizardKerry Richardson
  • GlindaRachael Jones
  • Aunt  EmMindy Law
  • Uncle HenryMike Cooper
  • NikkoEvan Sanders

Front Lobby Character Actor… Dylan Pratt (as Winkie Guard)

Adult Ensemble Cast (Featured Ensemble roles will be announced in rehearsal)
Carter Hendrickson, Megan Rodgers, Pace Gillman, Brenna
Bergeron, Alex Harris, Tanner McGowan, Julie Brinkman, Sarah Sutherland, Joey Blackwood, Julie Musser, Paige Patric, Rachel Merrick, Jordan Kendrick

Munchkins
Hallie Groff, Ashley Rodgers, Jake Musser, Sophie Douglas, Liam
Sutherland, Lee Brown, Silvie Barbour, and Josslynn Silvy.

The Production Team includes: Kim Hale, Karie Dykeman, Lisa Murphy (Producers), Jacob Deck (Director), and Caitlin Secrest (Music Director).

TICKETS ON SALE NOW…

Advance reserved seat tickets for The Wizard of Oz are on sale now at BransonArts.org/tix or by calling the Historic Owen Theatre at 417-336-4255. Show dates are from February 14 – March 1, 2020.

Branson area residents are invited to enjoy a special, one-of-a-kind Holiday Showcase Christmas Concert featuring the young talented members of the Branson Regional Arts Council’s Staccato Show Choir.

The concert is on Tuesday, December 17th at 7pm at the Historic Owen Theatre in downtown Branson. All seats are $10 and proceeds benefit the BRAC Youth Education Fund, which provides performing opportunities for area youth between the ages of 8 and 18.

Staccato Show Choir is an energetic advanced musical group that combines a challenging music repertoire with entertaining choreography. The choir focuses on elevating and applying its formal training into lively, breath taking “show” style performances. Students meet at the Historic Owen Theatre and study advanced music theory, vocal warm up, stage etiquette, presence and showmanship, as well as multi-part choral music.

General seating, no reservations required. Tickets may be purchased in advance online at BransonArts.org/showcase, or at the door.

The Branson Regional Arts Council is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization and provides a wide variety of artistic events and theatrical programs for all residents in the Ozarks. Financial support for many of these programs is provided by the Missouri Arts Council and through the generous contributions of private donors and Arts Council members.

Branson Regional Arts Council Executive Director Jim Barber has accepted an appointment to join the 2020 Board of Directors for Missouri Citizens for the Arts, a non-partisan, state-wide, grass roots organization that advocates to secure stable financial support for the arts to benefit Missouri and its citizens. 

“The Branson Regional Arts Council has been a supporting member of Missouri Citizens for the Arts for several years because we appreciate the efforts they make on behalf of Arts organizations in Missouri. I’m very excited for this opportunity to work with other Arts professionals from across the State in order to improve funding for the Missouri Arts Council and related organizations. I want to thank Leslie Forrester, Executive Director of the Springfield Regional Arts Council and incoming Board President of MCA, for nominating me for this important position.” – Jim Barber

 

Kyna Iman, MCA Government Affairs Consultant and Lobbyist for Missouri Citizens for the Arts, welcomed the new board members from across the State who include Evie Craig and Jennifer Wampler (Kansas City), Emily Frankoski (Joplin), Barth Fraker (Springfield), Jim Barber (Branson), Jamie Driver and John Parks (St. Louis), and Louis Riggs (Hannibal).

For more than 30 years, Missouri Citizens for the Arts has provided a presence for Missouri’s arts industry at the state Capitol to promote the whole of Missouri’s arts industry to the public and private sectors. Without the work of MCA, public funding for the Arts in Missouri would surely diminish. When funding for arts is presented as a “discretionary” choice, MCA is there to remind legislators that for every one dollar invested in the arts, more than eight dollars are returned to the economy of the state. Organized, statewide arts advocacy is a necessity in order for continued public financial support of the industry.

Missouri Citizens for the Arts from Get Reel Creative on Vimeo.

The Branson Regional Arts Council announces open cast auditions for all roles for our upcoming musical production of THE WIZARD OF OZ.

Audition Dates/Times:

  • Sunday, Dec 15th, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
  • Wednesday, Dec 18th, 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Location:

  • Historic Owen Theatre, 205 S. Commercial St., Branson, MO 65616

Rehearsal Dates/Times:

  • Sundays through Thursdays (tentative)
  • Initial Cast Meeting – January 4, 2020, 6:00pm
  • January 5, 2020 – February 13, 2020, 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm (tentative)

Performance Dates/Times:

  • Feb 14-16, Feb 21-23, Feb 28-Mar 1 (12 performances)
  • Evening Performances @ 7:00 pm – Matinee Performances @ 2:00 pm

Producers: Kim Hale, Karie Dykeman, Lisa Murphy
Director: Jacob Deck
Music Director: Caitlin Secrest

About The Show:
This beloved tale, in which a Kansas farm girl travels over the rainbow to discover the magical power of home, has been entertaining audiences for 80 years!

This will be the RSC version of THE WIZARD OF OZ, and includes the songs “Over The Rainbow,” “Munchkinland (Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead),” “If I Only Had A Brain/A Heart/The Nerve,” “We’re Off To See The Wizard (Follow The Yellow Brick Road),” “The Jitterbug,” and “The Merry Old Land of Oz,” “Poppies (Optimistic Voices)” and “If I Were King Of The Forest.”

IMPORTANT:
Please prepare (1) song and bring Karaoke tracks for your musical audition on phone or as an MP3 on a thumb drive. If you are reading for a specific role, please sing that characters song from The Wizard of Oz (not required).

Please be prepared to run through some simple choreography. Dress in comfortable, loose clothing, no high heels or ruby slippers.

You may be asked to do a cold read from the script.

 

Character Breakdown – Principal Roles:

Dorothy Gale – The heroine of our Fairytale, young, full of energy, strength and kindness. Must be strong dancer, singer and actress.

Professor Marvel/The Wizard of OZ – Professor Marvel portrays himself as one who knows many things and has great wisdom in all matters with the help of his crystal ball. Must be a strong actor. Wizard of Oz is a mysterious character that rules over Oz. Must be strong actor with crisp clear voice and commanding presence.

Hunk/The Scarecrow – Hunk is the thinker of the bunch who speaks his mind. Must be a strong actor with good comedic timing. The Scarecrow is made of straw and walks with constant unrestricted movements. He has no brain but often says more intelligent and insightful things than any other person in the musical. Must be a strong singer, actor and dancer.

Zeke/The Cowardly Lion – Zeke is the farmhand Dorothy turns to for encouragement and courage. He is sweet and comforting but easily spooked. Must be a strong actor.
The Cowardly Lion wishes to go home throughout the adventures in Oz but his friends never let him. In the end he finds the courage he thought he was lacking. Must be strong dancer, singer and actor and have great comedic timing.

Hickory/The Tin Man – Hickory is emotionally charged farmhand who desires great things. He is quick witted and lovable. The Tin Man is the most loving and emotional character in the musical. He wants nothing more than to have his heart back. He is strong, protective and encouraging. Must be a strong dancer (tap), singer and actor.

Aunt Em/Glinda the Good Witch – Emily Gale is the Aunt of Dorothy who leads a busy and tiring life on her Kansas farm. Strong actress capable of portraying a strong motherly character. Glinda the Good Witch of the North watches over Dorothy and her friends. She is caring and nurturing and is a great aid to anyone in need. She must portray dignity and grace. Strong actress and good singer for her solos in Munchkinland and Poppy field.

Miss Gulch/The Wicked Witch of the West – Miss Gulch is uptight neighbor who attempts to take Dorothy’s beloved dog Toto away from her. She is harsh, mean and strict spirit but also has a good delivery of sarcastic banter. The Wicked Witch of the West is the villain of our story. She follows our four friends throughout the land of OZ striking fear into them any way she can. While she is a bully with a fantastically creepy cackle she also has a playful fun side. Actress must be able to blend the witch’s wicked ways with her sarcastic wit.

Character Breakdown – Supporting Roles:

Uncle Henry – Uncle Henry is a busy man trying to keep his farm afloat. He is goodhearted and good natured.

Three Crows – Three male crows sing with Scarecrow in “If I only had a brain. Must be good dancers, singers and actors.

Three Trees – Three female trees sing along with Tin Man in “If I only had a heart”. Must have good singing and speaking voices.

Mayor of Munchkinland – Must be a strong speaker and singer.

Coroner of Munchkinland – Should be a good singer with a unique voice.

Lullaby League – 3 Tots – Ballerinas – Must have sweet voices and be able to dance on pointe.

Lollipop Guild – 3 Tough Guys – Must be good singers and dancers.

Winkie General – Head of the Witch’s Army

Nikko – Head of the Flying Monkeys

Flying Monkeys

Poppies & Snowflakes

Emerald City Guard

Jitterbug Lead Dancers, Jitterbugs and Ghosts


Practice Accompaniment Tracks on YouTube To Help Inspire Or Get You Started…

Over The Rainbow
Follow The Yellow Brick Road
If I Only Had A Heart
If I Only Had The Nerve
If I Were The King Of The Forest
Munchkin Musical Sequence
The Jitterbug
Entre’ Acte / Merry Old Land Of Oz
Original Movie Soundtrack Songs

The Branson Regional Arts Council Celebrates #GivingTuesday and pledges to the BRAC Youth Education Fund.

#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide. Following Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, this year’s #GivingTuesday takes place on Tuesday, December 3rd and will kick off the giving season by inspiring people to collaborate and give back.

The Branson Regional Arts Council has established it’s BRAC Youth Education Fund to provide financial support to our theatre and music conservatory students between the ages of 8 and 18. Our goal is to make it possible for any student, regardless of their personal financial means, to have an opportunity to participate in at least one of our youth arts performance troupes.  Our Staccato Show Choir has been performing locally for a variety of community events in 2019, such as the Hollister Grape & Fall Festival, the First Friday & BBQ FEST at Liberty Plaza, the 12th Annual Piccadilly Gala, as well as their own Holiday Showcase Concert coming up on December 17th at the Historic Owen Theatre [click for info].

“It feels so good to see our young performers excel and improve through the programming developed by the Branson Regional Arts Council. Our Youth Education fund is providing our area students with many opportunities to learn and grow. Major credit goes to the amazing leadership and training they receive from our Vocal Education Director Lloyd Alexander-Holt, Dance Director Kristen Dasto, Theatre Director Jacob Estes, Vocal Instructors Roger & Karen Bergford and Theatre Instructor Jake Deck. Can you help support this effort in some small or significant way?” – Jim Barber, BRAC Executive Director

HOW TO DONATE TO #GivingTuesday

YOUTH EDUCATION FUND DONATION

Donations specifically towards the BRAC Youth Education Fund may be made via the Facebook Fundraiser Link Button above, or by mailing a personal donation check payable to BRAC (notate Youth Education Fund in the memo) to: BRAC, P.O. Box 2004, Branson, MO 65615

DOUBLE YOUR DONATION… Beginning at 7:00am CST on Tuesday, December 3rd, Facebook will be matching any donations (via the link above) dollar for dollar on a first come first serve basis until it hits 7 million dollars in donations matched! That’s an incredible way to double your donation!

Founded in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y – a community and cultural center in New York City − #GivingTuesday inspired millions of people to give back and support the causes they believe in. Over $300 million was raised online to benefit a tremendously broad range of organizations, and much more was given in volunteer hours, donations of food and clothing, and acts of kindness. “We are incredibly inspired by the way the #GivingTuesday community has embraced this concept for a worldwide movement,” said Henry Timms, founder of #GivingTuesday and Executive Director of 92Y. “As we prepare for November 27, we’re energized and encouraged by the community’s generosity. The levels of creativity, effort and the quality of the new ideas people have contributed and shared are phenomenal.”