TNE Editor
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River City Players bring holiday joy to Tahlequah

Published 11/30/18

Katie McInnis

TNE Writer

For 32 seasons, the River City Players have brought Tahlequah live performances of various types of musicals, showcases and music. Now, just in time for the Christmas season, the players will perform “River City Holiday,” a unique showcase directed by Dr. Robyn Pursley, assistant dean and professor of theatre. Pursley said she is excited to oversee such a wide array of music, which consists of both Christmas music and music from their summer season.

I'm really excited about taking on the holiday music. But it is also really fun to be revisiting songs from last summer,” said Pursley. “You spend so much time putting it all together for the summer that it is always pretty sad once the season is over, so this is a neat opportunity to revive these songs.”

Many NSU students are River City Players. Carly Johnson, Muskogee freshman, is one of the performers in the show. Johnson is one of the newer players, but said she still feels welcome.

“The River City Players are a big family to me,” said Johnson. “I auditioned earlier this year and did my first shows with them this past summer.”

While this is some students’ first time with the players, others, such as Emily Johnson, McAlister senior, have been performing with them their entire college careers. Johnson is the sound board operator for the show. She said she auditioned during her first year at NSU, and loves coming back to the family she has been with for the past four years.

It is such a good community of people and the shows are always so good and so fun,” said Johnson. “It's always been incredible to get professional experience doing what I love with people I love.”

The process leading up to the performance can be just as fun and rewarding as the performance itself, said Malory Lynch, Heavener junior. Lynch is the light board and video screen operator for the show. She said her favorite part of the show is actually right before the curtain opens.

“I like the lead up to the actual performance when we’re all in the green room together,” said Lynch. “Working with an amazing cast and group of directors that teach along the way has been amazing.”

River City has always been about performing purely for entertainment, and Pursley said this show is no exception. She said she wants the audience to simply enjoy the show for what it is.

“We aren't pushing any particular messages or ideas,” said Pursley. “Just the idea that live theatre is a great experience.”

“River City Holiday” runs from Nov. 29 through Dec. 1 starting at 7:30 p.m. for the evening shows and 2 p.m. for the matinee. Tickets are $13 for adults.

For more information, call the Sequoyah Institute at 918-444-4500.

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