Sequoyah Institute sees move and leadership changes
TNE Editor
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Sequoyah Institute sees move and leadership changes

Published 9/5/17

Marissa Mitchell

TNE Writer

A longtime benefit for NSU students and community members alike, the Sequoyah Institute has been providing world class performances for audiences of all ages since 1985. The SI brings in traveling artists and shows to present to audiences in an effort to provide more cultured opportunities for students and patrons who would normally not be able to experience said types of performances. Ranging from plays to Chinese acrobat shows, each season the SI aims to present four to six shows at the Center for the Performing Arts on Tahlequah’s NSU campus.

Recently, the SI has seen some big changes. The first change is a change in the head positions of the organization. Dr. Robyn Pursley, NSU alumnae and faculty member, will be the SI’s new director. This means that Pursley will be overseeing the artistic side of the SI.

Hannah Truitt, Wilburton graduate student, will be the SI’s new coordinator. This means that Truitt will be taking care of patrons needs, as well as the necessary daily operations in the box office.

Truitt received her degree in theatre from NSU in the spring and was a student worker for the SI during that time. Pursley felt that Truitt would be a good match for the position of coordinator.

“I am beyond thrilled to have Hannah on our team,” said Pursley. “She has a wealth of knowledge about the inner workings of the organization, as well as a background in theatre and theatre management that will prove extremely useful in the daily logistics of our organization. I know that our patrons and the community will quickly identify her as a wonderful advocate for the arts and their interests as patrons of the arts.”

Still fresh from graduating, Truitt has the determination to tackle everything with eagerness. Her first goal is to make sure that the season subscribers are taken care of.

“I want to be sure to create an easy transition into this new year,” said Truitt. “We will be throwing a lot of changes toward the patrons, and I want to make that as simple as possible for them. Communication is key. I want to make sure that our patrons feel like they are being ‘kept in the loop’ with everything going on.”

The second change in the organization is moving the box office to a more convenient location for patrons. The SI was previously housed in the Woods House on campus, which is located across the street from President Turner’s house.

Given the somewhat obscure location of the Woods House, we felt that it would be much more convenient for our patrons to be able to stop downtown and take care of any business with SI,” said Pursley. “The move will also provide some collaborative assistance for the SI coordinator since she will be in a building with colleagues rather than isolated on the edge of campus.”

The third change for the SI is in the season line up. A performance they had scheduled in April will no longer be available, but it is for a good reason. The CPA will be undergoing some serious updates to their stage rigging system. However, patrons will be offered a few different options for their season subscriptions to make up for the cancellation.

The SI’s patron base consists of NSU students, faculty, staff and community members. However, their largest patron demographic seems to be made up of senior citizens. Season subscribers have been taking the ongoing changes well. Many of SI’s season subscribers return year after year to be a part of what C.H. Parker, retired NSU professor, Tahlequah resident and longtime season subscriber, would call a family.

“There have been so many years that we've been consistently having good companies and good shows,” said Parker. “It's a great family feel for these people. I think that Robyn has a good solid brain. She's extremely smart and has worked hard to be where she is.”

Season subscribers are said to be contacted within the week about renewing their season subscriptions to the Sequoyah Institute’s Performing Arts Series. Individual tickets will be available to the public Sept. 15. The new SI box office, located in the NSU Playhouse, is now open for business.

For tickets and information, visit or email the SI at

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