“The 25th annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” ends this weekend at Muskogee Little Theatre

Muskogee Little Theatre continues the August musical comedy production, “The 25th annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” this weekend. Ticket prices are $14 for adults and $10 for students. Show times are at 8 p.m. Friday,  Aug. 13, 2010, and Saturday, Aug. 14, 2010.
Six kids face off in the battle of their lives. The competition is intense. The words are outrageous. Let the spelling (and the singing) begin! Three adults adjudicate the proceedings: a nostalgic former spelling bee winner, a midly insane Vice Principle and The Official Comfort Councilor completing his community service to the State of New York. Both tender and sardonic, this hilarious Tony Award-winning musical of overachievers angst brings you inside the spelling championship to end them all. This show is recommended for all ages.
Before every performance of “The 25th annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” four audience volunteers are recruited to participate on-stage as guest spellers. Each new foursome guarantees a new set of hilarious and unexpected experiences. The willing contestants are chosen through pre-show lobby interviews and questionnaire.

Potential guest spellers should arrive at the theatre 45 minutes prior to curtain. The show is co-sponsored by Rotary Club of Muskogee and MyPro’s. All productions at Muskogee Little Theatre are presented with the assistance of The Oklahoma Arts Council. For more information, go to www.muskogeelittletheatre.com or call (918) 816-0688.

BareBones International Film and Music Festival continues through April 25, 2010, in Muskogee, OK

The 11th annual BareBones International Independent Film and Music Festival, is setting an historical milestone as it continues through to April 25, 2010, in Muskogee OK. The 11-day festival has welcomed its 1,000 independent film producer to Oklahoma. 
According to a news release, no other Oklahoma film festival comes close to that record.
The grassroots cultural festival, inaugurated in 1999,  has seen steady growth in attendance and quality of films despite its aversion to court major studios and celebrities. 
“We have nothing against Hollywood stars or movies, we have just chosen to focus our attention on the next generation of stars and star makers, and on helping to grow independent film makers in the state as we help to grow the industry here,” said ShIronbutterfly Ray, executive director and founder of the film festival in a news release.
While the festival is well-attended by working actors, directors, cinematographers and screenwriters from both coasts, it typically hosts film makers from all over the world who are making their first foray into moviemaking. “Some of the film makers have been in the industry for years as actors, or screenwriters, or stunt people, or cinematographers who decided they wanted to take their engagement in the industry to the next level and then others are novices or students who had an idea for a movie and decided they would make it, pretty much by any means necessary,” said Oscar Ray, festival marketing director and independent film producer. 
The festival will exhibit more than 170 films from 35 cities and 13 foreign countries, conduct workshops on acting, screenwriting and independent motion picture production while welcoming to Oklahoma and Muskogee more than 200 actors, screenwriters, directors and producers. The event is open to the public, and advanced tickets can be purchased onlineFor more information, go to www.barebonesfilmfestivals.org.
Even without courting celebrities, many have attended the festival and have shared in impromptu settings their wisdom and knowledge about the industry and moviemaking. Oklahoman Ryan Merriman (“Final Destination II,” “Lonesome Dove, “Comanche Moon”), Tonya York of York International, along with television producers, soap stars and successful screenwriters have given a nod to this one-of-a-kind film showcasing event. The festival has been twice named by Movie Maker magazine as one of the “top 20 film festivals in the U.S. to attend.”

Muskogee Little Theatre presents “The Foreigner” during Valentine’s Day weekend

Muskogee Little Theatre presents “The Foreigner” at  8 p.m. Feb. 12-13 and Feb. 18-20. There is a matinee at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 14.
Advance tickets may be purchased at Soundworld, 123 E. Okmulgee in Muskogee, OK, or by calling (918) 683-4901. Tickets are also available one hour prior to curtain time at the Muskogee Little Theatre box office.
“The Foreigner” is an inspired comedy that celebrates curiosity and empathy for the outsider. Many people would relish the opportunity to be a fly on the wall, making themselves privy to private conversations. However, pretending to be a foreigner who doesn’t speak the language is possible. When Charlie, a shy Englishman, comes to a rural lodge in Georgia, he pretends to be a foreigner from an exotic country who doesn’t know English so he won’t have to talk to the locals. “The Foreigner” is a feel-good play where the characters grow and change before the audience’s eye. According to a news release, “The Foreigner” is one of the most beloved and crowd-pleasing comedies in community theatre repertory.
“The Foreigner” is sponsored by Creek Nation Casino. All productions at Muskogee Little Theatre are presented with the assistance from The Oklahoma Arts Council. For additional information, go to 
www.muskogeelittletheatre.com or call (918) 816-0688.

Muskogee Little Theatre continues “Miracle on 34th Street” this weekend

Muskogee Little Theatre will end its holiday production “Miracle on 34th Street” this weekend. The production, directed by Charles Mutch, is about Kris Kringle, who is the personification of good will and holiday spirit. As Macy’s holiday Santa, he enchants children and shoppers so completely that he is deemed dangerous by fellow employees who question his competency and plot to ruin him. A small girl’s belief in Santa and the magic of the holiday is at stake in a climactic courtroom decision.

Ticket prices are $14 for adults and $10 for students. Advanced tickets may be reserved at Soundworld, 123 East Okmulgee, Muskogee by calling (918) 683-4901. Remaining tickets may also be available at the theatre box office, Cincinnati & D Street, Muskogee30 minutes prior to show. For more information, contact box office at (918) 683-5332. “Miracle on 34th Street” is sponsored with the assistance of the Oklahoma Arts Council. For additional information,  visit www.muskogeelittletheatre.com.

Darkwood Film Arts Institutes’ Kid Summer Film Camp produces movie

“Younglings,” a Darkwood Film Arts Institutes production, will be shown at Tulsa’s BareBones Script 2 Screen Film Festival and Conference in October.
“Younglings” is based on the story of five teens and pre-teens attending the school for young Jedi trainees who are saved from Anakin Skywalkers dark side demeanor and deadly light saber (“Episode III Revenge of the Sith”) by being shoved into the Allseer (a transport and time machine) by Jedi Master Daymor and sent 2.5 million light years away and 567 years into the future, landing on current day Earth in the city of Muskogee Oklahoma.
“We had a pretty diverse group of kids this summer, from ages 8-15. We wanted to teach them about loss, loyalty and change as we showed them how movies are made,” said Oscar Ray, the Institutes chief instructor and the creator of “Younglings.”
“The kids are all familiar with the ‘Star Wars’ stories. Some would be considered ‘Star Wars’ trivia experts, so we figured an original story with familiar characters would be a good teaching and training tool and a good way to get them to look at how they handle their own emotions. The story also allows us to engage them with visual and special effects.”

Descendants of Territorial Marshals to produce movie

Direct descendants of U.S. Territorial Marshals that served out of the district court of the famous Judge Parker have combined forces to produce a movie about their ancestors. Screenwriter Lyndon McGill, great-grandson of U.S. Deputy Marshal John McGill and independent film producer Oscar D. Ray Sr., great-grandson of U.S. Deputy Marshal Rufus Cannon will produce the movie “Stairway to Heaven.”
The screenplay, which follows the exploits of John McGill’s last days as a deputy marshal is based around actual events and real people and is a dramatic and action packed account of life during one of the most dangerous times and places in the old West.
The story takes place in Oklahoma and Indian territory during the late 1800s and will be shot entirely on location. Perennial cowboy favorite Sam Elliott has been offered the part of John B. McGill.
“For people back east Oklahoma and Indian Territory was the true wild west and more western gunfights occurred in the twin territories than any other place in the old West. As a matter of fact more U.S. Marshals were killed in a 50-mile radius of Muskogee OK than in any place in the nation” says ShIronbutterfly Ray, co-producer and Unit Production Manager for the film. Ray is also the executive director of the BareBones International Independent Film and Music Festivals.
The story, considered a cross between films “Tombstone” and “Unforgiven,” is scheduled to begin production in the spring 2010.
Other talent being considered for key roles in the film are Ryan Merriman,(“Lonesome Dove-Comanche Moon”) and Jane Seymour(“Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman”).

Film Festival to Convene Soon in Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, the 10th annual BareBones International Independent Film and Music Festival prepares to get under way April 16-26 in Muskogee. The festival is founded by Oscar and ShIronbutterfly Ray, (shown in photo).
Named by one of the top industry magazines, Movie Maker, as one of the nation’s top 25 film festivals, the grassroots effort has grown from a two-day event that showed only 35 films in its first year to an impressive 11-day event that will screen almost 200 movies from around the world. Action, romance, Medieval adventure, sci-fi, horror, Western and drama are just some of the genres that will be represented.
The event will also feature workshops on acting for the camera, screenwriting, selling story ideas to movie producers, moviemaking, movie directing, stunt performing, special effects makeup, live screenplay readings, musical performances and the first ever Stars, Cars and Guitars Parade.
The closing day of the festival will feature an Academy Awards-style ceremony with red carpet, paparazzi, and live musical and dance performances along with awards presentations for best movie, best actors and best screenplays.
The not-for-profit event is open to the public and tickets can be purchased online or call (918) 616-1335.