“Tent Theatre: 50 Fabulous Seasons!” will be broadcast on OPT at 8 p.m. July 11 and will repeat at 9 p.m. July 20. The program is presented as part of OPT’s commitment to local productions that document, present and preserve significant aspects of regional Ozarks history. The program is made possible through the gracious participation of many individuals and area archives, and the generous financial support of project funders.
Recently celebrating its 50th landmark season, Tent Theatre began in 1963, almost ironically, in an effort to beat the heat within the confines of non-air conditioned auditoriums. It has evolved into a much anticipated annual event and locally one of the sure signs of summer. Many professional and well-known actors are alums of the Tent program; a curriculum that has also prepared in-demand and equally successful craftsmen and educators.
“Our goal, in addition to preserving local history, is to tell good stories,” said OPT programming and production manager Tom Carter. “By that I mean positive stories that are told in a quality way. MSU’s Tent Theatre is simply a remarkable, feel-good and inspiring story, one that’s a privilege to help tell and share.”
The program, presented in high definition, features first-person reflections from a variety of Tent Theatre participants. The well-researched narrative complements abundant archival documents, photos and video clips to bring the Tent Theatre story alive and help foster an understanding of the development and significance of the Tent Theatre program by presenting its origin, highlights and legacy, all of which contribute to its enduring appeal.
“Tent Theatre is one of my favorite traditions and no summer is complete without a trip to the Tent. Like many folks, I have so many great memories of attending Tent Theatre while growing up in the Ozarks,” said OPT General Manager Tammy Wiley. “This documentary will tell the story of generations of people who have brought a special passion, talent and support to this event throughout the years. We are always pleased to present these types of locally produced programs to our viewers and appreciate all those who help to make OPT’s work possible.”