As one of Oklahoma’s few professional Equity theaters, CityRep recently was honored with a proclamation from Actors’ Equity Association for “hard work and dedication to producing excellent and professional theatre in Oklahoma City.”
“We are both proud and very grateful for this distinctive honor,” said Don Jordan, CityRep’s artistic director. “Many theaters that are 40 or 50 years old have never been so recognized.”
CityRep had its genesis at a New Year’s brunch in 1998. Jordan and several friends and former Oklahoma City University classmates bemoaned the fact that OKC didn’t have a professional regional theater.
“We said, ‘Surely with all the wonderfully talented people who have come from here, someone ought to be able to start a professional theater.’ It was too long overdue,” Jordan said.
A few years later, CityRep was born. An important part of its vision was to create a theater where the next generation of artists could connect with, learn from and train under experienced professionals, and have an opportunity to work toward becoming members of Actors’ Equity. To that end, CityRep has co-produced shows with many metro universities.
“I feel that we have stayed true to the dreams, goals and principles of the founders,” Jordan said.
I would go to the moon and back for Oklahoma theater!
Although he is one of the most active members of the metro theater community, he lives in Dallas.
“My dad asked me to come home to Dallas for good and take care of my mother if he should not survive. When he passed away in 1992, I did as he had asked,” he said. “Although it was difficult at first, a promise is a promise.”
Commuting back and forth over the last decade, Jordan has driven more than 300,000 miles.
“It is only 238,000 miles to the moon,” he said. “So I guess you could say I would go to the moon and back for Oklahoma theater!” While Jordan is proud of CityRep’s singular accomplishments, he prefers to concentrate on being part of the metro’s overall theatrical scene.
“I want to see our theater community grow and thrive, and I want to support good work,” he said. “That is a strong motivation for me: serving the art, serving the community and that the only rule that cannot be broken in theater is it must be good!”