BWW TV & Photo Exclusive Coverage: Kristin Chenoweth Gets Theatre Named in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

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BroadwayWorld is excited to present exclusive photo and video coverage of a very special event (click below to play!) 

On Sunday, June 24th, the little town of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma bestowed upon its own little tornado, Kristin Chenoweth the honor of having a theatre named after her, in her very own home town, where she grew up. The evening, the performance, the christening and the party all took place with family and friends as well as among her cast, musical director Mary-Mitchell Cambell, director Richard Jay-Alexander, longtime manager Dannielle Thomas and her parents Jerry and Junie Chenoweth.

For background here: The Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center opened its doors in September of 2009.  The $30 million dollar facility was built for the students of Broken Arrow, but the community and Executive Director Mark Frie had a vision that went far beyond a high school facility.

 “The arts play such a vital role in the success and identity of a community. What has been accomplished over the past 3 years in the PAC is nothing short of miraculous.  Now in our 4th season, Grammy, Emmy, and Tony award winning shows and artists coming to Broken Arrow have become the norm. I assure you that what has happened here is the exception rather than the rule.  I was given a task to produce and present events that would rival any other performance facility in the area and was asked to do so with no financial support.  To this end, the BAPAC Foundation was formed with the vision to bring the world to Broken Arrow.  And we have done just that.  Frank Sinatra Jr, Tap Dogs, David Phelps, Amy Grant, Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Broadway tour A Chorus Line, Cirque Mechanics,  the Oklahoma premiere of  In the Heights, Elvis Lives, Blast, and looking into next season, Shrek the MusicalSpamalot, country music legends The Oak Ridge Boys,  blues legends the Blind Boys of Alabama, and of course the greatest triumph of all, Kristin Chenoweth.  Broken Arrow students have had opportunities to perform with, take master classes from, and watch as some of the greatest talent in the world has graced our stage.   Patrons from Texas, Arkansas, Colorado, Missouri, tour buses from Kansas and folks as far away as North Dakota, and Utah, have come to Broken Arrow for the express purpose of seeing a show in our downtown.

3 years ago the process was started to try to bring Kristin Chenoweth back to her hometown.  Starting with the Grand Opening Committee and later switching the PAC Foundation Foard, it has been a long and fulfilling 3 years.   Frie said “In a letter that I wrote Ms. Chenoweth, I told her that I didn’t feel that we could truly fulfill our vision until she came home”.  Why name a facility after someone who is still so young and in the prime of her career?  Quite simply, Frie said, “she deserves it”.  “Kristin serves as a role model for the students of Broken Arrow that with talent, hard work, and perseverance anything is possible”.  Frie continued “I believe Kristin has a unique opportunity to have a hand in what happens in the theatre named in her honor. She can be involved as much or as little as her schedule allows.  While most honors of this nature are bestowed on someone after they pass, Kristin can really help me shape the vision of what the Kristin Chenoweth Theatre will be in the coming years”.

Frie said “On June 24th, Kristin thrilled the sold out audience.  In return, she left here knowing in her heart that this will always be her home.   She knows that the BA PAC will be a place for her to come and perform, inspire, and educate.  Because of the Kristin Chenoweth concert, the arts world is learning about the BA PAC and about the community of Broken Arrow.  Word is out that this is a tremendous place to perform in front of appreciative, intelligent audiences and a staff that will treat them like family.  And now, I am so honored to have her as part of our family”. 

As part of the onstage presentation, near the show's end, Chenoweth was also treated to 'merchandise' that would be available at the newly named facility. Kristin was clearly overwhelmed and couldn't believe that there was now a theatre in Broken Arrow, that could house Broadway touring productions, which never played her town while growing up. She plans on going back there to present fellow Broadway performers, debut young people and do as much as she can to encourage other people to follow their dreams. 

Photos by Jill Solomon, Video Courtesy KOCO Eyewitness News 5 / Mark Frie

BWW TV & Photo Exclusive Coverage: Kristin Chenoweth Gets Theatre Named in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Kristin's Final Bow

BWW TV & Photo Exclusive Coverage: Kristin Chenoweth Gets Theatre Named in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Kristin Chenoweth

BWW TV & Photo Exclusive Coverage: Kristin Chenoweth Gets Theatre Named in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Surprised onstage by BAPAC Executive Director after being named The Kristin Chenoweth Theatre

BWW TV & Photo Exclusive Coverage: Kristin Chenoweth Gets Theatre Named in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Hug with BAPAC Executive Director Mark Frie

BWW TV & Photo Exclusive Coverage: Kristin Chenoweth Gets Theatre Named in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Kristin presented her shirt by BAPAC Box Office Manager Kate Pike

BWW TV & Photo Exclusive Coverage: Kristin Chenoweth Gets Theatre Named in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Kristin presented her shirt by BAPAC Box Office Manager Kate Pike

BWW TV & Photo Exclusive Coverage: Kristin Chenoweth Gets Theatre Named in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Kristin proudly putting on her new shirt with the monogrammed Kristin Chenoweth Theatre logo

BWW TV & Photo Exclusive Coverage: Kristin Chenoweth Gets Theatre Named in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Reveal of the new theatre name

BWW TV & Photo Exclusive Coverage: Kristin Chenoweth Gets Theatre Named in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Kristin being honored by her old high school principal Max Smith

BWW TV & Photo Exclusive Coverage: Kristin Chenoweth Gets Theatre Named in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Mark Frie and Kristin Chenoweth

BWW TV & Photo Exclusive Coverage: Kristin Chenoweth Gets Theatre Named in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
BAPAC Executive Director and Kristin in front of her new wall decoration 
in the lobby naming the theatre for her

BWW TV & Photo Exclusive Coverage: Kristin Chenoweth Gets Theatre Named in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Kristin Chenoweth

BWW TV & Photo Exclusive Coverage: Kristin Chenoweth Gets Theatre Named in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
The beautiful theatre! Photo by Adam J. Foreman

BWW TV & Photo Exclusive Coverage: Kristin Chenoweth Gets Theatre Named in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
The beautiful theatre! Photo by Adam J. Foreman

 BWW TV & Photo Exclusive Coverage: Kristin Chenoweth Gets Theatre Named in Broken Arrow, OklahomaKristin and her Proud Parents!

Click below to see BroadwayWorld's exclusive video and Kristin Chenoweth perform 'Home' from THE WIZ, which she thought would be appropriate for the occasion and was the only city in which she sang it. 

BWW TV & Photo Exclusive Coverage: Kristin Chenoweth Gets Theatre Named in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Click Here to Play!

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