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BWW Feature: Stillwater's McKnight Center presents THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY

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Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story re-launches its national tour at the McKnight Center on the OSU campus.

BWW Feature: Stillwater's McKnight Center presents THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY

The McKnight Center on the campus of Oklahoma State University is re-opening with a star-studded season. McKnight will welcome Tim McGRaw and Bernadette Peters later this fall, followed by STOMP in February 2022, a production of South Pacific in April 2022, and more. First in the lineup for the fall is their production of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story. This production serves as the national tour re-launch for the musical. It also provides a unique learning experience for the community of Stillwater and OSU students.

"Buddy Holly is one of the most influential figures in rock n' roll," said Mark Blakeman, Marilynn and Carl Thoma Executive Director of The McKnight Center. "The show is celebrating 30 years of production, which illustrates how special and popular it is worldwide. Buddy Holly had a short yet spectacular career, and he is known for his energetic production and infectious personality."

The jukebox musical, which first opened in London in 1989, has enjoyed worldwide success. It opened on Broadway in 1991 and has had numerous tours and regional productions. McKnight presents this show as a collaboration with the community of Stillwater, complete with an artist residency for students.

Describing the artist residency, Blakeman said, "As part of our partnership with this production, The Center will provide unique learning opportunities to students in the Stillwater community, which aligns with our mission to transform lives through artistic excellence, creative experiences and impactful learning opportunities. The Buddy Holly Story's production team will provide master classes, panel discussions, mock auditions, open dress rehearsals and mentorship to OSU and Stillwater Public Schools students. In addition, the team is offering an acting workshop to Stillwater community members. For this exciting opportunity, The Buddy Holly Story team will provide hands-on experience and mentorship to practicing artists, leaving a lasting impression on all who participate."

The staff of the McKnight Center is ensuring the safety of all patrons who are ready to return to live performances. In addition to proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test, the theatre is requiring masks for all patrons.

"The performing arts industry has been significantly impacted by the pandemic, and we've learned a lot in the process. Venues have developed creative solutions to safely navigate the pandemic and bring live shows, music and dance back to audiences. In many ways, the pandemic has highlighted the importance of the performing arts in our communities and in our lives. The McKnight Center was fortunate to stay open during the pandemic, and we did this by implementing proactive safety protocols and working closely with production teams and artists to keep everyone as safe as possible." Blakeman said.

When discussing the post-pandemic future of the performing arts, Blakeman added, "My hope is that the arts industry makes a full comeback by working together, so we can provide live performances that inspire and connect audiences."

The Buddy Holly Story features classic musical numbers "That'll Be The Day", "Not Fade Away", "Oh Boy", Ritchie Valens' "La Bamba", The Big Bopper's "Chantilly Lace", and more. It's a must see and a welcome return to live theatre for all at the beautiful McKnight Center.

Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story runs September 17th and 18th, 2021 at the McKnight Center in Stillwater, OK. The venue is located on the OSU campus, 705 W. University Ave. Tickets are available at mcknightcenter.org.


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