Lyric Theatre Awarded NEA Grant for JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH

The National Endowment for the Arts on Tuesday awarded a grant to Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma to assist with educational programming for its spring production of JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH. The grant was one of four issued to Oklahoma-based arts organizations.

The $10,000 grant will help Lyric provide free and reduced tickets to area students and develop a sensory-friendly performance of JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH specially designed for children with autism, Asperger's Syndrome or other sensory-processing disorders and special needs.

"We're delighted to receive this funding, which will help us share this wonderful story with hundreds of students across Oklahoma City. In many cases, this production may be a child's first introduction to live theatre," said Lyric's Producing Artistic Director Michael Baron.

JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH is an offbeat adaptation of the classic Roald Dahl adventure. This new musical by the Tony Award-nominated team of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul follows a young boy who escapes an unhappy home life to go on a grand adventure with his larger-than-life insect friends.

Starring in this production are Lyric favorites Stephen Hilton as Ladahlord, Renee Anderson as Spiker, Lexi Windsor as Spider and Jennifer Teel as Ladybug. The cast also features Hudson Ratcliff and Conner Willis alternating the role of James, Cristella Carrizales as Sponge, Jordan Jacobs as Grasshopper, Stephen Stark as Centipede and Justin Larman as Earthworm.

The NEA awarded more than $30 million this week to nonprofit organizations and individuals across the country for grants in the areas of Art Works, Art Works: Creativity Connects, Challenge America and Creative Writing Fellowships.

"The arts are for all of us, and by supporting these projects, the National Endowment for the Arts is providing more opportunities for the public to engage with the arts," said NEA Chairwoman Jan Chu. "Whether in a theatre, a town square, a museum or a hospital, the arts are everywhere and make our lives richer."

Lyric's production of JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH will run March 29-April 9, 2017, at Lyric at the Plaza, 1725 NW 16 St. This Theatre for Young Audiences production features all daytime performances and is a co-production with Adventure Theatre in Washington, D.C. Tickets are now available, starting at $20, and can be purchased by calling (405) 524-9312 or visiting

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