Theatre Tulsa offers program for students if schools shut down

Students in a 2016 class of the Broadway Academy put on by Theater Tulsa.

Every summer, Theatre Tulsa holds their Broadway Academy Bootcamp, which helps children develop skills in music, creative thinking and storytelling, and they have a similar program that runs two nights a week during the school year. However, that weekly program could be changing drastically in just a few weeks by taking in students who may be out of school for the teacher walkout.

"I knew that we would have support and people would jump up to help out, but what I didn't expect were all the thank you emails and phone calls," said Laura Dossett with Theatre Tulsa.

A lot of people are thankful because Theatre Tulsa has offered to fill the void that schools would leave behind if they shut down. Instead of having students sit at home, they are going to provide some structure, five days a week, in the event that teachers walk out on April 2.

"Otherwise, I think they do just sit at home on their Instagram feeds. At first, they will probably be really excited that they get these days off from school without really thinking about what it means. Hopefully, if they are here, we can help them through that process but still give them a positive place where they can be with their siblings and classmates and get stuff done," said Dossett.

The day runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., with classes in music, dance and other theater skills, with some devoted study and reading time mixed in. Classes are full now, but if they get donations, they say they could have more space.

"We filled up in less than 24 hours. I'm hoping that with my outreach asking for donations and volunteers if we can get enough, I can possibly split this into an older and younger class and double my enrollment," said Dossett.

Dossett says that's just a small way she can help parents and teachers during the walkout and to ensure educators can focus on fighting for the pay raises and funding they deserve.

For information on donations and registration, click here.

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