Musical pays tribute to Picher, Oklahoma
MIAMI, Okla. — An Oklahoma ghost town is coming back to life through a musical production.
Members of “The Dare Tactic,” a New York City theatre company, are touring the area as they prepare for their production of “The Picher Project,” an original musical highlighting the rise and fall of Picher, Oklahoma.
“Infamous Woman” written by Lauren Pelaia of The Dare Tactic: “There’s someing going wrong here…”
Words from a song inspired by an “infamous woman,” Rebecca Jim, sung by a New York acting group bringing the story of Picher, Oklahoma to life.
“I can’t think of anything grander than to be able to sing through a story and bring it to life, and give communities around the country a way in to understand how people lived, and what they thought, and how they felt and what they hoped for,” said Jim.
It’s what this group aims to do, after director Quentin Madia came across photos of Picher and became fascinated with the old mining town’s history, before years of unrestricted excavating left the once-booming town uninhabitable.
“This story has to be told. I want other people to know and we need to learn from what happened in Picher so that we can continue to take care of our country and our homes,” Quentin explained.
Months of research led the group to explore the people and places left behind after Picher disappeared.
“We said the best way for us to depict Picher and honor Picher is if we go there and hear it from someones voice.”
One of those voices comes from Rebecca Jim, an environmentalist surprised to learn she’d inspired a role in “The Picher Project.”
“It’s pretty crazy to be infamous anyway, but to have a song named after me also, I’m really speechless about that.”
“Her energy, and her gumption, and spunk really stuck with us, and I feel like we all are leading a better way of life because of that. Like, she really has impacted us,” said Madia.
Madia hopes that impact spreads, as his group continues to share Picher’s story. For this, Jim is thankful.
“To find a group that would like to tell it right, who would like to meet, and express, and bring life back to characters that maybe are gone now, to share that witht he public in whatever way they can, it’s breathtaking.”
A free public presentation of the musical is set for 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 23 inside the NEO music building.
The musical will also be performed later in New York.
The group is still looking for windows into the past through people who remember Picher, Oklahoma.
If you’re interested in sharing your story with them or following the project, you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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