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Stage Center still plays outside the box

by Steve Lackmeyer Modified: May 13, 2008 at 6:35 am •  Published: May 13, 2008
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A few weeks ago I asked readers online to list what they would consider the worst eyesores downtown.

I wish I could say I was surprised to hear Stage Center thrown into the mix, but truth be told, this city has always had a love/hate relationship with Stage Center, which is considered in international architecture one of the city's best examples of modern design.

A second glance
If one simply drives by the theater, it's easy to see how it might be misunderstood. It doesn't look like a theater. It doesn't look like anything, really.

It's different. It's not a box. And maybe in a city that has come to appreciate its oddities late in life — such as the Gold Dome at NW 23 and Classen Boulevard, maybe the time has come to give Stage Center — originally home to the late Mummer's Theater — a second glance.

John Johansen, the architect, is considered a master in the world of modern architecture. In Sunday's Oklahoman, Johansen explained his approach to the theater and pondered a future that at age 92 he knows he won't experience.

‘Not a bad seat'
Retired attorney Grey Satterfield, a season ticket holder at Mummer's, is among those who fondly remember the theater's opening in 1972.

"We loved the then new Mummers Theater from the get-go,” Satterfield said. "There was not a bad seat in either of its theaters and its pipes and concrete corridors made it an interesting and fun place to be.

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by Steve Lackmeyer
Business Reporter
Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter, columnist and author who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's...
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