Nothing has come easy for Stage Center or for its supporters, it seems.
Forty years ago, though, optimism blossomed as local headlines announced that
internationally-renowned director and actress Margaret Webster would direct the
planned inaugural play in the building, “A Man for All Seasons.” (1)
Stage Center was known then as Mummers Theater. And getting a permanent,
landmark location to perform plays in Oklahoma City had been a dream of actors,
actresses, directors and audiences for years leading up to that inaugural
The theater had started with outside tent performances in the late 1940s, and
since had moved into a warehouse on West Main. But organizers were looking for
something more permanent.
The key to getting that going happened in 1962 when the Ford Foundation made
a $1.25 million grant to the Mummers Theater.
But the grant came with a big string attached.