Comin’ in Hot
Now that Sand Springs is thawing out from the February snow and almost two weeks straight of temperatures below freezing, the community is looking to spring eager for things to heat up. And while the azaleas have not yet bloomed, there’s plenty going on around Sand Springs.
From a one act being presented at a national competition to a solar equipment installation company adding residential services, spring in Sand Springs is full of exciting things (including the return of the Herbal Affair on April 17th).
Construction and building permits are clear signs of change and growth, but there’s plenty going on behind the scenes. While the beginning of the year was frigid, spring is comin’ in hot!
NOT QUITE CURTAIN CALL 𑁋 NEW PRODUCTIONS STILL TO COME AT SAND SPRINGS COMMUNITY THEATRE
You may have seen on that the new Ninth Grade Center is functional and the former Freshman Academy is being used for tutoring for virtual students, but you may not know that it functions in other capacities, too.
Sand Springs Community Theatre, which was formed around 2007, presents most of its productions from the auditorium in the former Central Ninth Grade Center. But since the pandemic started, the Sand Springs Community Theatre and its director, Troy Sartors, have had to go off-script.
At the beginning of 2020, auditions and rehearsals were held for “Moon Over Buffalo” after an “incredible production” of “Swing Time Canteen.”
“The pandemic became a serious issue,” says Troy, “so we suspended rehearsals with the idea that later [in the] year, we would be able to pick back up and be able to present the production in front of a live audience.”
Once it was clear that a live production wouldn’t be possible, Troy and the cast and crew held several meetings to determine what to do.
“Many theatres have ventured into the world of presenting virtual theatre experiences online,” says Troy. “However, most actors in live theatre will tell you there is a wonderful give and take that happens when you have a live audience, [which helps] the performance build to another level.”
Though there are no current plans for a virtual performance, the show must go on. Now, Troy and several local actors are in the process of filming a production of a one act Troy wrote in 2014.
“The name of the production is ‘Only Scars Remain’,” says Troy. “I drew inspiration from the 1980’s movie, The Breakfast Club, and took seven characters that didn’t know each other and placed them into a forced group counseling session.”
Troy says he wrote the play “as a way for people to see that many people are struggling with things they don’t want others to know about” and “how we can find healing.”
“The characters are very diverse,” Troy says, “and a few of them have some secrets which do not come out until the end of the play.”
The cast and crew includes Jeffery Jimenez, Andrea Campfield, Merri Beth Purdin, Brad Scott, Caylie Jordan, Andrew Smith, Brianna Lincoln, and Troy Sartors. Many of the cast and crew are Charles Page High School alumni and some are current Charles Page High School educators.
“Only Scars Remain” will be filmed and sent to the AACTFEST committee. “We will be having a few invitation-only performances [during filming] to make sure we have a good video clip to submit,” Troy says. “If we advance to be one of the final twelve productions chosen, AACT will send a professional video crew in to film the production and show it at their virtual festival later this year.”
Additionally, the theatre does have plans to move forward with an in-person performance of “Moon Over Buffalo” as soon as they can ensure a safe experience for the cast, crew, and audience.
To keep up with the Sand Springs Community Theatre and to tell the cast to “break a leg!” for their upcoming filming of “Only Scars Remain” for AACTFEST, visit sandspringstheatre.com or Facebook.com/SandSpringsCommunityTheater.
O-O-O-O-KLAHOMA, WHERE WIND RIVER RESOURCES IS THE NEXT BIG THING
If you’ve lived in Oklahoma long, you’re probably familiar with both the lyrics of “Oklahoma!” (“Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweeping down the plain!”) and the notorious and sometimes-relentless wind that, well, comes sweeping down the plains. But you may not yet know Wind River Resources, a solar equipment installation company headquartered near Sand Springs in Tulsa, who is launching their residential program later this year.
Formed by Drew Thomas, Kelsey Putman-Hughes, and Travis Fultz in the spring of 2020, Wind River Resources aims to be the “local leader in solar installations.”
“Oklahoma is an ideal situation for solar installations,” Drew says. Though the state ranks 6th in the country in sun index (a measurement of “direct sunlight accounting for latitude and cloud cover”), Oklahoma comes in 46th place in solar power generation.
“Prices for solar installation have fallen more than 50% in the last five years,” Drew says, “yet the tax incentives for installation remain in place [which] allows local customers to see immediate savings in their energy bills.”
Drew says the biggest benefit for residents in Sand Springs and surrounding areas is access to clean, cheap renewable energy for years to come. “Natural gas and oil aren’t going anywhere as our main source of energy anytime soon,” Drew says, “but solar, wind, and hydro are continuing to expand and grow as a subsidiary energy source.”
This year, Wind River Resources is expanding to residential services. “We plan to hire local workers for installations, sales, and marketing to help facilitate this growth,” Drew says, “and in five years we hopeto be installing solar at various scales throughout all of Green Country, diversifying the energy landscape in northeast Oklahoma and helping local residents save on energy.”
“Our goal is to provide great customer service and complete projects as efficiently as possible,” Drew says.
Drew encourages Sandites to take advantage of the tax exemptions, rebates, and grants that come with these energy sources, as it “makes them an even more affordable energy source in the long run.”
The outbreak of coronavirus across the globe has certainly had an impact on communities worldwide, but Sand Springs forges ahead with big plans as the weather heats up.
Follow other in-town happenings on our Facebook page at Facebook.com/WeAreSandSprings!