I Didn’t Realize CMT Would Become Such A Big Part Of My Life

Meet Elizabeth HIne

Elizabeth is a veterinarian at Arrowhead Veterinary Clinic in Dewey where she is fulfilling her mission of “focusing on lifetime wellness for people’s beloved pets by emphasizing nutrition and preventative medicine”. She also has special interests in internal medicine and veterinary acupuncture. Elizabeth graduated from the University of Missouri with Bachelors and Masters degrees (MIZ-ZOU!) and Texas A&M (WHOOP!) for her DVM.  

Elizabeth and her husband, Steve, celebrate their 32nd wedding anniversary this year. Their daughter, Catherine, is a CMT alum and a sophomore at Texas Christian University. Elizabeth says, “Our family is rounded out by 3 senior small-breed dogs that came to us in their adult years, each with their own sad story….they are living the good life, keep us busy and from getting bored!”   

Elizabeth has spent the last 18 months producing CMT’s Beauty and the Beast with Jan Watt and now that things have slowed down for her, she is looking forward to returning to her hobbies – playing the piano, reading, and spending time in her yard.   

Elizabeth served on the CMT Board from 2009-2014 and rejoined the Board in 2016. She first became involved with CMT attending Bye, Bye Birdie in 2004. “Like a lot of parents, I got involved with CMT because my daughter was cast in a summer musical. Her first show was Oliver in 2007 and I volunteered with costumes and painting sets. I did not realize at the time that CMT would become a huge part of my life…although I still love costuming and painting sets.    

“What keeps me involved is seeing how CMT has survived and grown thanks to community and family volunteerism and I think its mission of providing fine arts education opportunities to youth is even more important today than it was when I first heard of CMT in 2004”. Elizabeth is a member of the First Ladies of CMT Club, a member of the Encore Society, donating each month to ensure CMT continues for the next generation of musical theatre enthusiasts. Elizabeth serves in many ways, as a board member, summer musical producer, Costume Shop and Prop Room volunteer, and First Lady of CMT.

Shining moment for you as a Board volunteer? Seeing CMT have its own building with choir and dance rooms, and classes and summer camps using the building…to see that become a reality is very exciting!

What are you looking forward to over the next six months? Seeing more renovations and remodeling take shape at CMT…a decent parking lot and a black box theatre are in the plans!

CMT Helps Kids Build Life Skills

Cory Sexson, CMT Alum

Cory exudes confidence when making presentations to groups as a marketing professional at Tyson Foods. Being calm in front of a crowd is a skill he learned while a member of the main-stage summer musical casts for 4 seasons.  Beginning in 2000, Cory discovered his summers could be filled with music and dance and having fun. But it was later in life he discovered CMT actually prepared him for more than being in a summer musical … it prepared him to be a member of a high-level marketing team that interacts on a global stage. 

“I want people to not look at CMT as just a ‘musical theatre program’, but as a valuable training ground that helps kids build life-skills. And building skills in kids is invaluable.”

– Cory Sexson

Being part of 4 main-stage summer musicals, beginning in 2000 with Cinderella, as the Herald, and ending in 2003 with the Sound of Music as Captain VonTrapp gave him a variety of performing arts education and performance opportunities. But not all the roles he was cast in were leading roles with speaking parts. He was cast as a TREE in the 2001 production of the Wizard of Oz. “I was disappointed that I didn’t get cast with a speaking part or a role”, he says. “But I realized that as a member of an ‘ensemble’ I was part of a team that made up the story. If I wasn’t doing my part as a tree, the story wasn’t complete.” 

Cory grabs a hug from CMT alum, Caitlyn Caughell, following her performance on Broadway in Newsies.

“I’ve discovered careers are not linear. Ultimately disappointments help us become a more well-rounded person.  Now, as a professional who works as a member of a team, I continue to ask myself the same questions I asked myself when I was a TREE  in the Wizard of Oz  … ‘what is the value of what I am learning. How will this make me a better actor (or person)?’  There is so much to be gained from a variety of experiences and disappointment is one of them.  Initially, I was disappointed that I was cast as a TREE in that summer musical, but now I know going through that experience did in fact help make me a better person and I draw from my CMT musical experiences even now.”

These main-stage summer musical experiences prepared him for a bigger stage and a global audience, something he wants the next generation of CMT musical theatre enthusiasts and supporters to embrace.  “The value from CMT is long-term. The experience gives you an ability to communicate and be part of a team. Those things translate to anything you do in life. The value you receive early in life helps you no matter where you go and what you do. Many kids get left behind, and understanding how to communicate and be part of a team helps give kids a head start in life. I want people to not look at CMT as just a ‘musical theatre program’, but as a valuable training ground that helps kids build life-skills. And building skills in kids is invaluable.”

Cory poses with alumni Kennedy Caughell (center) and Tiffany Tilyard following Kennedy’s performance in American Idiot.

Cory works for Tyson Foods as Senior Associate Brand Manager, Chicago, IL.  In his position Cory focuses on marketing innovation for Tyson, identifying how to grow and pursue the business. This high level marketing position gives him an opportunity to present on an interpersonal stage in front of audiences ranging from a few to hundreds. 

CMT Offers Tools Students Need For Life!

Meet Board Member Pat Wright

I recently retired as the Fine Arts Director and International Student Director for Wesleyan Christian School in Bartlesville. I graduated from Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas (Go Frogs!) earning a Bachelor of Science Degree with a triple major—English, Theatre and Education.  

My husband, Steve, and I have two employed college graduates! Shelby is beginning her fourth year as an English teacher in Edmond, Oklahoma and Mackenzie lives in Dallas, Texas,  working for YLang23, a company who represents new jewelry designers.  When I’m not involved with CMT and family, I enjoy traveling with friends and family and reading a good book while listening to ocean waves!

CMT has been a major part of my life and I feel fortunate to have served two separate terms on the Board – beginning in 2001 for 3 years, and rejoined again in 2015. I first got involved with CMT the summer of 2001 when my two daughters were cast in “Wizard of Oz”; and CMT’s mission and focus has caused me to remain involved.  I have a passion for developing self confidence in young people and believe that theatrical performance is integral in doing so.

Over the years, I have seen firsthand the impact CMT has on the lives of students and the tools that it develops in them for success in all areas of life.  These defining attributes inspire me to donate my time, talent and resources.

I  think the shining moment for me as  a CMT Board member is to see the organization (and its founder) be recognized in the community and the state for the quality of its programs, the dedication of its volunteers, and the impact it has on the students it reaches.

Anne Reburn

Anne Reburn, a former Bartlesville resident, released her debut single “So It Goes” on November 10th. The single is available for digital download on iTunes and to stream on Apple Music and Spotify.
Once a regular on the Bartlesville stage, she is excited to be taking her talent to a broader audience. She currently resides in Los Angeles, although her parents still call Bartlesville home. Her upcoming tracks are currently in production with her producer, Colton Jean, and co-writer, Jordan Lindley.

Reburn says, “CMT was an invaluable part of my artistic formation and one of the major things that developed and nurtured my love for performing. My childhood summers were built around CMT shows, and I look back on those years with such nostalgia and warmth. I’m performing on a different “stage” now, in front of almost 90,000 YouTube subscribers, but musical theatre will always have a part of my heart because of my years at CMT.

As we’ve heard so many times, the skills and self-awareness you get from CMT don’t just help you as a performer on stage. They help you as a person in the world.”

Abigail McKee

Abby recently moved from Bartlesville to La La Land (Los Angeles) after graduating early from OCU in December 2016. She is pursuing an acting career and has signed with one of the top agencies in California. She recently booked background work for a popular tv show that will be airing in March 2017, and is taking many more meetings to promote her acting career. Abby appeared in CMT’s main-stage summer musicals: High School Musical and Music Man.

Marlowe Holden

Marlowe Holden is acting, producing and writing in New York City. The latest play she performed in, The Dudleys!, was featured on the front page of the New York Times Arts Section in October. As a writer, her web series, Hat Trick Bitches, was an Official Selection and Audience Choice Award Winner of Seattle Web Fest, an Official Selection of Austin Web Fest, and also featured on the home page of FunnyorDie.com. In July, she formed a production company with her co-creators for HTB, IngénueWitty Films LLC, which entered a contract with a new independent streaming service called Seeka TV for 9 full episodes consisting of 27 sketches total to be released in July 2017. Marlowe also works on various readings of new plays and short films, and enjoys spending time with her cat, Sonya, and her partner, Karsten. She is represented by Avalon Artists Group. More info can be found at www.marloweholden.com.

Marlowe appeared in 3 CMT main-stage programs, Cinderella (2000); Bye Bye Birdie (2002); and The Sound of Music (2003).

Brad Gray

Brad Gray is a professional Moving Light Programmer for theater, live events, concerts, and corporate events. Based out of New York City, NY, Brad works directly with designers from all over the world to program lighting consoles that bring creative ideas to life on the stage or for the event. Recent projects include: ​Julius Caesar (Shakespeare in the Park, NYC), ​​The Little Foxes (Broadway), Joan of Arc (Public Theater, NYC), ​The Bodyguard (1st National Tour), The Lion King (​various productions), Head of Passes (Public Theatre, NYC), Elf the Musical (National Tour ’13​ through ’16), Bullets Over Broadway (​1st National Tour), Anything Goes (Ogunquit Playhouse, Ogunquit, ME), Priscilla – Queen of the Desert & Burn the Floor Fire in the Ballroom (Norwegian Epic), Clinton the Musical (New World Stages, NYC), and 7 Brides for 7 Brothers (Ogunquit Playhouse, Ogunquit, ME). The Little Foxes has received 6 Tony Award nominations this season.

Brad appeared in 7 CMT main-stage summer musicals: Cinderella (2000), Wizard of Oz (2001), Bye Bye Birdie (2002), The Sound of Music (2003), Peter Pan (2004), Annie (2005), and Beauty & the Beast (2006). He returned to the CMT summer musical stage as part of the Artistic Staff, serving as Lighting Designer for High School Musical (2008), Annie Get Your Gun (2011), Mary Poppins (2015) and Beauty & the Beast (2016).

Kennedy Caughell

Kennedy Caughell is an actress living in New York City. She graduated from Elon University in North Carolina, leaving immediately after graduation for an International and National tour of American Idiot. She played Betty in White Christmas in Long Island, toured with Wicked where she performed in the ensemble and was the understudy and standby for Elphaba. Recently, she was Katie in the off-Broadway workshop production of Chix6. Currently she is performing on Broadway as a swing in Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812, which is the most nominated Tony awards show this season, with 12 nominations.

Kennedy enjoys performing in cabarets, readings, and workshops in the City. In 2016, she joined her sister (Caitlyn) as a guest artist in an OK Mozart Pops Concert with the Bartlesville Symphony Orchestra. She is a member of Actors Equity and is represented by DGRW Talent Agency and Whole Artist Management. Read more about Kennedy on her website: www.kennedycaughell.com.

Kennedy (formerly Britney) appeared in 7 CMT main stage shows: Cinderella (2000), Wizard of Oz (2001), Bye Bye Birdie (2002), The Sound of Music (2003), Peter Pan (2004), Annie (2005), and Beauty & the Beast (2006).

Eric Geibel

Eric Geibel is a graduate of Oklahoma City University with a BPA in Dance Performance. Credits include: Busch Gardens Williamsburg (Solo Tapper, Dance Swing), SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment (Dance and Vocal Swing), Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines (Dancer/Aerialist), Disney Cruise Lines (Swing and understudy roles), and most recently Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella national tour (Swing). As aforementioned, Eric was selected to become a C5 Aerialist for Royal Caribbean and performed 60-80 feet in the air on the high seas (even when the ship was rocking). Over his career, he has visited more than 35 countries in the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, and the Baltic. In between contracts, Eric teaches masterclasses all over the country with his B-E-A-U-tiful wife, Kelsey, who is also a dancer/aerialist.

Eric appeared in 5 CMT main stage shows: Wizard of Oz (2001), Bye Bye Birdie (2002), Peter Pan (2004), Annie (2005), and Beauty & the Beast (2006).

Eric and Kelsey will choreograph CMT’s Summer Main-stage Musical, ANNIE, with performances at the Bartlesville Community Center July 20-23, 2017.

Caitlyn Caughell

Caitlyn Caughell is an actress living in New York City. A graduate of New York University, she made her Broadway debut in the original company of Newsies, where as a swing, she performed all the female roles in the show. She played the role of Eponine in Orlando Shakespeare Theatre’s production of Les Miserables. In the past year, she toured with the 1st national company of the Broadway show, Bridges of Madison County. She is a frequent guest singer at cabaret performances in the City and works on readings and workshops of new musicals. Earlier this year Caitlyn performed the role of Lucy in Jekyll & Hyde at the Engemann Theatre in Long Island. She is currently on the road with the national tour of Finding Neverland.

Caitlyn’s latest hometown endeavors included serving as Assistant Director for CMT’s 2015 production of Mary Poppins and in 2016 as a guest artist with her sister in an OK Mozart Pops Concert with the Bartlesville Symphony Orchestra. She is a member of Actors Equity and is represented by Henderson Hogan Agency. Read more about Caitlyn on her website: www.caitlyncaughell.com.

Caitlyn appeared in 4 CMT main stage shows: Cinderella (2000), Wizard of Oz (2001), Bye Bye Birdie (2002), and The Sound of Music (2003).