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TJC to present one-woman play, 'O'Keeffe!'

TYLER, January 13, 2014-- Theatre TJC will host a one-woman show based on the life of artist Georgia O’Keeffe.

Written by Lucinda McDermott, “O’Keeffe!” stars Dallas-based actress Carolyn Wickwire. Presented by Tyler Junior College in partnership with Flower and Bone Productions, the show is under the direction of Ouida White.

Performances will be 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Jan. 17 and 18, and 2 p.m. Sunday in Jean Browne Theatre, located in Wise Cultural Arts on the TJC campus. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $5 for students. For reservations, please contact Lara Smith, chair of the TJC speech and theater department, at lsmi@tjc.edu. The box office will open one hour before each performance.

According to the artist, “How, where, when I was born is unimportant and dull, dull, dull. It is the choices I made and how I made them that should be of interest.”

Two forces shaped Georgia O’Keeffe as an artist and a woman: her passionate quest to find and express her artistic voice, and her tumultuous love affair and marriage to the revolutionary photographer and champion of the Modern Art Movement, Alfred Stieglitz.

In the play, Georgia – witty, irreverent and decades ahead of her time – shares revealing scenes from her challenging life as she struggles to maintain her independence in the early decades of the 20th Century.

She studied art but, feeling stymied by traditional methods and forced to earn her living, she quit painting for several years. When she began to paint again, a friend sent some of her drawings to photographer and art dealer Alfred Stieglitz.

Overwhelmed by her work, Stieglitz exclaimed, “At last, a woman on paper!” When he exhibited her drawings without her permission, she demanded that he take them down. He refused. She relented. Thus began the pairing of Stieglitz and O’Keeffe.

In 1923, Stieglitz held a major exhibit of O’Keeffe’s work at the Anderson Galleries. In 1924, Stieglitz divorced his wife of 31 years and married O’Keeffe. That year, she painted the flower series for which she became famous.

Years later, suffocated by her husband’s large and demanding family, she traveled to New Mexico and found a spiritual and artistic home. She returned to New York every summer until 1946, when Stieglitz died. Only then did she move from New York and permanently reside in New Mexico. She died March 6, 1986, at the age of 98. Her body was cremated and her ashes were scattered over her beloved “faraway.”

Based in Dallas, Carolyn Wickwire is an actor who works in theatre, film, and television. She has earned awards for her work in “Beauty Queen of Leenane” at Quad C Theatre and in “The Women” at Contemporary Theatre of Dallas. She was acclaimed for her recent performance in “Superior Donuts” at Theatre Too. Some of her recent plays include “The Grapes of Wrath” at WaterTower Theatre, “Equus” at Uptown Players, “The Royal Family” at Theatre Three, and the world premiere of “The Blue Moon Dancing” at Contemporary Theatre of Dallas. Her most recent film role was in “Phobia.” She also had a recurring role in the TV drama “Prison Break” and appeared in the USA Network drama, “In Plain Sight.”

Wickwire began her professional acting career after the age of 50 and quickly became established on the local acting scene. In 2008, while making her first foray into regional theater in Tennessee, she met Dennis West, who became her husband as well as her producing partner in this venture.

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