When searching for talent for the 2019 production of TEXAS, Jack Supan, 2018 Lovejoy alumnus, had many of the must-have’s the casting crew required. Sing? Act? Dance? Play guitar? Ride a horse? To all of these questions, he could respond with a resounding “Yes!”
TEXAS is an outdoor musical performed in Palo Duro Canyon State Park. It is a “Premium professional performance of the history of the Texas Panhandle settlers, with the 2nd largest natural canyon in North America as the backdrop, and the wide open skies as the roof!” (Facebook.com/TEXAStheMUSICAL)
Supan is a student at Oklahoma City University. He is pursuing a double major of music theatre and guitar performance. When he saw a post on Facebook that TEXAS was holding auditions for persons who could sing, act and play guitar, he knew he fit the bill. He, along with a few friends, auditioned in early Feb. at the University of Central Oklahoma. During auditions they asked him to audition for the male lead. In Mar., he found out that he was cast as the understudy for the male lead and a comic relief cowboy named “Dude”. He sings a couple of solos, plays guitar on a few songs and has quite a few scenes with speaking parts. He is one of two cowboys who ride a horse in the production.
He moved into his apartment in Palo Duro on May 11 with three roommates. On May 12, he attended a meeting where they took headshots and costume measurements and filled out their payroll forms. On May 13, they had their first rehearsal. They rehearse from 1:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. with a one hour break for dinner. The first half of the day is spent practicing at a local college, the second half is held at the canyon. Supan describes his first view of the amphitheater in the canyon, “It was incredible…gorgeous. You drive down a winding road and can see everything. It’s really cool.”
There are approximately 50 performers in the production. Supan said the performers’ ages range from 10 - 60 years old; the majority of the cast are college students. They like to hire returning cast members because of the uniqueness of this production. Courses on gun safety, pyrotechnics, and horse training are taught.
Regarding his feelings when he learned that he had been cast in the production, Supan said, “I was so excited. This is a great opportunity for me. I feel like I am someone who started late doing musicals. The first musical I was in was during my junior year in high school. When I realized I could get paid for doing this, it was a great thing!” While in high school, he played the guitar in the jazz band all four years and was a member of the choir for three years. He credits Jessie Hinkle, his voice teacher while in high school, with teaching him good vocal technique, which was what the TEXAS casting crew were specifically looking for. He has performed in three musicals and one opera this past school year at OCU.
He is really looking forward to opening night on Jun.1 and to the one night he is guaranteed to perform as the male lead. Supan explained that performance majors want to do as many productions as possible when not in school to build their resume. The fact that this is a paid position is a great plus.
Performances are Jun. 1 – Aug. 17, Tues. – Sun. starting at 8:30 p.m. For more information, go to https://www.texas-show.com/.
*Photos provided by Jack Supan.