Connors Cove a Hardesty Legacy
By DAVID JONES
When most grandfathers give their grandchildren a stage it usually consists of a painted plywood or cardboard facade, a cheap set of curtains on a string and perhaps a couple of hand puppets to serve as actors.
The stage Roger Hardesty is giving his grandson Connor Cleary, who is nine, is a little more elaborate.
The “room” the theater will be in measures 4,700 square feet, which includes a 300 square foot green room with men’s and women’s dressing and toilet facilities.
The stage will be 40 feet wide and 12 feet deep.
Connor can invite 420 of his closest friends to watch a show from permanently installed seats on an inclined floor.
The stage will have an eight-microphone capability.
There will be a projector if you want to show movies.
The audience will be embraced by surround sound.
If the audience gets restless during a show there is a good book or a computer nearby.
Connor’s new stage, named Connor’s Cove, is being built as an add-on to the Hardesty Library, a gift from his grandfather Roger Hardesty after whom the regional library is named.
Connor will have to share his new stage with a whole lot of friends, most of whom he’s never met. The auditorium, which will be dedicated to children’s theater, will welcome youngsters from all over the greater Tulsa area. Why is it called Connor’s Code?
“The architect came up with a number of themes,” says Hardesty, “and we allowed Connor to take his choice. He liked the nautical theme. He loves the ocean. We recently took a fishing trip to Alaska where he landed a 62-pound salmon. It was quite a battle.”
The children’s theater is going to cost a total of $1.5 million with Hardesty putting up $500,000, the city-county library system adding a like amount with the library trust fund (private gifts to the library) chipping in the rest.
The ground was broken for Connor’s Cove July 31 and construction is expected to take about a year.