By EMILY RAMSEY
PERFORMANCE ART: Fly Loft, a community rehearsal space, opened in April in the Brady Arts District.
EMILY RAMSEY for GTR Newspapers
“People walk in and say, ‘This space is amazing. Don’t tell anyone about it,’” says Facilities and Event Coordinator Shannon Easton regarding Fly Loft, the community rehearsal space recently opened in the Mathews Warehouse building in the Brady Arts District.
The historic warehouse, owned by the George Kaiser Family Foundation (), is now completely occupied, with all of its tenants united in a very clear art focus. However, the foundation’s decision to create Fly Loft did not come without outside input.
“We assessed the local theatre community, and the consistent answer we got was that there is a lack of rehearsal space to meet and practice and develop performances,” says Stanton Doyle, one of GKFF’s four senior program officers.
Fly loft is the theatre term for the space located above center stage, which is used to transport and hold stage items, such as props and pulley systems. The name also serves as a more literal representation of its second-floor location, Doyle says, lofted and sitting up above.
Fly Loft offers rental of three rehearsal spaces, a conference room and offices. Also available are dressing rooms, a kitchen and musical instruments. Each rehearsal space caters toward a specific use: black box theatre, dance or multi-purpose.
When Bill T. Jones came to Tulsa, he was the first person to reserve Fly Loft’s rehearsal space. Other groups to use the space include the cast of the Lion King, Tulsa Ballet, the Center of the Universe Festival and 108 Contemporary. Portico Dance Theater and Chorgus regularly rehearse and hold classes there, and Tulsa Symphony currently leases office space.
In August, Fly Loft will begin to offer yoga and dance classes. Doyle hopes to see its offerings expand to include artist workshops and master classes as a way to provide tools to help build the performance arts community.
The space will also be used to provide hospitality to performers at Guthrie Green.
“Our focus is more about local theatre but it works for so many uses,” Doyle says. “It’s . . . about providing services for the community.”
Tulsans would not expect anything less from .