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"Come & Go Reception" at the Playmakers for Suzanne Boles

"Come & Go Reception" at the Playmakers for Suzanne Boles

Suzanne Boles, the founder of the Grove Community Playmakers, received a statewide Community Service Award from the Oklahoma Arts Council, presented by Oklahoma's governor at a ceremony on Jan. 30.

Grove's City Council will be honoring Suzanne Boles at their meeting on Tuesday, February 6th. Where Ivan Devitt will be making a presentation at 4:00 p.m.

After the City Council meeting, you are invited to the "Come and Go Reception" which is to be held at the Playmaker's theatre from 5 to 7 p.m.

Should you wish to congratulate Suzanne, you may do so via email at groveplaymakers@yahoo.com or by mail at P.O. Box 450236; Grove, OK 74345.

Oklahoma Arts Council awarding Suzanne Boles Community Service Award

Suzanne Boles, the founder of the Grove Community Playmakers, will receive a statewide Community Service Award from the Oklahoma Arts Council, presented by Oklahoma's governor at a ceremony on January 30th.

Suzanne Boles and her late husband Jim brought theatre to the Grand Lake area. It began with a production of "The Music Man" in 1995, and after just shy of three decades, it continues today, with nearly 150 plays produced by the nonprofit she and Jim organized as the Grove Community Playmakers.

She says her love of the arts came from her mother. She began dance and piano lessons at six years old. She learned to play drums and baritone saxophone in junior and high school. She was also a member of the school chorus and a trio that won many superior ratings at contests.

In high school, she was a part of the "Okies", a 4-H song and dance group. They performed at the 4-H National Convention in Chicago; on Don McNeill's Breakfast Club Radio Show; on home-plate at Busch Stadium; at the National Extension Agents Conference in Houston as well as events throughout a four-state area.

Also in high school, Suzanne taught dance classes and was the valedictorian of her Grove High School class in 1959.

She attended OSU where she choreographed musical theatre productions. She majored in interior design, which has helped with theatrical set planning. She moved to San Anselmo, California, and worked in a small professional theatre company. Where she began to understand directing, acting, and theatre management.

When she later moved to Tulsa, she joined the staff of the Tulsa City-County Library as the Community Services coordinator. There she wrote arts and humanities grants, coordinated adult programming, and developed new services. She earned her master's degree in urban studies with an emphasis on social policy and research techniques.

She and her husband, Jim Boles, moved to Saudi Arabia, where both worked for Saudi Aramco in the early 1980s. There they both volunteered with the Dhahran Theatre Company where Suzanne choreographed and directed musicals and plays, while Jim led various vocal groups and conducted orchestras.

In 1992 after Jim's retirement, they moved to Grove where they organized The Playmakers and an Arts and Humanities Council.

"I came back and started doing what I had left doing prior to attending college: teaching dance. Each place I worked over the years gave me new skills that are needed in community theatre management."

Since then, she has led the production of nearly 150 plays, including comedies, dramas, musicals, mysteries, and youth plays. She has also organized more than 100 theatrical readings in venues throughout the community.

Suzanne conceived and administered a youth theatre program in 2005, in partnership with Grove Public Schools. As part of the 10-year program, which served fourth through eighth graders, she and her team designed curriculum and created lesson plans on theatre history and the arts. She also helped launch after-school programs, offering workshops and activities enabling students to expand their engagement with theatre.

She also served on the board of the statewide Oklahoma Community Theatre Association (OCTA), for which she served as president in 2008.

In 2011, Suzanne was awarded OCTA's highest recognition, when she was inducted into the organization's Hall of Honor.



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