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Quilters

Quilters

SWOSU Theatre and the Department of Music will be showing Quilters the Musical March 7th-10th, directed by Steve Strickler. 

 

Quilters is a musical based on the real-life experiences of pioneer women. Quilters started as a book titled: Women and Domestic Art by Patricia Cooper and Norma Bradley Allen that held a series of interviews with women who quilted. The book became very successful; it was even placed in the Smithsonian. The book was turned into a production in 1982 by the Denver Center Theater Company and soon made its brief run on Broadway in 1984. 

 

Quilters is a story about a woman named Sarah and the stories she tells through her Quilts. In the musical, Sarah’s stories are told through her six daughters. 

 

“These quilts tell the story of these people, specifically these women, who have fought through pioneer age, trying to make their way across the country surviving fires, winter, childbirth, loss of children, and loss of family members…They tell their stories through their quilting,” Strickler Said. 

 

Steve Stirckler has been teaching at Southwestern for over thirty years but has been directing ever since he was a student. Quilters has been a dream production of Strickler’s ever since he was in university. When Strickler was a student at Southwestern he attended the National Community Theater Festival, which was based on a series of competitions that the University of Oklahoma was hosting. One of the entries was Quilters and it was love at first sight for Strickler. 

 

“I was absolutely blown away by it … .It’s the first production ever in my life up to that point where I was so moved by the production that there were tears just rolling down my face because it just snuck up on me. It was so powerful…I fell in love with it and thought someday I want to direct this show,” Strickler Said. “This has always been in my bucket of shows that I someday want to do”.    

 

 

What makes this musical so unique is that it is an all-girls cast that is set in an influential time in history. The all-girls cast plays over a hundred women and tells their stories through acting, music, and quilts. 

 

“You see those interviews come to life in the play. Each one of the quilt squares comes to life in the play and tells a part of Sarah’s family and her entire family line and they’re all reenacted by these six daughters that are represented in the play. Those seven women play approximately a hundred different characters throughout the play and it’s all her legacy,” Strickler said. 

 

Sarah’s story has become a legacy. Sarah’s life shows the strength and heart women have, and how women come together to love and support each other wholeheartedly. 

 

“I hope people see the strength of these women and then the survival skills these people had but then in addition to it, it’s about the bonding and relationship people have and the way they help each other and the love of a family and the love of friends because of the way they were able to overcome some of the obstacles that these stories tell about,” Strickler Said. 

 

As Strickler finishes off his last production about legacy and legends, Quilters serves as a reflection of Strickler’s time at Southwestern. Strickler has touched so many hearts and young minds, leaving a legacy here at Southwestern that no one can replace which makes Quilters even more special. 

 

“This is special to me because you think of a legacy quilt and the legacy you’re leaving behind and that’s how I kind of feel about doing this project…I’ve been here for thirty-two years and I’m coming to the end of this phase of my life…I’m thinking about the fact that I’m working with Steven Doughty and Jessica Salmans, they were both of my students and I was a student at Southwestern so I think about all that and the stories that all of us have and how we connect in different ways.” 

 

Quilters will be showing March 7th through the 9th at 7 pm and Sunday the 10th at 2 pm. Don’t miss an unforgettable show that will change your perspective on life and relationships through the art of Quilts. QuiltersAdPackPhotos

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About the Contributor
Reagan Garcia, Reporter
Reagan Garcia is a Sophomore from Amarillo, TX and is majoring in Communication with a minor in PR and Advertising. She joined the Southwestern September of 2023 and likes to write about campus events and student life.

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