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Kristin Chenoweth Named Artist in Residence at Alma Mater, OCU

Kristin Chenoweth

Kristin Chenoweth has accepted an appointment as Artist in Residence at her alma mater, Oklahoma City University, beginning in April 2020.

The Tony and Emmy Award winning performer will be in residence at the Wanda L. Bass School of Music at Oklahoma City University at least once a semester, according to Mark Parker, dean of the Bass School of Music.

“This is a continuing appointment and will be in place for the foreseeable future. Should her schedule permit, she may be on campus more than twice a year. We are thrilled she will be working with students in masterclasses, lessons and workshops and leading ongoing conversations on the business of Broadway and Hollywood. Formalizing our long-standing relationship with Kristin is a major step for the music school and for all of the performing arts at Oklahoma City University.”

OCU’s Oklahoma Opera and Music Theater Company, the nation’s longest-running collegiate-based opera and music theater troupe, has won nine National Opera Association Production Awards in nine years, including seven in the past four seasons. The school was named to Playbill's 2018-19 and 2019-20 “Big Ten” lists of Top 10 collegiate training grounds for Broadway performers.

Chenoweth’s career spans three decades as a Broadway headliner, actress, author, recording artist and concert soloist from Royal Albert Hall to the Metropolitan Opera.

She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in vocal performance at OCU and made her Broadway debut in 1997. She won her Tony Award for “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown” and was nominated for originating the role of Glinda the Good Witch in “Wicked” and for her starring role as Lily Garland in the revival of “On the Twentieth Century.” She earned an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role as Olive Snook in “Pushing Daisies” and was nominated for an additional Emmy for her portrayal of April Rhodes on “Glee.” Her candid, comedic chronicle of her life so far, “A Little Bit Wicked,” debuted on The New York Times’ Hardcover Non-Fiction Best Seller List. In 2015, she was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Chenoweth was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 2010 and into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in 2011. In 2013, she was awarded an honorary doctorate in humane letters from Oklahoma City University. In 2016, she invited 16 music theater students from the Bass School to perform with her in “My Love Letter to Broadway” at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. She is a longtime champion of arts education, founder of the annual Kristin Chenoweth Broadway Bootcamp and namesake of the Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center’s Kristin Chenoweth Theatre and the Kristin Chenoweth Arts & Education Fund. At OCU, she has been a member of the Bass School of Music’s Executive Advisory Board since 2000.

“The transition from school to professional career is made smoother when you know what to expect, what’s needed, and what is current in the business of arts and entertainment,” Parker said. “Kristin, like many of our successful alumni, has been so generous in returning to campus to share knowledge and insights. What makes this formal arrangement as artist in residence so exciting is her commitment to the school and our students in a regular, recurring teaching role. Her effect on our next generation of performers will resonate for years to come.”

Chenoweth will star in the film “Holidate,” which will premiere on Netflix in 2020. Her latest album, “For The Girls,” debuted at #3 on the Current Pop Albums chart and #11 on the Billboard Top Albums chart. The album is a heartfelt tribute to the great female singers throughout history, many of them her heroes and friends. To celebrate the album’s release, Chenoweth returned to the Broadway stage for a sold-out eight-performance concert engagement at the Nederlander Theatre.

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