Tickets available for “The Broken Statue”

Ponca City Now - July 17, 2015 12:57 pm

Ponca Playhouse is now selling tickets for an exclusive run of eight performances of "The Broken Statue."

The play by Bob Perry is based on the real-life story of oil baron E.W. Marland and the tragic story of his adopted daughter and later wife, Lydie Marland.

This is the third time Ponca Playhouse has presented the play. It produced the play in 2012 and 2013 to sold-out audiences.

"We are presenting the play for a third time in Ponca City due to public demand," said Hugh Pickens, co-producer of the play along with his wife, Dr. S.J. Pickens.

Only 800 seats are available for the 2015 presentation. Tickets are available by calling Ponca Playhouse at 580-765-5360.

Performances will be July 23, 24, 25, 26, 30, 31 and Aug. 1 and 2.

"Although partially fiction, ‘The Broken Statue’ helps provide the public with an insight that feeds their curiosity about the life and times of E.W., Virginia, George and Lydie Marland and their contemporaries. The play gives a glimpse of the extravagant glory days of the 1910s and 1920s as they existed in Oklahoma," said David Keathly, executive director of the Marland Mansion.

"It is heartwarming, insightful and clever," said Jayen Detten, Assistant Director of the Marland Estate and Marland Grand Home. "Most of all, it is a delight to the senses and a respectful tribute to the Marland family."

Playwright Bob Perry’s interest in the Marland story started in 1999 when he stayed a week at the Marland Mansion during a conference. He took a tour of the mansion and saw Lydie’s refurbished broken statue.

Perry called his wife and said "I know the title of the book I want to write — The Broken Statue." He finally started writing the first manuscript in 2006.

The play adaptation of the book was first produced at the Jewel Box Theatre in Oklahoma City in 2011. Several Ponca City residents traveled to see the production, and a group formed to produce the play at the Ponca Playhouse in 2012 and 2013. The play has also been produced by "Town and Gown" in Stillwater and by the "Boomtown Theatre" in Drumright.

Tickets for this limited run will be $20 and may be purchased at the Playhouse, 301 South First Street, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays. Tickets can be ordered by phone at 580-765-5360. Evening performances on Fridays and Saturdays will be at 7:30 p.m., with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.

Current signature sponsorships, those giving $2,000, include Hugh Pickens and Dr. Pickens, Deloris Pickens, Carl Renfro, Phillips 66, the Fred Boettcher Law Group and the Eastman National Bank for $1,000.

The play is being directed by Larry King and is an all-new production with many new actors.

"Even if you have seen the play before at Ponca Playhouse, you will want to see this new production," Pickens said, adding that the new production will feature new staging, new historical photos of Ponca City, and new actors in the lead roles of Lydie Marland, Walt Johnson, Charlie McDonogh, and "the Dingleberries."

"If you are interested in the history and heritage of Ponca City and the birth of the oil industry in North-Central Oklahoma, you must see this play."

Perry tried to start the story several times, but didn’t get serious about writing the first manuscript until 2006.

"At first, I thought E.W. Marland must have been a scoundrel to marry his adopted daughter," Perry said. "I was more intrigued by Lydie’s story than E.W.’s at first. Through the process, I have become a great admirer of E.W. Marland. He served as governor during one of the state’s most trying times and I think did a good job. E.W. Marland had many opportunities to take his fortune and leave, but I believe he truly loved Oklahoma."

It took Perry less than a year to complete the novel once he got started. Then he started working on the play just to see if he could do it.

"At first I took the dialogue from the novel and added a few things to get a first draft. The original script did not take long to write, but it was three acts and would have been about a 4-hour play. With a lot of help and guidance, I’ve done several rewrites to condense the story into a workable script."

"I think we’ve been able to tell the Marland story in an entertaining and concise way," Perry said. "In the novel, I was able to tell the story with imagery and words. On stage, it has forced me to tell the story with dialogue and rely on the actor’s performances to get the audience to experience the story."

The monuments left by E.W. Marland are everywhere in the state he helped form, Perry said.

"The image of Lydie’s statue was carved when she was the princess of the Marland Empire. The restored statue graces the entrance to the Marland Mansion to greet visitors that still come to marvel at the remarkable house and story," he said. "Lydie Marland always saw E.W. Marland as an exceptional man — we can only hope Lydie understood how special she was. I hope the play version of ‘The Broken Statue’ will motivate others to explore and get to know this extraordinary Oklahoma family."

More information about "The Broken Statue" is available at,, and www.Oklahoma


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