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Kennedy Center performs for Oklahoma children

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By Audrey Esther and Darren Brown,

Thousands of Oklahoma City children watched history come alive during recent Kennedy Center performances at Putnam City North High School.

"There is nothing more delightful than to see a house full of children enjoying what I call the ultimate in the arts and bringing you a bit of history and a moment of splendor," Sandy Meyer, local arts education advocate said.

Oklahoma City is a select national stop for the Kennedy Center performance of "Teddy Roosevelt and the Treasure of Ursa Major." The play centers on our country's 26th president, Theodore Roosevelt, and the life of his children. Organizers hope more than 6,000 students will watch the show.

"History is very important and it's one of those subjects that people might sometimes think is boring," State Superintendent, Sandy Garrett said. "This is certainly not boring."

Garrett said it's a rare opportunity for Oklahoma children to see a high-level theatrical performance.

"I'm excited because I'm ready to see a play about one of the presidents and it's just a cool story how he became president," 9-year-old Will Fairlie said.

Also in attendance was former Oklahoma Governor and Roosevelt biographer Frank Keating. Keating donated a copy of his book, "Theodore," to each school in attendance.

"Very professionally done," Keating said. "First rate and we are honored as Oklahomans to have you," he said of the Kennedy Center performers.

The play is part of an ongoing effort by local educators to expose children to the performing arts. Organizers said next year they hope to bring another Kennedy Center performance to the metro that will be about George Washington.

The final Oklahoma City performance of "Teddy Roosevelt and the Treasure of Ursa Major" will be on Tuesday, April 29 at 12:30 p.m. Performances are not open to the public.

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