Oklahoma Acting Icon To Be Honored At OKC Theater

Monday, March 26th 2012, 6:50 pm
By: News 9

An Oklahoma acting icon is honored this week at the theatre she called home. 

Oklahoma City's Jewel Box Theater honors one of its most prolific members this week.  Martha Knott, who began her acting career in traveling tent shows with her family, became a local multimedia star in television's early days.

Knott died on Saturday at the age of ninety-eight, and though she hadn't acted in years she's well remembered among acting circles.

"The Jewel Box started in1956, she came in 1957 and stayed here throughout most of her career," said Chuck Tweed."  Tweed is production director at the Jewel Box, and has been with the theater for almost forty years.  "You could probably say this was her home."

Knott acted in and directed numerous plays at the Jewel Box, garnering more than a few Gems, the theatre's most prestigious awards. 

"She was on TV, she did commercials, she did theater here at the Jewel Box and Lyric," Tweed said.  "She was just an Oklahoma icon." 

Tweed remembered acting in a production opposite Knott once.  He was cast as her younger boyfriend and was supposed to serenade her, but it didn't go quite as he might have planned.

"I started it (the song) and Martha was holding my hands doing her Martha-isms which, not even I can stop the laughter," Tweed said.  " The audience started laughing so hard I couldn't Joel Levine conducting.  So I literally just stopped, looked down in the pit, and Joel just shrugged his shoulders."

The Jewel Box Theater will hold a memorial for Knott at 1pm on Wednesday.  The Jewel Box Theater is located at 3700 North Walker.