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home : life : entertainment May 25, 2016

3/20/2013 10:07:00 PM
T&G play explores Oklahoma history

Starting March 21st, Town & Gown Theatre will explore a turbulent time in Oklahoma history as it presents "The Broken Statue."

This play by Oklahoma author Bob Perry is loosely based on the real-life story of the famous Ponca City oil man E.W. Marland and Lydie, the niece who would become his adopted daughter and later, his second wife. She became First Lady of Oklahoma when Marland was elected Governor in 1935 after being forced out of the company that would become Conoco.

Lydie Marland disappeared for many years after Marland's death but eventually returned to her little cottage behind the Marland Mansion where she lived out the remainder of her life in relative seclusion.

Author and Playwright Bob Perry has said he became interested in the story after attending a writing workshop at the Marland Mansion in Ponca City, where he heard the story of Lydie Marland and the broken statue of her that had been discovered and restored.

"At first, I thought E.W. Marland must have been a scoundrel to marry his adopted daughter," Perry said in an interview he gave when Ponca Playhouse presented "The Broken Statue" in 2012. "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."

Perry wrote a novel and eventually, a play of the same name.

play follows the intrigue of oil barons, state politics, and the rather unusual relationship at its center. "The Broken Statue" runs March 21st - 24th and 28th - 31st. Tickets go on sale Monday, March 18th and are available by calling the box office at (405) 372-9122 or visiting www.myticketscene.com

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