Ohlook Performing Arts Center came on the scene in 2002 and had 4 students in our first class (2 of those being family!) Founded by professional singers, Matthew Lord and Jill Blalock Lord, they continued forward and word quickly grew about this little theaer school in this tiny space where kids could come and be themselves. A place which wasn’t about competition or who’s the best but about opportunity and giving everyone a chance to express themselves in a positive, caring environment. In the past 14 years Ohlook has grown primarily through word of mouth, and each year hundreds of kids from ages 3 on up come through classes. In these past years Ohlook has produced over 200 musicals and straight plays. In a day and age where most schools only produce 1 musical a year and 1 or 2 straight plays, Ohlook has been the place where young actors can come study and get experience—and a lot of it!
Each semester Ohlook tries to provide classes and productions classes that will help our students to grow - not only as performers but as individuals. Increasing confidence and self-esteem in our students is priority number one. We create a safe environment where students are never afraid to explore, fail, and succeed! At Ohlook it is the effort that is rewarded not just the natural talent and we find by nurturing the effort and work that the true talent is able to shine through!
Ohlook also prides itself on bringing in professionals to work with their students and speak with them to give them a perspective on theatre that only comes from someone in the business. Ohlook is the only children’s theatre in the metroplex that brings in so many professionals and of such high caliber to help teach our students. In recent years Ohlook has welcomed, Pasek and Paul (Composers of "Edges", "Christmas Story", "Dear Evan Hansen"), Marty Johnson (Director, iTheatrics, NYC), Brad Simmons (Musical Director, "Lysistrata Jones" Broadway), Anthony Rapp (original cast of “Rent” on Broadway), Jay Hunter Morris (International Opera Star), Keith Buterbaugh (from Broadway’s “Company”, “Phantom” and “Sweeney Todd”), Candace Evans (International Director/Choreographer/Actor), Thomas Douglas (Conductor and Coach Carnegie Mellon University) and Marla Mindelle (Kitty from Nat’l Tour of “The Drowsy Chaperone”) to name just a few.
Theatre is like a family, and Ohlook is no different! Our older students have even named us.... Ohlookians! We hope you'll give our family a try!
Jill Blalock Lord (Artistic Director) began her professional career as an opera singer, performing with such companies as San Francisco Opera, Ft. Worth Opera, New Jersey Opera and Augusta Opera. She also toured extensively across the U.S., Spain, and France singing the roles of Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor and Violetta in La Traviata and Japan on the International Tour of The King and I as Tuptim, starring Stacy Keach as the King. Mrs. Lord’s life took a turn after the birth of her children, Emma and Grace. Life on the road was no longer appealing, so she looked to pursue her passion closer to home, and thus OhLook was born. Through OhLook, she hoped to create a place where students could come and learn about theater and music in a safe, non-competitive environment, and to teach and facilitate those that might be interested in pursuing it as a career.
Now after 14 years and almost 200 shows, Mrs. Lord has had the privilege to have worked with hundreds of students, many that are now working in the business. OhLook's students are on television shows, national tours, starring in films, and recording albums. In 2011, she led her cast of Dog Sees God to a National Title (AACTFest11) and an International Title (Liverpool International Theater Festival) for Best Production and was awarded Best Director at both festivals. Most recently Mrs. Lord was awarded the prestigious Freddie G Award for Excellence in Education at this years Junior Theater Festival. It is Mrs. Lord’s hope that OhLook will continue to be a refuge and platform for anyone interested in working in theater for many more years to come.
Ohlook Board of Directors Officers Heather Biddle, President Alex Heika, Vice President Jeffrey DeSimone, Secretary Jennifer Lopez, Assistant Treasurer Directors Lacey Jane Dangerstone John Davenport
David Lewis Jill Lord - Founder and Artistic Director Kimberly Smith Taylor Wallis