BARRON RYAN (BFA ’09 Music) is the son of two musicians who grew up in a house filled with the sounds of artists ranging from Chopin to James Brown. After beginning piano lessons at age four with his father, Ryan studied piano performance at the University of Oklahoma.
Brad Gray, (pictured left) OU Helmerich School of Drama lighting design alum, is part of the 2021 Tony Award-winning lighting design team for "Moulin Rouge! The Musical."
Grey is lighting programmer in two productions that were nominated for Best Lighting Design in a Musical in the 74th Tony Awards — "Moulin Rouge! The Musical" and "Jagged Little Pill" — Brad assists the lighting designer with programming the design into the computer console that will run the show for each performance.
"While a lighting designer is responsible for the artistic vision of the design, Brad's work is essential in translating that vision into a syntax that the computer running the production can understand," explained Jon Young, professor of scenic design at the Helmerich School of Drama.
pictured- Brad Grey (left) with Justin Townsend, Lighting Designer for "Moulin Rouge! The Musical" and "Jagged Little Pill."
ADRIANNA HICKS (BFA '11 Musical Theatre) originated the rold of Catherine of Aragon, in the Broadway production of the Tony Award-winning musical SIX THE MUSICAL for which she was nominated for a Drama Desk Award.
Hicks, previously plaed Celie, the lead role in the touring production of the Tony Award-winning musical revival The Color Purple, directed by Tony winner John Doyle. Additional credits include Broadway: Aladdin (Fortune Teller/Jasmine's Attendant). National Tour: The Color Purple (Celie). Regional/International: Sister Act (Deloris u/s, Germany), Legally Blonde (Judge/Pilar u/s, Austria), Ragtime (Sarah), Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (Marlena), and a backup singer for Michael Bublé's Call Me Irresponsible Tour in Oklahoma.
ANDY TOFA, (BFA '15-Musical Theatre) plays the roles of John Laurens and Philip Hamilton in the national tour of Hamilton.
Other professional gigs include Disney Cruise Line, Mamma Mia and Newsies.
ANNIE FUNKE (BFA 2007-Musical Theatre) has leapt from the stage at the Rupel J. Jones Fine Arts Center to Broadway and on to Los Angeles and the television industry. In April 2016, Annie was awarded the Regents' Alumni Award, to recognize her dedication and service to the University of Oklahoma.
After scoring her first professional acting job at age 16, Funke has appeared in critically acclaimed productions such as the off-Broadway hit “Punk Rock”; starred opposite Jake Gyllenhall in Roundabout Theater’s “If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet”; and was cast in the CBS crime drama “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders,” which has been picked up for a second season. Funke credits her education in the A. Max Weitzenhoffer School of Musical Theatre, and the completion of her BFA, as a compelling factor in her professional success. Watch Annie Funke's video at Live On Alumni.com
Joel Mott Wins Grammy
OU Bachelor of Music Education alumnus, Joel Mott won a Grammy Award for his participation as string arranger of the gospel recording Losing My Religion by Kirk Franklin. The album won a Grammy Award for Best Gospel Album in 2016.
"I'd love to thank my friend Dr. Roland Barrett for consistently giving time, energy and expertise to teach me to write and arrange when I was in school. Roland gave over and beyond of himself and I'm so grateful." - Joel