Professional Director’s Homecoming
When Nick Sweet directed “Witness For The Prosecution” for the Red Carpet Community Theatre in 1980, he had no idea it would lead to a 40 year career as a freelance stage director. He was an actor in “Death Of A Salesman” at Austin’s Zachary Scott Theatre when he was approached by a fellow cast member. Mac Mauldin had directed for RCCT the past 3 seasons and he encouraged him to send them his resume. Mac spoke fondly of his Elk City experience, but there was a problem. Though nick had been a busy actor throughout the 70’s, his directing credits could fi on an index card, with only 4 productions. Fortunately, 2 of those shows featured John M. Jackson, who would later play Admiral Chegwidden on the TV series JAG. “John was such a compelling actor”, Nick recalls, “that it
gave me credibility that I hadn’t yet earned. Though the carpet was red at RCCT, I was definitely green”.
With Elk City’s theatre as his launch pad, he has since directed 140+ productions, 120 f which have been in the Sooner State. He’s no stranger to western Oklahoma. In addition to his 15 RCCT shows, he directed 3 shows each for Hobart’s Shortgrass Playhouse, On Stage Woodward and the Guymon Community Theater. During his stint as drama instructor for Institution Programs, Inc., he directed 5 shows with inmate theater groups at the Oklahoma State Reformatory (Granite), William S. Key Correctional Center (Fort Supply) and the Crabtree Correctional Center (Helena). He’s also directed in his home state of Texas, Alaska and Georgia. “RCCT opened a lot of doors for me”, he states.
Nick returns to Elk City, after a 14 year absence, with a storehouse of RCCT memories. Some of his favorites include Guys and Doss, Steel Magnolias, Dames at Sea and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Though he’s never directed “OKLAHOMA!” before, he’s seen several productions on stage and film. He was most impressed with the version that starred Hugh Jackman and Elk City’s own Kelli O’Hara. He sees his Red Carpet return as a double bonus: a personal homecoming that coincides with the 75th anniversary of the Broadway debut of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s masterpiece, “OKLAHOMA!”. “The perfect show celebrate my own Oklahoma odyssey”, he proclaims, “that began right here in Elk City!”