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A Passion for Oskar: An interview with the O’Sheas

Tasha Gorrel and Dano Colon perform in
Oskar and the Big Bully Battle Part 2!
Photo by Christopher Diaz

This year, our OSKAR Character Education Series workshopped, and launched a brand new play, Oskar and the Big Bully Battle, Part 2!, thanks to Charlene and John O’Shea, donors who generously commissioned this exciting new work for Houston’s young audiences. The show which completed a 9 week tour this fall that presented 89 performances for 57 schools around Houston. Riding its success even further, the production will return to schools this spring from February 23 – March 10, 2017. 

John and Charlene O’Shea 

What was your experience seeing a show at the Alley for the first time?
The performance and the actors were very professional and the scenery was superb!  It was so much better than anything we had experienced in our lives so far as we were in our early 30’s at the time.

What inspired you to make your first donation to the Alley?
We were able to support the theatre that we had enjoyed for years as patrons.  We realized the value and joy we experienced from the actors over the years. We wanted to give back to the Houston community so others could experience what the Alley offered us in the performances for many years.

What was your experience seeing Oskar and the Big Bully Battle 2?
What an experience this was for us!  It was so much fun to watch the school children’s reaction to the play and the actors. The actors were lively and engaged all of us in the show.  I kept thinking I never had this experience growing up and I am so glad we were able to contribute to this show being performed for so many children that have not experienced the theatre before.  After the play, the actors came and spoke with us and we felt their enthusiasm for what they were giving back to these students. Even though this was the actors’ third performance of the day, they still had so much energy for their mission to deliver a message about bullying to these elementary students!

Students enjoying a performance of
Oskar and the Big Bully Battle 2

You are big supporters of the Alley’s educational programming.  What about our community initiatives do you find integral to the Alley, and to the larger Houston community?
The performances for the school children is important to plant the seeds in these children of what live theatre is about.  It also gives young actors a venue to perform and perfect their skills in live theatre.  The Alley sends a powerful message that you do not have to be privileged to enjoy and understand live theatre.  The Alley gives to the community not expecting anything in return by providing a strong message to school children.