Bruce Goff – Riverside Studio

Riverside Studio in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Riverside Studio or Spotlight Theatre was built in 1978 for a musician and teacher named Patti Adams Shriner was a musician and tea received her training in the United States and Europe. Like fellow artist Adah Robinson who was also a designer of the Boston Ave. Church, Patti decided to build a residence to reflect her profession. The result was a combination studio and recital hall for her music students. Like Robinson, Patti selected Bruce Goff to be her architect. The Riverside Studio, as it was called, was built at 1381 Riverside Drive which overlooked the Arkansas River. The Art Deco structure is similar to the Robinson studio in both plan and material. The high ceiling lobby is reminiscent of the living room studio in the Robinson home. The stage acts as a link between the studio and residence, and the kitchen and dining facilities served both residential and studio functions. However, in 1933 Patti Adams Shriner was forced to give up her studio. This led to various  institutions maintaining possession until 1941 when Richard Mansfield Dickinson, a former New York City actor, purchased the property. He used the building as a residence and speech-drama studio. In 1953, Dickinson and a small group of performers known as the Tulsa Spotlighters, gave their first performance of a melodrama called “The Drunkard”. Since that performance, the troup has performed the melodrama and Olio each Saturday night in what is now known as “The Spotlight Theater”. The Drunkard and Olio has been a Tulsa fixture for quite a long time. In 1969 I was part of a Barbersop Quartet that sang on the Olio. We were the Sooner Statesmen.

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