July 5, 2013

Chickasha native to be in "The King and I"

Jessica Lane, Staff Writer,
The Express-Star

OKLAHOMA CITY — You could say that Vahn Phollurxa, soon to appear in a production of "The King and I" at the Civic Center in Oklahoma City, got his start in Chickasha.

Phollurxa played one of the pickpocketing children in a production of "Oliver Twist" at the age of seven at the Chickasha Community Theater.

Vahn Phollurxa, Chickasha native, will be performing in for the Lyric Theater production of "The King and I" at the Civic Center in Oklahoma City July 9-13.

Phollurxa grew up and went to school in Chickasha before going to school at the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) to pursue a degree in musical theatre. His audition for "The King and I" is his first audition outside of UCO.

The classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, "The King and I," focuses on the relationship between a British schoolteacher, Anna, and the King of Siam. Anna is hired to help the king change his barbaric image.

Phollurxa will be playing "the Interpreter," who serves the Kralahome, who is the royal emissary to the King, in communicating with Ann. What Ann does not know, however, is that the Kralahome can speak English.

"He is basically there to intimidate Anna," Phollurxa said.

Phollurxa said that he got his interest in musical theater from being in show choir at Chickasha High School under Cheryl Waters. Phollourxa also credits Francis Reding as well as Gena Condor, who encouraged him to play piano, for his success.

Phollurxa said that one of his biggest supporters is his mother, Johanna Lewis, who is also a singer and performer. Lewis currently works at First National Bank and Trust in Chickasha.

Pholluxra is the currently the Music Director at Northwest Optimist Performing Arts Center in Nichols Hills, Oklahoma. Pholluxra is involved in two to three shows during the fall and spring semester and four two-week camps for middle school drama students every summer.

Pholluxra has also been a pianist at Edmond Summerstock and Reduxtion Theatre.

He began playing piano during his junior year of high school, practicing six hours every evening in order to learn to play proficiently.

Phollurxa said that rehearsing for the play has been a great learning experience. In addition, performing in the play will count toward three equity points. Fifty points are required for an actor to receive his or her equity membership card, which are held by professional actors.