Jo Ann McBride Muchmore
2022 Distinguished Alumni
Bachelor's '57, Master's '70
Jo Ann McBride Muchmore was a larger-than-life OSU theatre alumnae who shared her love of her craft from Texas to New York as she provided technical expertise and direction from the Dick Cavett Show to her beloved Ponca City Playhouse.
Jo Ann earned her bachelor’s degree from OSU in 1957 and taught journalism and English at Ponca City High School. She became a founding member of the Ponca Playhouse and remained committed to the playhouse throughout her life. She directed at the Playhouse while earning her master’s in theatre from Oklahoma State in 1970. She was the first female to earn this degree from OSU.
Jo Ann’s career took her to the Adobe Theatre in Corrales, New Mexico, where she served as the artistic director from 1970 to 1977. From 1977 to 1979, she was the managing director at the Temple Civic Theatre in Temple, Texas, and she returned to that position from 1983 to 1991.
In addition to bringing quality to the theatre production in Temple, she also made sure the theatre would continue to thrive through her dedication to financial vitality. When she left the position, the theatre was debt free and in a position to continue for generations of audiences to come.
Jo Ann served as the production assistant for the Dick Cavett Show on PBS from 1979 to 1982, was the executive director of the Poncan Theatre in Ponca City, Oklahoma from 1991 to 1997, and directed at the Tulsa Little Theatre, the University of Tulsa and Oklahoma Theatre Center, among many other locations throughout the Southwest.
While she loved using her theatre skills, Jo Ann was also an accomplished writer, having been involved with OSU’s O’Collegian newspaper when she was a student. She published a collection of essays, “A Forever Thing, My Dears,”in 1991 and the children’s book “Johnny Rides Again” in 1995.
Jo Ann was deeply devoted to her family and friends. Although she had a flamboyant personality, no one was more down to earth or a more loyal friend.Her final farewell — November 1, 2011 — left indelible memories of a woman who could stop a room cold upon entering and could make biscuits from scratch.