Jaston Williams and Joe Sears as Vera Carp & Pearl Burras
600 N Grand Ave, Tahlequah, OK 74464, United States
Seminary Hall of Northeastern Oklahoma State University where Joe Sears received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1972.
(The much anticipated third installment in the Tuna trilog...)
The much anticipated third installment in the Tuna trilogy takes the audience through another satirical ride into the hearts and minds of the polyester-clad citizens of Texas' third smallest town.
Joe Sears was raised in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Northeastern Oklahoma State University in 1972. He also studied under Marvin Gordon and Jay Harnick at the New York Performing Arts Repertory Theatre.
Joe Sears started his career in New York City where he found work on Broadway. In the early 1970s, he moved to Texas and worked alternately as a mental health professional at the San Antonio Mental Health Units for seven years and as a host of a late-night television horror film showcase. He also acted in local stagings of Shakespeare plays, and through this work met fellow actor Jaston Williams, who had also grown up in a small southwestern town. As a party skit, the two began creating a cast of fictional, caricatured residents of a somewhat backward mythical Texas town. By 1980, they had crafted a full-fledged work for the stage, helped by Ed Howard, who would also direct it, and were performing ‘Greater Tuna’ in and around the Austin theater scene. The play chronicles one day in the life of Tuna, Texas.
Taking the play on the road across America proved to be a huge success, and Sears and Williams would eventually perform it over 2,500 times. Big-city reviews were less than enthusiastic about the show’s skewering of addled, small-town America residents, but the play did run in New York for over five hundred performances.
The two playwrights continued their idea with an equally successful ‘A Tuna Christmas’ completed in 1992. Again, the action of the play was guided by the events taking place at the town radio station, but the holiday sequel attempts to uncover who is comically vandalizing people’s lawn displays. Sears and Williams reprised most of the roles themselves but added new Tuna residents to their repertoire as well. The sequel was a bit more successful with critics.
Other Sears’ plays include ‘Red, White and Tuna’, ‘The Good Old Boys’, ‘Eddie Lee, Eddie Lee’, ‘The Kansas Open’, and ‘Last Stand’.
Joe Sears has also acted in feature movies such as 1974 ‘See the Man Die’, and in television commercials. He was affiliated with the Hartford Stage Company, Hartford, the Alley Theater, Houston, and the Nexus Theater, Atlanta.