Lauren Frazier was named director of the new OUAZ Theatre program in Janaury of 2021. Dr. Dennis Tyner is the faculty sponsor for the program and an active participant in the productions!
OUAZ Theatre Program Director
Lauren Frazier joined OUAZ in January of 2020 to direct OUAZ's new Musical Theatre program.
Lauren has always had the show biz bug. She was constantly participating in her school’s dramatic arts program, and earned a scholarship to attend Ottawa University (KS) as a theatre major. She had leading roles in several productions from “Beauty and the Beast”,”Little Shop of Horrors”, “Urinetown”, all the way to “Godspell”. She also had the honor of starring in a world premiere production of “Face Value”, written by award winning playwright Frank Higgins. She got to live out a childhood dream of singing at Carnegie Hall with the OU Choir. Her passion for performing poured out into the Kansas City community theatre arena, where she sang, danced and acted her way across many of the city’s stages. Some of her favorite productions included “Hairspray”, “Aida”, “Oliver”, “Rent”, “All Shook Up” and playing the star crossed lover in a powerful production of “Ragtime”.
Ottawa University gave Lauren the flexibility to perform, as well as graduate a well rounded B.A., that supported her love of teaching and community service. It provided her a rich foundation, which led to having many wonderful experiences in a variety of fields.
Lauren found joy in teaching preschool, and elementary school technology classes. She served those that came before her by coordinating activities for residents with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Always making sure that dancing and singing were on the daily activities list. She even taught musical theatre for a well known children’s theatre company in Los Angeles and made sure to have the productions reach retirement communities.
Since moving to California in 2015, Lauren has been blessed to work on some of her favorite tv shows. Her favorite set experience being Grey’s Anatomy. She had a recurring role in the groundbreaking pilot season and following seasons of “How To Get Away With Murder” staring Viola Davis.
From wild set adventures on “Secrets and Lies”, “The Middle”, voice over work on Netflix’s “Motown Magic”, and the upcoming Amazon Prime Video thriller “Run Sweetheart Run”, Lauren stays current in Hollywood. She works on the latest projects, while collaborating with organizations such as the NAACP Hollywood Bureau and BEHERC to create opportunities and mainstream people of color in the entertainment industry.
Lauren has had the special honor of being welcomed into Black Hollywood with mentors such as Obba Babatundé (“S.W.A.T.”, “Dear White People”, Dawson’s Creek), Kiki Shepard (“Showtime At The Apollo”, “NYPD Blue”, “Baywatch”), and Bennet Guillory(“The Color Purple”, “Charmed”, “The West Wing”). With Danny Glover’s affectionate nickname for her, “Fireball”, Lauren has lit up many television and movie sets from both ends of the country. From “Ballers” to “Crazy Ex Girlfriend”, she is leaving a little OU spirit in the Hollywood archives.
For fun, Lauren likes to be a part of taped sitcom audiences, and is spoiled to be able to get to attend premieres and advanced screenings with her friends. She looks forward to all the movies, tv shows and plays that she is going to do next.
Her passion for the arts has given her rich experiences that nurture her desire to grow and excel in this next exciting chapter. She is excited to partner with OUAZ to create a rich foundation for theatre, student success and self-development and community relationships for the arts.
Professor of Science
PhD - Northeastern University
MS - Northeastern University
BS - Northeastern University
Dr. Dennis J. Tyner was named president of Ottawa University-Arizona in May 2019. This came after Tyner had served as senior vice president and provost of OUAZ from its inception in February 2017, helping build the university’s new Surprise, Arizona, residential campus from the ground up. His tireless work in OUAZ’s first two years of existence led to him being named “Most Influential Person in Valley Education” by Arizona Foothills Magazine in its “Best of Our Valley 2020” awards.
Tyner joined Ottawa University in January 2007 as vice president and provost of the university’s 155-year-old campus in Ottawa, Kan. He has been teaching at the collegiate level since 1986, when he began lecturing at Northeastern University in Boston, Mass. Immediately prior to coming to Ottawa University, Dr. Tyner served for eight years as dean of the David Crawford School of Engineering at Norwich University, the oldest private military college in the nation. In that capacity, he helped to reverse a decade long trend of declining enrollment, and was able to substantially increase the number of undergraduate engineering students enrolled at the school. During that time, he was instrumental in the development of new undergraduate program offerings. He also designed an annual Engineering Summer Camp and a semi-annual Engineering Showcase, and he established the school’s first online graduate program.
The Boston native earned his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University in 1985, 1986, and 1992, respectively. His primary research focused on applying digital communication methods in magnetic storage systems to increase the storage capacity of magnetic media. He published several articles on his research and presented his results at national and international conferences. While pursuing his bachelors and masters degrees, Tyner was employed by GTE as a member of the Radio Products Group within the company’s Communication Systems Division. There, he was part of a team that developed the secure communication radios for the aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise, and for the NASA Space Shuttle.
After earning his doctorate, Tyner joined the faculty at Norwich University as an assistant professor of Electrical Engineering, where he developed and taught new courses in communications and digital signal processing. In addition to his academic work, he served Norwich University in several other areas during his 14 years of employment with them, including admissions, facilities operations, student activities and athletics. He also served as a textbook reviewer for Prentice Hall Publishers, and authored two solutions manuals for electric circuits textbooks that he evaluated.
Tyner is a member of Tau Beta Pi, the National Engineering Honor Society, and he served as advisor to Norwich’s student chapter from 1994 to 2006. He was instrumental in helping the chapter achieve national recognition, as they were twice voted as the R.C. Matthews Most Outstanding Chapter, and were twice runners-up. In 1997, Tyner received Tau Beta Pi’s “Most Outstanding Advisor” award. That same year, he was also selected to serve the organization as a facilitator for their award-winning “Engineering Futures” program, whereupon he traveled to schools across the nation to deliver seminars on public speaking, interpersonal skills, analytical problem solving, meeting management, and team chartering. Additionally, he has taught engineering students for more than 20 years at every institution for which he has served.
Tyner and his wife, Patricia, reside in Surprise, Ariz. They have eight grown children, and a grandchild. His wife and five of their children are graduates of Ottawa University.
Purchase Your Tickets Now
Barefoot in the Park Flyer
We are creating a home for students who are earning their college degree, an opportunity to actively lend their talents (both on stage and off) to create live theatre. OUAZ Theatre is an inclusive group that celebrates the many diverse gifts of its members, encourages development in new areas of production and invites community engagement.
Producing these shows would not be possible without the wonderful support from our Patrons. Your generous donations will help the theatre program in covering the expenses it takes to produce the shows.
With your support, we will encourage these students' success in not only earning their degree, but celebrate their love and devoation to theatre, wihile creating community ties and making the OUAZ and the city of Surprise a place where the performing arts will thrive.
The OUAZ Theater Program allows students to hone their skills in the performing arts, both onstage and off, and prepares them for a professional career in the entertainment industry.
Our inclusive program encourages personal growth and branding, understanding the ins and outs of the industry, introduction to a multitude of departments (costuming, directing, producing, public relations, distribution, etc.) across the breadth of the entertainment industry, and mastery of performance. By partnering with local theaters, and mentorship with industry professionals, our musical theater program creates the future of Hollywood, Broadway, and beyond.