Sooner Theatre of Norman, Inc.
101 E Main St.
Norman OK 73069-1302
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Organization Does Business As (DBA) Name(s)
Organization DBA
The Sooner Theatre
The Studio of The Sooner Theatre
Voice of The Heartland
Mission Statement The Sooner Theatre of Norman, Inc. provides cultural, entertainment and educational opportunities for the community by operating a financially sound performing arts facility and by preserving its historical integrity and character.
Cats January 2014
Contact Information
Contact Name Nancy Coggins
Contact email
Address 101 E Main St.
Norman, OK 73069 1302
Phone (405) 321-9600
Fax 405-364-0543
County Cleveland County
Alternate Address 110 E Main St
The Studio of The Sooner Theatre
Norman OK 73069
How to Give
Donate with Credit Card
Other ways to donate, support or volunteer Like most community theatres, ticket sales make up only a portion of our annual budget. The rest comes from public and private grants, corporate sponsorships, and perhaps most critical – individual donors. Donate online today, send a check to The Sooner Theatre, 101 E. Main St., Norman, OK 73069, or stop by the box office, Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-noon or 2-5 p.m., or before any show!
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $920,130.00
Projected Expenses $920,130.00
History and Background
Year Founded 1976
IRS Ruling Year 1976
State Registration Expiration Aug 2019
Mission The Sooner Theatre of Norman, Inc. provides cultural, entertainment and educational opportunities for the community by operating a financially sound performing arts facility and by preserving its historical integrity and character.
Background The Sooner Theatre opened her doors for the first time in 1929 as the first movie theatre in the region built to show "talking pictures." Local architect Harold Gimeno spared no expense while building the Spanish Gothic Style building, spending over $200,000. Mosaic tile and Italian marble were imported for the project, and a special ladies' lounge was installed on the mezzanine level. A soundproof cry-room at the back of the orchestra level accommodated babies. The ceiling is adorned with 252 Spanish coat-of-arms, which were hand painted by the Patricio Gimeno, the architect's father. The theatre even boasted refrigerated air and cooled water fountains. The audience gasped in surprise when the first "talkie," Alias Jimmy Valentine played; the actors were speaking! After working frantically throughout that first show to cue the oversized records with the miles and miles of cellophane tape, the projectionist quit in disgust. Moving pictures were "too darn complicated" and, he predicted, they would not last. Luckily, motion pictures have lasted, and so did the Sooner Theatre, at least until the 1970s. It was during this time that movie theatres became multiplexes and the single screened Sooner just couldn't keep up with the demand. In 1975, the Sooner Theatre closed with Attack of the Amazons. It seemed that the only future visitor the Sooner Theatre could look forward to was the wrecking ball. A dedicated group of citizens refused to lose the theater, and appealed to the City of Norman under the aegis of The Sooner Theatre, Inc. The City agreed to purchase the theatre and lease her to them for a dollar per year. After the first phase of restoration, Norman's own "Grand Dame" opened her doors again in 1982 as a community performing arts center. The theatre is now listed on both the State and National Registry of Historic Places, and produces a full season of concerts, plays and musicals, produces six full scale youth productions, and holds more than 55 school year performing arts classes and summer camps for students age 3 and up. Visit the Sooner Theatre today to find out why she's so special!
The Sooner Theatre's impact is to produce quality theatrical presentations for general audiences; To provide a superior venue for educational, artistic, cultural, and community development activities that help improve the quality of life for our community; and to serve as the historic ‘anchor’ in partnerships with other organizations in the development efforts for a downtown Arts District for Norman.
Needs The Sooner Theatre's most pressing needs are, like most arts organizations, time, talent and financial support, We are always seeking volunteers in areas as broad as ushering shows, working in our sweet shop, building sets, creating and procuring props for shows, etc. The vast majority of the talent on our stage is volunteer, so we are also always looking for community members with a desire to sing, dance and act! Each year, approximately $120,000 of our budget is raised through corporate and individual investment in the arts, and we would love to speak to you about the importance of community investment in the arts and the value the arts provides our community each year. Our performing arts education programs see more than 950 enrollments annually, with more than $40,000 given in scholarship funds to students who would otherwise be unable to afford to participate. We would love to tell you how participation in the performing arts changes their lives in all areas. Let us know if you'd like to help!
Area Served
Area Served
Geographic Area Served
Central Oklahoma
Our concerts and community theatre productions bring in audiences from more than 150 Oklahoma zip codes as well as from out of state each year. Our Studio classes and camps serve children from across the metro, with Norman, Oklahoma, as well as South Oklahoma City metro area communities including South OKC, Moore, Noble, Blanchard, Tuttle, Newcastle, Deer Creek, Washington, Purcell, Little Axe, Midwest City, Del City being our primary service area.
Service Categories
Secondary Organizational Category Arts,Culture & Humanities/Performing Arts Schools
Tertiary Organizational Category Arts,Culture & Humanities/Theater

In 2003, The Sooner Theatre launched a dream to reach out to our community and create an opportunity for students of all ages to explore their own dreams in the performing arts. With a great leap of faith, we rented and renovated space to open a limited number of school year and summer classes for students to pursue those dreams.

It was a scary proposition that we would be able to find enough students to fill the classes and make the rental and renovation of the space make financial sense. We knew there were some kids in our community who were interested in the performing arts, but we didn’t anticipate the Dream they shared and explosion of growth we have experienced in our Studio. From one summer camp with 31 participants, we have grown studio offerings to 55 camps and year-round classes, serving more than 960 enrolled in FY 2019. We filled two production classes on the first day of enrollment this fall, and each summer, more than 225 students audition for 110-120 available spots in our two summer production camps. In FY 2019, we awarded more than $42,500 in scholarships to students who would have otherwise been unable to afford the cost of tuition or fees associated with performing arts classes and/or camps.

Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent People/Families with of People with Disabilities
Examples of Program SuccessHelpSpecific examples of changes in behaviors or testimonies of changes that demonstrate program success.
Creative and artistic kids are different. From the beginning. They stand the expense of ridicule.
They think, feel and process information differently than their peers.
They need other artistic people around them.
My son, Max, is one of those kids.
Despite being a very joyous individual, he clearly became increasingly despondent as peer issues increased at school.
He was alone. And different.
Then we found The Sooner Theatre. It's his second home now. He has the encouragement and freedom to express who he is and who he wants to be. There's such great energy and creativity there.
He immediately found the peer group he was waiting for.
Sometimes I wonder what people see when they look at my son, Max.
Do they see his laughter, the theatrics, the extroversion? Those things are self evident.
Or, maybe they see the adolescent grin or the spark in his eyes when the music starts.
Perhaps they notice how he's just happy to be with his friends.
But I know what they don't see.
They don't see the fear that used to be behind those eyes.
They don't see the sadness that came from being alone.
They don't see the anxiety about feeling 'different.'
I know they don't see it---because I don't see it now either.
We are thankful for The Sooner Theatre
Description Sooner Stage Presents is a full-scale theatrical season of community theatre productions produced by The Sooner Theatre each year. Typically, three productions including musicals and occasionally plays, are produced and the season runs from September through May of each fiscal year.
Population Served General/Unspecified
Description The Sooner Theatre's Main Event Concert Series consists of three to four live performances by nationally touring artists who either do not travel to this part of the country often, have extremely strong fan bases in this area, and/or offer a performance that will provide a new, enriching experience for our patrons.
Population Served Adults
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Jennifer Baker
Start Date Jan 2003

She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Oklahoma. Before taking the position at The Sooner Theatre in 2003, she lived in NYC and traveled as a professional actress and choreographer working in numerous productions across the country. She thought she was through with the "performing" chapter of her life, until she found herself on stage again at The Sooner Theatre a few times including her 10-year Anniversary celebration as Dolly Levi in Hello Dolly! Performing credits include: an NBC Movie of the Week, several feature and indie films, a performer in Reader’s Digest’s DVD, America, Portrait of Song, a soloist for The National Governor’s Convention, a brief stay as the lead female in a popular Branson show, and a guest performer in President Clinton’s Inaugural Parade. Favorite experiences include: Music Theatre of Wichita, Lyric Theatre of OKC, Mill Mt Theatre, Buck’s County Playhouse, Pocono Playhouse, 7 years as Laurey, in Discoveryland’s Oklahoma! and dozens of commercials and videos. She's choreographed several commercials for the Oklahoma Lottery, Riverwind, and Taco Mayo. Choreography jobs include Six Flags Parks, Premier Parks, Discoveryland, Bear Creek Farms, the Oklahoma Dome Dedication and has directed and choreographed over 100 musicals and live events across the country. She directs the United Way’s Celebrity Sing and serves, and has served, on several Norman boards and committees to include, Transition House, Norman Public School’s Gifted Council, Citizen’s Advisory Board, The Norman Chamber of Commerce, The Mayor’s Centennial Committee, and The Main Street Christmas Parade. She is a member of Norman Rotary and a graduate of Leadership Norman. She is a current member of Oklahoma's Leadership Arts. She was awarded "Do You Know Your Neighbor Award", The Fowler Arts Award, and the Chamber's Volunteer of the Month.

Senior Staff
Jennifer BakerExecutive Director
Nancy CogginsPR & Development Director
Number of Full-time Staff 5
Number of Part-time Staff 2
Number of Contract Staff 16
Number of Volunteers 100
Staff Retention Rate 100
Are professional development opportunities provided? Yes
Does CEO/Executive Director have formal evaluations? Yes
Management reports to board? Yes
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 6
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 1
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 2
Female 5
Organizational Plans
Fundraising Plan Under Development
Policy against commission-based compensation for fundraising consultant Yes
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan Yes
Number of Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Date Strategic Plan Adopted Sept 2016
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Organization Policies and Procedures Yes
The Sooner Theatre routinely collaborates with other organizations in our community as well as other arts organizations in the metro area. We work very closely with the University of Oklahoma's departments of musical theatre, dance and drama, the United Way of Norman, The Norman Chamber of Commerce, the OKC Philharmonic, Celebrity Attractions, Norman Public Schools and many more.
Allied Arts member agency2013
Chamber of Commerce2003
Oklahoma Arts Council2003
Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits, Standards of Excellence Program Graduate2016
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government (federal, state and/or local)? No
Board Chair
Name Ms. Vicki Worster
Company Affiliation Total Compliance Connection
Term July 2017 to June 2020
Board of Directors
List Current as of July 01, 2019
Board of Directors List
Ms. Miranda BeattyVoting
Ms. Charlotte BeattyPolston Tax AttorneysVoting
Ms. Megan BennVoting
Ms. Lindsay HawkinsOU K20 CenterVoting
Mr. Mark LedbetterRepublic/Armstrong BankVoting
Ms. Karen McIntoshDon Cies RealtyVoting
Ms. Beth MuckalaCity of NormanVoting
Mrs. Ashley MurphyUniversity of Oklahoma College of LawVoting
Ms. Meg NewvilleCommunity VolunteerVoting
Ms. LeAnne PenceHey Day Family FunVoting
Ms. Amy PepperOU Legal Aid InstituteVoting
Ms. Beth PepperEide Bailly AccountingVoting
Mr. Matt RobinsonFirst Fidelity BankVoting
Mrs. Shannon RothVictoria's The Pasta ShopVoting
Mrs. Susan VassilakosH&H Gun RangeVoting
Mrs. Jennifer ViceHavenbrook Funeral HomeVoting
Mrs. Amanda WardNorman Pediatric DentistryVoting
Ms. Vicki WorsterTotal Compliance Human ResourcesVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 17
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 2
Female 15
Board Term Lengths 3 years
Percentage of Board Making Monetary Contributions to the Organization 100 %
Percentage of Board Making In-Kind Contributions to the Organization 59 %
Board Orientation Yes
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Written Board Selection Criteria? Under Development
Standing Committees
Board Development / Board Orientation
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Human Resources / Personnel
Program / Program Planning
Current Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year July 01, 2019-June 30, 2020
Current Year Budgeted Total Income $920,130
Current Year Budgeted Total Expenses $920,130
IRS Letter of Determination
Prior Three Years' Financial History
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201720162015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Individual Contributions------
Investment Income, Net of Losses$1,116$1,096--
Unrealized Gain/Loss--($12,636)--
Membership Dues------
Special Events$55,860--$34,783
Revenue In-Kind------
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201720162015
Program Expense$287,228$547,068$398,904
Administration Expense$570,025$223,639$365,245
Fundraising Expense$57,402$47,590$28,044
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.001.071.40
Program Expense/Total Expenses31%67%50%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue18%13%5%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$1,895,758$2,013,746$1,768,944
Current Assets$69,027$47,294$60,738
Long-Term Liabilities$1,406,000$1,540,387$1,309,000
Current Liabilities$101,886$81,801$120,543
Total Net Assets$387,872$391,558$339,401
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities0.680.580.50
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets74%76%74%
Funding Sources
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201720162015
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountEarned Revenue $526,224Earned Revenue $518,289Contributions $546,186
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions $310,994Contributions $362,249Earned Revenue $524,692
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountSpecial Events $55,860Other $3,456Special Events $34,783
Endowment? Yes
Endowment Spending Policy N/A
Endowment Spending Policy Percentage (if selected) 0 %
Credit Line? Yes
Reserve Fund? No
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? Yes
Campaign Purpose To purchase and renovate a permanent space for The Studio of The Sooner Theatre, with event/performance space, costume/prop shop/storage and tech/scene shop
Campaign Goal $1,900,000
Campaign Dates June 2014 to Aug 2019
Amount Raised To Date $1,000,000 as of Mar 2018
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next Five Years? No
Comments on Financials
Foundation Staff Comments
Please note that an amended version of the fiscal year 2018 990 has been submitted to the IRS. Line item 16a for professional fundraising fees is inaccurate. The organization did not spend $691,760 on professional fundraising fees in fiscal year 2017. This figure should have been listed on line 17 for other expenses. (Please see fiscal year 2017 990 for confirmation.) The amended 990 for fiscal year 2018 will be added to GiveSmartOKC as soon as it is available.
All prior year financial information is from Form 990s.  The organization had its first audit in 2013.
Note:  In FY2016, there is a $2,000 variance between the two prior fiscal years net assets compared to their Form 990s.    Also, There was a loss of $12,636 for a disposition of an asset.
Contributions may include foundations and corporations when the breakout was not available.
The financial information presented is obtained from the following sources: IRS Form 990, independent audit reports, financial statements – board approved when available, and supplemental information from the organization. We do not warrant or guarantee the timeliness, errors or inaccuracies. With respect to information regarding financial performance, nothing on this website should be interpreted as a statement or interpretation by OCCF staff.
Organizations with a GiveSmartOKC profile are responsible for updating information annually within 45 days following the end of their fiscal year.
Address 101 E Main St.
Norman, OK 73069 1302
Primary Phone 405 321-9600 103
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director Jennifer Baker
Board Chair Ms. Vicki Worster
Board Chair Company Affiliation Total Compliance Connection