Oklahoma Children's Theatre
2501 N Blackwelder Ave
Oklahoma City OK 73106
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Mission Statement Oklahoma Children's Theatre provides extraordinary live theatre and interactive educational experiences for young audiences. We inspire young people to visualize their potential, enhance family relationships and invest in the future of our communities.
Pre School Camps
Contact Information
Contact Name Lyn Adams
Contact email lyn@oklahomachildrenstheatre.org
Address 2501 N Blackwelder Ave
Oklahoma City, OK 73106
Phone (405) 6067003
Fax 405-606-7043
County Oklahoma
How to Give
Donate with Credit Card http://oklahomachildrenstheatre.org/
Donate to Endowment http://occf.org/oct/
Other ways to donate, support or volunteer Call us at 405-606-7003 and we can discuss your donation of time or treasures.  It can be in the form of a check, cash, credit card, a box of costumes found in the attic or simply a couple of hours to help with a production.  We work with teen volunteers to assist us in camps and classes.  We also work with adult volunteers in the preparation of our performances and classes as well as fundraising events throughout the year.
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $591,341.00
Projected Expenses $596,000.00
History and Background
Former Names
Year Founded 1986
IRS Ruling Year 1987
State Registration Expiration Mar 2016
Mission Oklahoma Children's Theatre provides extraordinary live theatre and interactive educational experiences for young audiences. We inspire young people to visualize their potential, enhance family relationships and invest in the future of our communities.
O.C.T. presents 7 main productions during the organizational year.  The school year productions generally run for 2 weeks however productions in the Children’s Center for The Arts building run for 3-4 weeks.  During the summer month’s, two productions are performed using young actors in a combination of age appropriate roles. All productions come with an educational resource guide for teachers.
O.C.T. prepares several productions for touring throughout the state. Over 60 rural and under-served communities are visited in a year. Productions are appropriate for elementary students.  Productions come with an educational resource guide for teachers. Touring opportunities have recently been enhanced through the donation of a touring vehicle from Mercedes-Benz of Oklahoma City.
O.C.T. is committed to the education of our youth and thus provides Summer, Winter, Fall and Spring Break camps for children. Camps are from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday with before and after care available for working parents. School year, Saturday morning and weekday creative drama classes are conducted with an emphasis on process rather than product. We have added a home school program as well as very successful preschool program.
OCT provides after school creative drama programs throughout the school year with Putnam Heights Elementary, Edgemere Elementary, Positive Tomorrows, Eugene Fields,  F.D. Moon and  Cleveland Elementary   Approximately 560 children participate in this after school program.

Audiences Served
Oklahoma Children's Theatre serves a metropolitan community through productions and classes and school tours. Scholarships and discounts are always available to ensure that opportunities are available. However, children and groups from as far away as Chickasha, El Reno, Guthrie, Shawnee and Norman often participate in classes and performances.  A statewide community is also served through touring productions. The ethnic mix of audiences served vary in the touring program depending on the school or community served, for example, through the BancFirst and Chesapeake Energy tour, we serve a large number of Native American children.  Through in house programs, the ethnic make up is approximately 50% Caucasian, 35% African American, 10% Hispanic, 5% other.  Audiences and participants range in age from toddler through Grandparent, however our target audience is 3-18 years of age.

Oklahoma Children’s Theatre began as a program of the original Mummer’s Theatre, at Oklahoma Theatre Center and then Stage Center until in 1986. Oklahoma Children’s Theatre became fully incorporated as a 501 (C) 3 and our first home was at the Oklahoma City Community College.  In 1989 we moved to City Arts Center on the fairgrounds.  In September of 2005 we moved again to the campus of the Oklahoma City University. Our partnership with O.C.U. has grown and become so successful that an  undergraduate Degree Program in Children's Theatre has been developed and included in the 2012 schedule.

Our 2016 summer camps reached an enrollment of 2,072. School year enrollment in after school classes, fall, winter and spring break camps totaled 1326.

·         Our Youth Advisory Board has  had a very positive impact on our organization. They volunteer for specific projects as well as meet monthly to plan a fundraising event for scholarships. 

We launched a new and fun website which includes online enrollment for  classes, performances and other events. We also announced our mobile web site.  

 Our outreach program called “Page to Stage” has grown and now includes 15 local  elementary schools. The emphasis for this program is to use creative dramatics in support of reading for meaning. For the 2016-2017 school year, OCT has selected a production based on Judy Blume’s “Freckle Juice” which is geared towards Grade 2 reading standards. Each participants will receive a copy of “Freckle Juice” after the performance. Teachers receive a curriculum/teacher guide with supplementary pre performance experiences and activities. Three language arts workshops combined with teacher materials and performances provide meaningful hands on experiences, enhance comprehension and classroom learning through language arts exercises. A fourth workshop will consist of a writing component after the children attend the live performance. Teachers will receive a creative writing prompt based on the book they have just finished studying. The next step is for the students to write a story (fiction or non-fiction) based on that prompt. Once they’ve completed their stories, Oklahoma Children’s Theatre will read them and create a one-act play based on the students’ stories and present it to the school as a finale of the ‘Page to Stage’ experience.  We have added first grade to this program and use Judy Bloom's " The One in the Middle is the Green Kangaroo"
We work specifically with under-performing schools in low income communities. 
Our most pressing needs are closely tied to those of the people we serve. 
  • Scholarships for children to attend classes and camps. $100-$450.00
  • Bus/Ticket sponsorship for 55 children to attend a performance. $600
  • Touring production Sponsorship: $800-$1,000 
  • Storage ( costumes, props and set pieces) . Priceless!
CEO/Executive Director Statement
Our Vision statement tells some of our story...
"The kids place to be for theatre experiences… a place where children, families, and performing artists flourish!"
but more importantly it's what our patrons tell us that completes the O.C.T. story...
"I just wanted to thank you guys so much for the good time that Colt had at camp last week.  Mr. Aaron, aka Cool Mr. Teacher Dude, was awesome with both of my kids.As you might recall, Colt has Asperger's and we have been told by other organizations that they could not allow him into their program.  He is VERY high functioning, but still has a few quirks.  While I am very open to letting Colt try anything he shows an interest in, his dad is always a little nervous.  After the performance on Friday, he dad said, whatever he wants to do here, he can." 
and for those who grow up...
"I wanted to take a moment of your time and thank you for this program and the influence you have had on my son, Ben.  Ben attended summer sessions when he was in elementary school. Perhaps you remember him. The lessons he learned during the time he was involved with your theatre group have helped him use his imagination, musical talents, and storytelling ability while in high school, college, and now in his professional life.  Ben is a journalist for the St. Peterburg's Times.  He lives with his wife and three children in Tampa, Florida.  This past year was especially fulfilling for him because he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and the winner of numerous other journalism awards. But, more importantly, he is a great dad and is passing on to his children a love for the arts. Again, thank you for your dedication to this program and your love of children.  You have been and continue to be a great influence on many young lives."
Area Served
Area Served
Geographic Area Served
Central Oklahoma
O.C.T serves a statewide community through touring performances and a central Oklahoma community through performances, classes and camps. In recent years we have begun to notice that children from other states who come to visit relatives will often attend camp during the day.  You could say we have a national appeal!
Service Categories
Secondary Organizational Category Arts,Culture & Humanities/Theater
Tertiary Organizational Category Youth Development/Youth Development Programs

Oklahoma Children’s Theatre

2016-17 Season

Snow White

June 22-26, 2016

Burg Theatre

Annie Jr.

July 27-31, 2016

Burg Theatre

Treasure Island

September 23 – Oct 7

Children’s Center for the Arts

Junie B in Jingle Bells Batman Smells

Nov 18 – Dec 18

Children’s Center for the Arts

The Cat in the Hat

Feb 10 – Mar 5 (10)

Children’s Center for the Arts

Aladdin (touring show)

March 23- April 6

Children’s Center for the Arts

Miss Nelson is Missing

April 21-May 5

Burg Theatre

Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Program Long-term SuccessHelpDescription of the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future or represent an ideal state.
Children will increase their appreciation and understanding of classic literature through live performances. 
They will grow to appreciate the value of arts and culture in their daily lives. 
They will attend the theatre as adults and will take their children to children's theatre performances.
They will support live theatre through attendance, donations and volunteering. 
Description We provide theatre education programming  throughout the calendar year, including: afterschool, homeschool, and preschool theatre,  seasonal day camps, 11 week-long camps during summer, and 3 week theatre production camps. With this variety of educational program options, we are able to serve a large and diverse number of children and youth.

It is our goal to address the artistic needs of children with a broad range of interests and abilities through participatory, hands-on theatre arts activities and experiences.  We encourage the development of our students as artists and creative thinkers, as well as competent performers. Production is not our first priority, but the excitement of a performance experience is certainly important to the creation of a whole theatre arts experience. Our programs are accessible for children of every ability, ethnicity, and economic background. Scholarships are awarded for each of our programs, and are based on economic need.
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Program Long-term SuccessHelpDescription of the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future or represent an ideal state. There is a place for all children in the creative arts, and it is our belief that creatively guided theatre arts education and freedom to experience and experiment with acting and creative drama techniques will ultimately equip our students to enjoy a lifelong appreciation for the performing arts.
Description OCT tours to preschools, elementary schools, libraries and community centers throughout the state of Oklahoma. This year we will  tour “Red V The Wolf." A retelling of the classic children's story of Little Red Riding Hood. Children’s Theatre provides an extensive study guide and Family Activity Book, further enhancing the educational component of the productions.

We tour to 26+ communities including rural southeast, central and northern Oklahoma. .

Under-served rural and isolated communities typically have high-poverty, low-performing schools. Additionally, these schools have persistently low achievement and graduation rates. We believe that providing creative arts experiences through live theatre performances, and developing integrated arts  curriculums will potentially provide lifelong learning and respect for the arts as an integral component of successful communities.
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Program Long-term SuccessHelpDescription of the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future or represent an ideal state.

Our touring program is integral to the success of our organization, even more so during this economic downturn. School districts are slashing budgets, eliminating teaching positions and drastically reducing or eliminating field trips. Touring productions will be accessible and important as we all look toward ‘making lemonade from lemons.' Long-term success would mean that every child in Oklahoma has the opportunity to see live theatre.

Program Success MonitoringHelpDescription of the tools used to measure or track program impact.
We collect surveys at the conclusion of each tour.  Surveys assist us in identifying issues and improving our services.  Surveys include some of the following questions:
  1. How did you hear about OCT’s touring productions?
  2. What created your interest in bringing them to your school?
  3. What grade(s) attended the production?
  4. Please briefly describe your students’ reaction to the production. Did the production seem age appropriate?
  5. Have your students studied literature in class that is related to the production? If so, what?
  6. What percentage of your students receive free or reduced lunch?
  7. Please briefly describe the ethnic diversity of your students.
  8. What literature are your students studying?
  9. What other plays, books, stories or other material would you like to see presented by the OCT touring company?
Examples of Program SuccessHelpSpecific examples of changes in behaviors or testimonies of changes that demonstrate program success.
Our success is measured by the responses we receive from our audiences...
"What a great treat to have the Children's Theatre come to Spencer.  Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the play and the children were so cute and interactive with the actors.  Please let them know how much we enjoyed ourselves and the children are already asking when are we going to have another play. The story line behind the Ugly Duckling was perfect for our kids and we were able to use the play for therapeutic purposes."
Integris-Health Residential Treatment Facility
Children who have not gained the ability to read by the mid-elementary are at great risk of never obtaining this important ability.  Page to Stage works to introduce reading as an active, meaningful, constructive process. Before-reading activities are used to build or activate relevant background knowledge, concepts, and vocabulary. The texts they are asked to read are read for enjoyment and for information.
Live theatre literally takes the text from a page and gives it three dimensional life and meaning.  Live theatre presentations of classic literature will encourage children to read and enhance visualization.
Teachers would receive a curriculum/teacher guide specific to their book/production. The guide would be designed to introduce pre-performance activities to the children.  Activities would include word recognition, comprehension, improvisational games identifying themes and issues relevant to the story. Children would attend the performance. At the conclusion of the activities, each child would receive a copy of their assigned story.  The performance adds the visceral experience to the reading and the inspiration to read on.
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Program Short-term SuccessHelpDescription of short-term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program.
Participants will:
  • Be able to read a book independently and be able to begin predicting what will come next to encourage further reading.
  • Describe character traits, how a character’s behavior changes in a story, and relationships between characters.
  • Tell the difference between fact and opinion.
  • Analyze important aspects, such as causes and results of events, motivation of character.
Program Long-term SuccessHelpDescription of the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future or represent an ideal state. Participants will:
  • Have an expanded vocabulary of meaningful words, themes and thoughts.
  • Have a respect for literature and desire to read more.
  • Have an appreciation for the performing arts.
  • Have increased their reading for enjoyment.
Program Success MonitoringHelpDescription of the tools used to measure or track program impact. Surveys and feedback from teachers.

Our educational outreach residencies are housed in Putnam Heights,  Edgemere, F.D. Moon, Eugene Fields and Cleveland Elementary schools. We host up to four classes at each location and teach theatre skills as well as creative thinking and teamwork through drama education. These programs are no cost to the school.

OCU students:Each semester we employ up to seven part time  OCU student workers providing practical education and experience in working for a professional theatre company. 

Youth Board: The Youth Board consists of seasoned children’s theatre kids, ages 13 and up, who have volunteered, performed and/or worked with us as they’ve grown. This group’s goals include fundraising, volunteering and creatively enhancing OCT’s programming in the community.

Teen Volunteers:Our teen volunteers are crucial during our seasonal camps and summer camp months, helping with a variety of tasks. Many of our volunteers have been campers for many years, and aspire to become teachers’ assistants when they are old enough.

Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Adults
Program Short-term SuccessHelpDescription of short-term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. We provide a safe environment for young people to learn skills that will be valuable as they grow and mature.
Program Long-term SuccessHelpDescription of the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future or represent an ideal state. Our outreach programs are designed to enrich and enlighten.  They are providing a safe environment for young folks to participate in theatre, volunteerism and working environments.
Program Success MonitoringHelpDescription of the tools used to measure or track program impact. We conduct a pre and post survey in our after school programming and conduct meeting with our volunteers, Youth Board and Students to discuss the effectiveness of programming and activities
Examples of Program SuccessHelpSpecific examples of changes in behaviors or testimonies of changes that demonstrate program success.

Thanks for everything! OCT has really changed my path and helped me get through my first year.


 Austin Windover, OCU Theatre for Young Audiences Major

CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Lyn Adams
Start Date Aug 1984
Email lyn@oklahomachildrenstheatre.org
Experience Lyn’s experience as Executive Director of the Oklahoma Children’s Theatre includes, as one would expect, programming, budgeting, fundraising, applying band-aids and remembering hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of names ( oh forget it, sweetie works)!   Lyn’s resume also notes that she has been a witch, ugly stepmother, and a pig among many other strange characters.  (Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?)  Her fascination with all things Once Upon a Time and Far, Far  Away has led her to write over 30 children's theatre productions and direct twice as many more!

A former Elementary school teacher from Down Under, you might ask why she left to come to Oklahoma? The answer is simple…to find the truth to some puzzling questions; does the wind really come sweeping down the plain? And what exactly is a Boomer and a Sooner.  In her quest for answers, she graduated from The University of Oklahoma with a BFA and MFA in Theatre.

She has been an adjunct instructor at the Oklahoma City Community College, Oklahoma City University, School of Dance and Arts Management and is currently adjunct theatre professor with O.C.U. Theatre Department.

Lyn has volunteered in the community with Leadership Oklahoma City, A+ Arts, OKCPSF Project Kids, Creativity Oklahoma, Oklahoma City Arts Council, Rotary International Club 29 and more.  Lyn has realized in these last few years that she must be the ‘90’s reincarnation of Addo Annie (the gal who can’t say no) as she has co-chaired or been on committees for way too many events!  She is a recipient of a Governor’s Arts Award in Arts Education, many Rotary International awards, a Paul Harris Fellow, the Yad b’Yad award from the Jewish Federation of Oklahoma City and a Redlands Girl Scouts, Women of Distinction.  She has hosted Exchange Students from all over the world and lead a team of High School seniors on a group Study Exchange program to Japan.

Lyn believes her greatest challenge is to convince us that real Aussies don’t throw shrimps on the ‘barby’ and that she doesn’t carry a “real knife” in her purse. However, the water does indeed spin the other way when you flush! -
Senior Staff
Nathan BenfallOperations/Education Manager
Elin B'HairdArtistic Director
Mollie ReidEducation Outreach Director
Number of Full-time Staff 4
Number of Part-time Staff 2
Number of Contract Staff 78
Number of Volunteers 48
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
Caucasian 3
Native American/American Indian 1
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 1
Female 3
Organizational Plans
Fundraising Plan Under Development
Policy against commission-based compensation for fundraising consultant No
Communication Plan Under Development
Strategic Plan Yes
Number of Years Strategic Plan Considers 6
Date Strategic Plan Adopted Nov 2009
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Organization Policies and Procedures Under Development
Oklahoma City University
Putnam Heights Elementary
Edgemere Elementary
Cleveland Elementary
Metropolitan Library
Reduction Theatre Company
Boys and Girls Club of Oklahoma City
City Rescue Mission
Jewish Federation of OKC
The After school Network 
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government (federal, state and/or local)? No
Comments on Staff & Management
CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments We do not have a written Document Destruction Policy, but our internal policy is as follows:  Everything personal in regards to the kids is shredded, financial documents are stored for seven years in outside storage and credit card numbers are not retained for longer than the working day in which the number was received.
Board Chair
Name Tim Cook
Company Affiliation UMB Bank
Term Feb 2015 to Feb 2017
Email Timothy.Cook@umb.com
Board of Directors
List Current as of Oct 01, 2015
Board of Directors List
Mr. Zac Bradt Chesapeake EnergyVoting
Kristen Brown Community VolunteerVoting
Ms Maggie Brown Teen Recovery SolutionsVoting
Mr. Wesley Burt HoganTaylorVoting
Mr Tim Cook Banking/FinanceVoting
Ms Crystal Emerson Community Volunteer
Graham Harris Chesapeake EnergyVoting
Ms Juliet Hill Community Volunteer_ HomeschoolVoting
Ms Heathar Primas PromotionsVoting
Carmelita Shinn Federal CourtVoting
Stacey Weddington Oklahoma City National Memorial & MuseumVoting
Dr. Liz Willner EducationVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Caucasian 8
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 1
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 4
Female 7
Board Term Lengths 2 years
Percentage of Board Making Monetary Contributions to the Organization 100 %
Percentage of Board Making In-Kind Contributions to the Organization 36 %
Board Orientation Yes
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria? Under Development
Standing Committees
Board Development / Board Orientation
Community Outreach / Community Relations
Youth Board
Youth Board Members
Tyler Bichsel Home school student
Jacon Bichsel Home school student
Olivia Biggerstaff Middle School Student
Alex Cook Middle School Student
Cale Hartman High School Student
Max Hill Home school student
Preston Kerran Elementary School Student
Mary Kate Lee Student
Lizzie Lohner Middle School Student
Milo Powell Middle School Student
Nola Powell High School Student
Piper Turner Jr. High Student
Comments on Board & Governance
CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments
In the past year we have lost several Board members due to family issues.  These Board members created a strong and efficient Board.  With their departure we  developed a strategic plan to renew and revitalize the existing Board.  
We have increased out Board steadfastly. This has completely revitalized our Board and Organization.  
Current Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Oct 01, 2016-Sept 30, 2017
Current Year Budgeted Total Income $591,341
Current Year Budgeted Total Expenses $596,000
Financial Documents
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 Year201520142013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$47,628$49,875$50,337
Individual Contributions$80,967$45,053$45,266
Investment Income, Net of Losses$651$387$551
Unrealized Gain/Loss($97)$538$289
Membership Dues$5,170$5,496$5,425
Special Events------
Revenue In-Kind$2,250----
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$421,613$388,447$376,646
Administration Expense$94,325$83,233$80,514
Fundraising Expense$51,684$47,069$51,643
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.111.031.01
Program Expense/Total Expenses74%75%74%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue20%23%26%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$387,914$323,888$313,764
Current Assets$193,912$245,286$294,087
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities$19,875$19,658$27,487
Total Net Assets$368,039$304,230$286,277
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities9.7612.4810.70
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Funding Sources
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountEarned Revenue $362,721Earned Revenue $328,726Earned Revenue $307,458
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFoundations & Corporations $132,141Foundations & Corporations $106,627Foundations & Corporations $105,737
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountIndividuals $80,967Govt - State $49,875Govt - State $50,337
Endowment? Yes
Endowment Spending Policy Income Only
Credit Line? No
Reserve Fund? Yes
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Comments on Financials
Foundation Staff Comments
All prior year financial information is from audited financial statements.
Organizations with a GiveSmartOKC profile are responsible for updating information annually within 45 days following the end of their fiscal year.
Address 2501 N Blackwelder Ave
Oklahoma City, OK 73106
Primary Phone 405 6067003
Give with Credit Card http://oklahomachildrenstheatre.org/
Give to Endowment http://occf.org/oct/
CEO/Executive Director Lyn Adams
Board Chair Tim Cook
Board Chair Company Affiliation UMB Bank


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