As the representative organization for community theatres in Oklahoma, OCTA has a membership of approximately 33 theatres, 1 Associate Corporation, 5 college and university theatre departments, and 138 individuals (adults and youth). OCTA was the first statewide association of community theatres to be incorporated in the United States, and was the first such organization to hire a full-time director. OCTA was founded with assistance from 14 theatre groups (13 of which are still actively producing plays each season). Founding theatres were located in Ardmore, Bartlesville, Claremore, Clinton, Duncan, Elk City, Enid, Lawton, Miami, Oklahoma City, Ponca City, Stillwater, Tahlequah, Tulsa, and Woodward. Founding individuals involved in establishing the organization were Bill Crawford (Lawton), Jeanne Adams Wray (Stillwater), Curt Schwartz (Oklahoma City), and Lil Williams (Ardmore).
OCTA is governed by an elected Board of Directors and an appointed Advisory Council. Since incorporation, membership has grown from 16 founding theatres and 30 individual members. During the time of greatest membership expansion in the '80's, O.C.T.A.'s membership involved almost 80 theatres over 400 individual members. At that time O.C.T.A. established 11 regions and a system of Regional Representatives for better communication and support.Amended by-laws in 1982 provided that the O.C.T.A. board of directors would appoint these representatives, who would then become advisorsand sitting members on the O.C.T.A. board.The by-laws were again amended in 1993 to omit the regional representative process to streamline the board structure.
In its role of supporting theatre arts at the state, regional and national levels, O.C.T.A. is a dues paying member of the American Association of Community Theatres.
PAST YEAR ACCOMPLISHEMENTS:
The Oklahoma Community Theatre Association is extremely proud to be a 2014 recipient of*The Distinguised Merit Award from the American Association of Community Theatre (AACT)in recognition of contributions made to promote and develop the highest standards for community theatre.*The Oklahoma Governor's Arts Award in Special Recognition of the organization's unique contributions in support of the arts.
Third Annual Spring Youth Workshop - students of all phases of theatre attended from all over the state of Oklahoma. This is one of four anchor events provided to our membership and the public. The OCTA board is building upon our strengths and focusing on those projects that have been most successful in providing support and educational opportunities in line with our mission statement:
OCTA's mission is to PROMOTE EXCELLENCE IN COMMUNITY THEATRE.
Our Goals: to UNITE and support our community theatres; CONNECT with other regional and national community theatres; FOSTER idea sharing and communication among members and other theatre participants;PROMOTE the highest standards of excellence in theatre production and management; and to CELEBRATE the achievements of our community theatres.
GOALS FOR THE CURRENT YEAR:
Continue to promulgate and work towards our stated goals.Bring the focus of inclusion and diversity to all Oklahoma nonprofit theatres.Maintain an active advocacy for the arts of Oklahoma.Reach out to donors and funders for additional support, which has not been done in almost 10 years.Grow OCTA membership by 100.
We must grow our volunteer base by including them in OCTA Committees. We must grow our current Board and be more diverse in its makeup, possibly drawing from an expanded volunteer base.Like all small nonprofit organizations, we must find alternate funding options as our Oklahoma Arts Council continues to have its budge cut each year - we need to set a goal for $25,000 per year. OCTA anticipates a growth in membership that might allow hiring a part-time ExecutiveDirector - $20,000 per year - 20 hours per week.In order to grow our programs, which are biennial summer Educational Conference, biennial OCTAFest, Fall Leadership Forums, and Spring Youth Workshop, we seriously need marketing help. Our website should be upgraded - $5,000-$10,000.
Founded in 1969, the Oklahoma Community Theatre Association (OCTA) is the oldest state theatre organization west of the Mississippi, the first association of community theatres to be incorporated in the United States, and a membership of 36 theatres, 7 universities, 111 individuals, 2 organizations, 40 youth, and 2 theatre professionals. OCTA offers an online newsletter, a library resource center with over 2000 scripts and theatre materials, website, networking, educational events, production reminders, and a clearing house of information on theatre personnel, props, costumes, set pieces, and scripts.
OCTA is a staunch advocate for the arts. We encourage our theatres to inform their audiences on how they are funded and the politics of community art projects. OCTA supports Oklahomans for the Arts and is a visible, vocal presence at the State Capitol and local governing bodies.
The OCTA Board of Directors is all volunteer, active in local theatres and communities across the state, and committed to improving and expanding opportunities in the arts. One serves on the AACT Board of Directors, one is a Festival Commissioner for AACT, several serve as president of their home theatre Board and are members of their community arts council. OCTA officers have taken the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits Standards of Excellence and Oklahoma Arts Coutil Leadership Arts training, and attended Sarkeys Foundation and Oklahoma Arts Council Conferences.
OCTA holds workshops in the spring and fall, during summer Educational Conference and OCTAFest; they are open to anyone interested in the performing arts. While arts programs in schools are being decimated , OCTA is focused on providing events where youth can experience theatre arts. OCTA holds itsSpring Youth Workshop on campus at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater in March, open to students ages 12-18. Theatre professionals, OAC artists, OSU professors, and artistic directors present.
The 2013 Conference highlight was The Penguin Project (r) which is designed for children with special needs to develop creative skills related to theatre arts.
The statewide play festival, OCTAFest, is open to the public; theatres present their best artistic productions in a competitive setting to audiences drawn from across the state. It is the first step in the national American Association of Community Theatre (AACT) festival. OCTA leads the nation with first and second place awards at regional and national festivals, and Oklahoma theatres have performed at international festivals in Monaco, Ireland, Canada, and Germany.
All OCTA Board of Director members are encouraged to
complete the Standards of Excellence training offered by the Oklahoma Center
for Nonprofits.This process was begun with
our president and president-elect and will continue in the future.Board members who complete the training are
required to share highlights of the sessions at future board meetings.Using the board development strategies
learned in this training, we have begun to seek out new board members by first
involving them as non-board members on various committees.Changing
the mind-set that board members must do all the work of a board and head all
committees has been a challenge, but we are beginning to see positive things
happening as a result of our outreach to theatre "movers and shakers"
throughout the state.These people have
new and fresh ideas combined with a willingness to see things happen.
statewide organization, fundraising for OCTA is a continuing challenge.Benefactors naturally prefer to donate to
their local community theatres where they have enjoyed performances for most of
their lives.Few of these local donors
know of the behind-the-scenes work that is done by OCTA in support of their
theatre and others throughout the state.We are beginning to address this issue by making our presence and our
benefits of membership more visible.Board members are contacting and visiting member and non-member theatres
throughout the state to promote the benefits of OCTA membership.OCTA's first Theatre Management Forum is
scheduled for this fall.The forum will
bring small and large theatre company management together to share concerns,
ideas and successes with each other.
My passion for this organization
began when I was in the 3rd grade, and one of the original creators of OCTA,
Jeanne Adams Wray, happened to be my neighbor. Because of her early drama
classes, I became deeply involved in theatre and even attended an AACT
(American Assn. of Community Theatres) conference with her when I was a theatre
student at OSU.I credit Jeanne for starting
that "theatre spark" in me and honor her memory with the Jeanne Adams
Wray Scholarship in the OSU Theatre Department, and by serving as the current
president of the Oklahoma Community Theatre Association. Deborah A. Sutton, 2014-16 President
The Leadership Forum was introduced Fall
2015. Questionnaires are sent weeks in advance to Theatre
Management personnel for their feedback on what they would like to
discuss. Round table discussions will be conducted per subject
matter by the facilitator throughout the day. This will be a one day
event to help other Theatre Management learn new things or help to
improve what is already in place. Very educational for new or existing
OCTA is collaborating with The Penguin Project (c) to bring to OK theatres. Goals:
OCTA’s challenges are those facing community theatres in our state. Aging audiences, a plethora of entertainment options, a growing burden of providing social services by non-profit foundations that previously were met by government programs, and more demand on corporate funding to meet local social services. These challenges provide opportunities for theatres as well. Baby boomers, who are now retiring, are seeking new avenues of interest which gives theatres a new pool of volunteers, including actors, technicians, and box office workers. Theatres are challenged to look at their season of plays and find fresh, new works that may bring in new younger audiences. Theatres may look at partnering with a local social service agency to provide a play that has subject matter connected to that agency, which may benefit both entities. Including opportunities for youth in a theatre season is essential to building future audiences, and providing an arts program for youth is critical for a community in which the arts programming in schools is disappearing. OCTA provides resources, statewide workshops, and leadership forums to discuss how individual theatres are addressing these challenges and providing ideas to meet these needs.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
Copyright © 2014 Oklahoma City Community Foundation
1000 N. Broadway Ave., Oklahoma City, OK 73102