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Children's Theatre Workshop Starts July 8 at OCC

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The Olney Arts Council and Olney Central College Theatre are partnering again this summer to present the Children’s Theater Workshop.

Students entering Grades 3-9 are invited to participate in the upcoming production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Getting to Know Oklahoma,” a junior version of the classic Broadway show. Students will meet from 1 to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, beginning July 8 in OCC’s Dr. John D. Stull Performing Arts Center. Performances will be at 7 p.m. July 26 and at 2 p.m. July 27.

About 60 youth attended last year’s event and organizers are hoping for an even bigger turnout this summer.

“Last year, the kids took ownership of the show,” said OAC President Keegan Tucker. “They really came together as a group. We saw friendships made and blossom outside the theater.”

Through the three-week workshop, participants learn valuable skills in the theatrical arts including set design, makeup application, healthy vocal production, characterization, costuming and more.

“The students gain experience in all aspects of theater production,” Tucker said. “They not only get to experience what it is like to be on stage — they also have an opportunity to learn about what goes on behind the scenes too.”

As president of the OAC, Tucker was looking to expand theatrical opportunities for younger students when he approached OCC Theatre Director Jon Wright about collaborating on the project two years ago.

“I noticed there were a lot of opportunities for high school age and even middle school students,” Tucker said. “But for the elementary school students, other than their school programs, there really wasn’t a chance for them to be on stage. I wanted to start something, especially for those in Grades 3 to 5, who never get a chance to see behind the scenes of the theater. As the Olney Arts Council President, arts education is very important to me. I wanted to open it up to the community and that is why I reached out to Jon.”

Introducing and engaging younger children to the performing arts is a natural fit for the OCC Theatre Department.

“There are a lot of opportunities in the community for kids who are involved in sports, but not as many when it comes to the arts,” Wright said. “It was easy for OCC to jump on board with this. Having come from a sports background, I know how important it is to have the chance every year to improve and get better at a craft.

“It has been a wonderful experience working with the Olney Arts Council,” Wright added. “Andrew Flynn and Keegan Tucker carry most of the load and do a fabulous job with the students. It is such a joy to watch the students’ excitement as they learn from both of them. They do a great job getting the students enthused not just about the current show, but arts in general.”

Registration for the Children’s Theater Workshop is ongoing. However, space is limited and Wright encourages those interested to sign up as soon as possible.

Registration forms are available at or The cost is $75 per student, with a discounted rate of $25 for each additional child within the same family. The deadline to register is July 1.

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