Creek Theatre Co.: “The builders are building”
Oak Creek Theatre Co.
Producing Artistic Director
the back of the Old Marketplace, behind Bonni’s Fashions
for Touchstone, there is a banner that says “Future Home of
Oak Creek Theatre Company.” That banner has been over a year
in making its appearance, but it is finally and joyously in
place. The papers are signed, the engineers are engineering,
the designer is designing, the builders are building.
We expect the official
opening of the space to be in mid-to-late February with a
special opening party and a weekend of both paid and free
events including classes, a children’s show, and sneak previews
of some of the upcoming events on our calendar.
There will be a
lot of changes happening at Oak Creek Theatre Company over
the next months. Aaron F. Ditlefsen is joining our staff
as associate producer.
Ditlefsen was born and raised in Oakland, California.
After toying briefly with the idea of becoming an entertainer
of some type, he moved to Flagstaff and completed his undergraduate
studies in Broadcast Production and Journalism at Northern
When he graduated, he stayed at NAU to work in building
and venue management. I met Ditlefsen last summer while directing
at NAU. Those of you renting from us will be working closely
with him. His expertise will help OCTC considerably as we
expand our current programming and explore new ways to serve
The other changes we have planned deal with the performance
side of the equation. For the past three years, OCTC has run
a main stage season of four shows. The main stage will continue
to be central to our programming, but many of our audience
members would like us to expand into drama, new play work
and more challenging material. In response to these comments,
we are planning the Splinter Series, three plays each year
that will feature playwrights such as Tom Stoppard, David
Mamet and Yasmina Reza. We are also planning a series devoted
to the gamut of performing arts from music to dance to one-person
shows to poetry to chamber opera.
Children’s Classic Caravan will continue its tradition
of touring productions, but will add a season of plays at
the Old Marketplace, geared towards ages six to twelve.
And then there’s surprise actors in surprise roles in
a Sedona Soap Opera, live at the Old Marketplace. We’ll invite
you to bring your lunch or pick up something to eat or drink
at Sommelier de Sedona or New Frontiers, and forget your problems
for an hour while we remind you of everyone else’s.
Canyon Moon Academy will begin classes this winter.
With its focus on the performing arts, the academy will include
traditional classes such as acting and technical theatre work,
and nontraditional classes in magic and clowning. We are planning
a summer theatre course for young people during the month
of July that will culminate in a production.
A Canyon Moon Theatre Company gift certificate is the
perfect way to help someone you care about enjoy our activities
and it’s the ideal solution for the person who has everything.
Gift certificates are good towards performances by Oak Creek
Theatre Company or Canyon Moon as well as towards classes
at the Academy. They are always the right size, always the
right color, always the right style!
This month also marked our First Annual Donor Campaign.
Regional theatres rely on two sources of income, earned and
unearned. Our earned income comes from ticket sales, program
ads, tuition at the academy and miscellaneous other sources
throughout the year. Unearned income is the result of grant
applications and donations. This year, the Arizona Commission
on the Arts, the Yavapai Community Foundation and the Sedona
Community Foundation have shown their support for both OCTC
and Children’s Classic Caravan. Their support, as we have
become an independent non-profit, has been invaluable. It
has allowed us to continue our programming for the people
of this community as we have found a home and planned the
rest of this season.
But support from granting institutions is not enough.
This is an opportunity for people who believe that northern
Arizona should have professional theatre for young people
and for adults to turn that belief into action. You do it
each time you buy a ticket, each time you recommend to a friend
that they come see a show, and now you have the opportunity
to do it with a donation. The initial response to our first
mailing has been strong, however, buying equipment and building
risers costs money.
When Children’s Classic Caravan and OCTC merged, they
named the nonprofit entity Canyon Moon Theatre Company so
that neither company would lose its identity at such a critical
time. Canyon Moon Theatre Company is a nonprofit 501(c) (3),
so your contributions are tax deductible to the full extent
allowed by law. Each gift can be designated to support either
Oak Creek Theatre Company or Children’s Classic Caravan.
Looking for a Few Good. . .
Other ways to help: We are looking for lumber, tools,
a stainless steel utility sink, plain paper fax, paper shredder,
file cabinets, dressing room chairs and full-length mirrors,
a copier, a small refrigerator, a television set and a VCR.
We promised our audiences that we would have better
parking, rest rooms in the same building, and comfortable
seating with a good view of the stage. In the Old Marketplace,
all of those things will happen. Our commitment to this community
and to high-quality theatre remains the same as it has been
since we began. Your good wishes have buoyed the artists,
technicians and staff of OCTC during our quest for a new home.
Without our audiences there would be no point to what we do
- thank you for your support and advice. We look forward to
seeing you in our new home.
Visit the Old Marketplace and peak through the windows
to see where we are in construction - the banner marks the
spot. Or stay at home with a cup of tea and travel to our
Web site (www.oakcreektheatre.org).
For more information about the theatre or to purchase
a gift certificate, call me at (928) 527-8036.