Monday , August 21 2017
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Junie B. Jones. Kai Tomizawa as Junie. Photo by Owen Carey.

Oregon Children’s Theatre


James and the Giant Peach. Featured actress: Aida Valentine. Photo by Owen Carey

Oregon Children’s Theatre may put on kids plays, but don’t expect them to recite you any nursery rhymes. This contemporary company commissions at least one world-premiere script each year— this year, three: Goosebumps the Musical, Fly Guy: The Musical, and Flora & Ulysses—based on the books that kids are reading right now and the lives that young people lead.

OCT also educates and transforms lives, running an Acting Academy that helps young thespians gain skills and confidence, encouraging reading through their “Ticket to Read” program, and delivering performances and residencies in Oregon schools and communities. Because OCT casts age appropriate actors—kids in kid roles; adults as adults—many of the Academy’s acting students are able to bring their new found skills straight to the OCT stage.

Each year, OCT also accepts 60 kids into their in-house teen company, Young Professionals, where adolescent performers get to work on advanced skills like improv and cut their teeth on more mature dramatic themes. Armed with this pre-professional savvy, many YP alumni have gone on to prestigious college theater programs nationwide.

With a mission “to create exceptional theater experiences that transform lives,” it’s clear that OCT wants to leave a lasting impression— on actors and audiences alike.

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ARTSLANDIA APPLAUDS: Oregon Children’s Theatre willingness to take risks on new work to keep children’s theater relevant to the kids of today.