Candy Tapper, a Cleveland resident and founder of the company, announced today that after living in Cleveland for the past 10 years, she has met so many persons who are not only native Clevelanders, but others who have been attracted to this area from regions where live theater is active.
As a person with a long history of involvement with professional theater, and a passion for theatrical productions, Tapper said, “I have seen many community theater plays and felt a need to show that more professional quality theatrical stage productions can be produced using the huge amount of talent in our area, so I formed a nonprofit corporation with an enthusiastic group of prominent persons on our board of directors.”
Ocoee Theatre Guild kicks off with a solid foundation and a new place to call home — The Venue Creekside — just off Inman Street in Cleveland. The new nonprofit theater company has been working feverishly behind the scenes to establish itself as a successful company with the goal of producing a wide variety of theatrical productions. Aside from expanding the quality and genre of plays, another of the guild’s goals was to find a place to perform, a place to call home. When the guild discovered the close similarity of their goals with the focus and purpose of The Venue Creekside, OTG found a perfect relationship. With The Venue Creekside’s latest technology the guild can bring plays that challenge the senses with unique visual and audio effects.
“I’m so elated at the quality of our board and the enthusiasm we all have to bring quality theater to Cleveland, attracting local residents and people from all surrounding areas,” said Tapper.
“Our goal is to produce such quality shows that are elevated above what people usually expect of community theater. We want theater-goers to recognize us for professional quality using the best of local talent in every respect, from those who have skills to build scenery, to box office personnel, audio-visual technicians, graphic and scenic designers, and of course, the actors,” Tapper added. “Volunteers are welcome by just contacting us and even if you don’t have the skills you think you need, we will have people who will train you as working interns. All you need is the passion and enthusiasm to participate in a fun-loving atmosphere with people who share a love for quality theater.”
Tapper said the Ocoee Theatre Guild has no affiliation with the former group known as the Ocoee Players. “We chose our name because we realize the Ocoee region is a large area with an abundance of talent, and although we are situated here in Cleveland, we want to attract persons from all surrounding regions, too, so they can see how wonderful our city is and how they can identify it as a cultural center.
The board consists of Tapper, with experience in stage productions from the back of the house to the front; Daniel Buck, assistant professor of theater at Lee University; Phyllis Narus, entrepreneur and owner of R&M Yarns in Georgetown; Judith Mellinger, former administrator, experienced and skilled in all aspects of theatrical productions; Kay Free, Realtor in Keller Williams Realty and chairman of the Tennessee Distinguished Young Women competition; and J. Adam Lowe, vice chairman, Bradley County Commission, executive director of Cleveland State Community College Foundation and owner of Stage AVL.
In addition, the officers elected for the opening year are Tapper, president; Daniel Buck, vice president; Judith Mellinger, secretary; and Phyllis Narus, treasurer. Tapper said the board is busy working on the guild’s first production.
The first production of Ocoee Theatre Guild will take place at The Venue Creekside in February 2014. The play will be “Sirens,” a romantic and thought-provoking comedy that has been applauded by audiences throughout the country.
Auditions for this acclaimed play will be held on Dec. 1 and 2, at the Cleveland/Bradley County Public Library. Everyone from actors and carpenters to persons with graphic skills and having a passion for theater is welcome to contact the guild at 472-8896, or visit Ocoee Theatre Guild on Facebook.
For more information on upcoming events at The Venue Creekside, a multipurpose facility for hosting receptions, concerts, training, private parties and other events, visit www.TheVenueCreekside.com or call 473-9668.