July 08--DUNCAN -- A free performance of Duncan's entry in this year's Oklahoma Community Theatre Association Festival gave the actors and director a chance to hone the production's timing in preparation for the contest performance on Saturday.
"Lemonade," a play about two women in the 1960s who struggle with empty nest syndrome, was performed Sunday night at First United Methodist Church.
"We needed a live audience to test our play and time our lines," Gina Flesher, the director, said about the Sunday night performance.
The biennial OCTA Fest takes place Thursday through Sunday, with performances in the Simmons Center Theatre. Amateur theater groups from six other cities will compete with Duncan Little Theater at the festival.
The Duncan theater group will perform "Lemonade" at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Simmons Center.
Attendance to the festival will be sold in blocks, which each including two plays. Each play lasts no longer than 60 minutes, and DLT's lasts slightly longer than 30 minutes. Lawton's community theater, Blue Moon Theatre, will lead off DLT's block with "Lone Star," one of two one-act plays DLT will perform in September.
During Sunday's performance, Flesher timed actors Tana Ashford and Elizabeth Pitts for their set up, performance and striking/tear down. For each performance in OCTA Fest, the timer starts when there is motion or sound.
Two years ago, Duncan Little Theatre took the first act of "Dixie Swim Club" to OCTA Fest in Ponca City. At the state level competition, DLT won and went to the regional competition. Ashford and Flesher were two of the five actresses in "Dixie Swim Club." For her performance in the play, Ashford won the 2013 AACT Regional Acting Achievement Award.
As with previous years, the OCTA Fest winners will be determined by three adjudicators, all of whom have experience judging plays, Flesher said. The award winners will be revealed during a brunch on Sunday.
At the local level, Sharon Burum, the DLT Board vice president, is the chairwoman for the festival. Burum said OCTA is the oldest theater group west of the Mississippi River. Coincidentally, Burum was the director for DLT's "Dixie Swim Club."
"This is their 45th year," Burum said. "Duncan Little Theatre was one of the founding members."
In addition to Duncan and Lawton theaters, other community theaters that will compete in the festival include Broken Arrow Community Playhouse, OnStage Woodward, Red Carpet Community Theatre (Elk City), Shawnee Little Theatre and Town and Gown Community Theatre (Stillwater).
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