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June 6, 2014

DLT to host biennial OCTA Festival

DUNCAN — After excelling at state two years ago, Duncan Little Theatre is bringing the state to Duncan.

Duncan Little Theatre will host the Oklahoma Community Theatre Association (OCTA) Festival from July 10 through July 13. The community theater group is teaming up with the Simmons Center, the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center and the Duncan Convention and Visitors Bureau to display the talents of various community theater groups from around the state.

“It’s kind of like a film festival with plays,” Sharon Burum, DLT member, said.

This will be the third time Duncan has hosted the OCTA Festival. The last time was a regional festival in 2001, and before that was a state festival in 1995. This year’s festival theme will be “Starry, Starry Night.”

In 2012, Duncan Little Theatre took its small production of “The Dixie Swim Club” to the festival, which was hosted by Ponca City. After winning state, DLT took its show to the regional competition in Lafayette, La.

Shortly after the last OCTA Festival, DLT made a bid to bring the festival back to Duncan. Burum said Duncan was selected for the honor about 1 1/2 years ago. The festival takes place every two years.

“We have the perfect facility,” Burum said. “It’s as good as any university theaters. We’re just real fortunate.”

For this year’s OCTA Festival, Duncan Little Theatre will perform a two-person show “Lemonade,” which revolves around two women selling lemonade while they discuss their lives. Burum said the play is a comedy.

The two women will be played by DLT veterans Tana Ashford and Elizabeth Pitts. The play will be directed by Gina Flesher. Flesher and Ashford were among the five women who acted in “Dixie Swim Club,” which was directed by Burum.

“Lemonade” will be performed at 1 p.m. July 12 at the Simmons Center.

Burum said there will be no censorship for the festival, which means there may be some offensive language in the festival plays. But the festival does provide an opportunity for people to see what other community theaters do.

Each theater group will have to perform its play within a 10 foot by 10 foot parameter. The performances are timed.

Burum said the festival will bring people from around the state to Duncan, and she hopes local people will attend the multi-day event.

“We’re expecting between 150 and 200 people,” she said.

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