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July 15, 2014

DLT, Tana Ashford win honors at theater festival

DUNCAN — Duncan Little Theatre was selected as an alternate while theater groups from Shawnee and Woodward won top honors at the Oklahoma Community Theater Association festival in Duncan over the weekend.

If either Shawnee Little Theater or Onstage Woodward is unable to make it to the regional contest in Albuquerque, DLT will take its place.

Duncan Little Theatre  presented “Lemonade,” a story of two women in the 1960s who decided to sell lemonade on the side of a highway, at the acting competition, which ran from Thursday through Sunday.

Gina Flesher, the DLT Board president who directed the production,  said she was excited  to be selected as the regional alternate.

“It’s a big honor,” Flesher said. “It was my directing debut. We’re going to continue to polish it, just in case.”

For a selected play to continue to regionals, all cast members have to return without substitutions.

In 2012, DLT was one of two play groups to advance to regionals. Flesher said she was pleased DLT continued to show it was a strong competitor at the state level.

Other competing theater groups this year included Red Carpet Community Theatre of Elk City, Broken Arrow Community Playhouse, Town & Gown Theatre of Stillwater and Blue Moon Productions of Lawton.

The Lawton group performed “Lone Star,” which is one of the one act plays DLT will perform Sept. 25-27. The Lawton group gave its set to DLT to use for its performance.

Sharon Burum, vice president of the DLT Board and the OCTA Fest committee chairwoman, said this year’s festival was well received.

“It went smoothly for the most part,” Burum said. “I think everyone really enjoyed it.”

Among the awards DLT received, Tana Ashford, one of two actors in “Lemonade,” won her second consecutive OCTA acting award.

 She won another acting award last year at the regional contest.

Additionally, DLT took home awards including third place in best program for “Anything to Declare,” first place in best program for “I’m Getting Murdered in the Morning,” first place in best poster for “Fiddler on the Roof” and an Act Up Award for competing in the OCTA Festival.

Ashford said this year’s OCTA Fest was a good experience for her, and she appreciated the constructive comments made by the three adjudicators.

“They said really great things about us,” Ashford said.

Flesher also spoke highly of the adjudicators, who included Morrie Enders, Tim Jebsen and Kathy Pingel.

“This time around, we felt more assured of ourselves,” Flesher said about this year’s competition. “Our show was a small show in comparison to some of the others. It shows Duncan Little Theatre is a winning community theater. Having the festival here was good for our community.”

OCTA, the representative organization for community theatres in Oklahoma,  has a membership of approximately 36 amateur and professional theatres and five  college and university theatre departments.

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