Taking the stage for OCTA Regionals


By Blythe Alspaugh

[email protected]

TROY — Thespians from around the Western Ohio region will take to the stage at The Barn on Saturday in the Ohio Community Theatre Association’s West Regional competition.

“The regionals are a great way for artists to support each other and learn from each other. Camaraderie in the arts helps strengthen the arts,” OCTA State Board Member and Troy Civic Theatre Member Niccole Amersdorfer said. “One thing we learned from COVID is how important arts and entertainment are, and what better way to support one another than festivals.”

According to Amersdorfer, since 2013 the TCT has hosted OCTA West Regionals four times, and has competed in OCTA every year after becoming more involved in 2013. OCTA as an organization exists to foster networking and continue education among civic and community theatres throughout ohio, and the regional competition gives each excerpting theatre and audience a chance to get feedback from adjudicators, see what other theatres are doing, how they are figuring out stage challenges, and being exposed to new productions.

This year is Amersdorfer’s second year directing a excerpt at the regional conference; in 2019, she directed “Next To Normal” by Brian Yorkey. Additionally, she has performed in several OCTA conferences with TCT, Sock & Buskin, and Perennial Theatre.

Saturday’s showcase will feature TCT, Amil Tellers — Lima and the Wapakoneta Theatre Guild, each of which will present excerpts from shows presented during the 2021-22 season. Each excerpt will be adjudicated by OCTA adjudicators from throughout the state, and one excerpt will be invited to present at the OCTA State Conference over Labor Day weekend.

Doors will open to the public 9:15 a.m. Saturday morning, and registration for the day is $5 and can be secured at the door the day of the event. Announcements will begin at 9:45 a.m. and TCT will kick off the competition at 10 a.m. with an excerpt of their show, “The Tin Woman” by Sean Grennan. Amil Tellers — Lima will follow at 11 a.m. with an excerpt from “Radium Girls” by D.W. Gregory, and the Wapakoneta Theatre Guild will take the stage at noon with an excerpt from “Love Letters” by A.R. Gurney. There will be a lunch break from 1 to 2:30 p.m. and at 2:30 p.m., the competition will close with the presentation of regional awards and the announcement of the state invitee and alternate.

Amersdorfer said that while it can be less nerve-wracking to perform in a familiar space — for many TCT actors, the Barn is like a second home — there are still parts of performance where nervousness can come from.

“You still know you are being adjudicators and there is that wondering what they will think, how they will react. At the end, one to two excerpts are invited to perform at the OCTA State conference held over Labor Day weekend, so as a director I am also thinking about how what the actors are doing will translate into the stage at that Conference,” Amersdorfer said.

Still, with nervousness comes excitement, and Amersdorfer has always loved inviting other theatres into TCT’s space. Much of the work that goes into prepping the Barn for a day of competition is cleaning, organizing and de-cluttering anything and everything.

“Since everyone deserves to be in the same playing field, the host theatre has to make sure there is the same amount of space available for all excerpt backstage, that tech is accessible, the stage is set to certain specifications,” Amersdorfer said.

At the end of the day, Amersdorfer, like many TCT members, always looks forward to the OCTA regional and state conferences.

“I love being able to share my craft and support others for whom theatre is equally important. Even when I haven’t been invited to excerpt at state I’ve gone to and loved every moment of the weekend,” Amersdorfer said.

Troy Civic Theatre is located in Troy on Adams Street, across from Hobart Arena, inside the Troy City Park. Attendees may enter the park and head for the red barn by the levee.

No posts to display