First, thank you Opelika Observer, for allowing us this opportunity to reach out to the community and our sponsors to share our thoughts with them.
To say I’m bursting with gratitude and appreciation right now would be an understatement. Five years ago I was honored and privileged to become a founder of The Opelika Theatre Company, with Libby Herring, Betty Johnston, Abby Rush & Steve Rush.
Starting a business, especially a Theatre and a 501 (3) c organization, without financial support and backing is virtually impossible. With the help of a dear friend in Memphis, TN, who writes and directs short Murder Mystery plays, she agreed to provide us with material to hold our first Murder Mystery fundraiser which was a huge success and the rest is history.
That success nudged us to Mrs. Barbara Patton, Director of Community Foundation of East Alabama and Envision. We explained our ideas and plans to Ms. Barbara and she agreed to help us by becoming our mentor and guidance advisor. We knew there were many who doubted the success of a community theatre in Opelika. However, we were persistent to prove them wrong.
We faced so many obstacles and challenges. We persevered and we have overcome. Today, 5 1/2 years later we are still here. We are becoming a viable, visible, vibrant organization in the community providing opportunities for everyone – from the very young to the very old. We are a “safe place” for people of all walks of life. We embrace diversities, differences, disabilities, ideas and opinions.
OTC benefits the Lee County Community, and also incorporates and involves people from surrounding communities such as Russell, Chambers and Macon Counties. We also have people from GA benefiting from our theatre – especially our youth program.
Since March 17, OTC has been shut down, as well as every entertainment, performing arts venue, and theatre across this country due to this awful Covid-19. Broadway will not reopen until at least September 2021. Such a devastating tragedy to the entire country. Only two theatres within a 50-mile radius here have stepped out to reopen their doors, and OTC is one of those theatres. We could not attempt this endeavor without the full support of our cast members, their parents, and our staff.
With a lot of social distancing in place, hand sanitizers, masks and keeping our facility wiped down, we have managed to move forward and move on. We have faced challenges and obstacles; we’ve learned and corrected every step we have made. We have faced the odds; we have overcome, and we are stronger than ever.
We wrapped up 6 performances of ADDANS FAMILY to full audiences for each performance these past two weekends. We were able to do this because of YOU, our community; YOU, our sponsors; YOU, The City of Opelika; YOU, our Parents; You, our Staff; YOU, our Cast, and YOU, Mayor Gary Fuller. Without your support and belief in us – we would have shut our doors for good on March 17.
This letter is to thank ALL of YOU from the bottom of our hearts for your support, donations, sponsors’ dollars, attendance, and time you have given us.
We need more people to join our ranks and audition for our shows. We need people of diversity to come and share their talents and skills. We have auditions for GODSPELL on November 6 & 7th; and for Descendants, The Disney Musical , on Jan. 15th. Please go to our website www.opelikatheatrecompany.com, or call 334-663-4580 or 334-663-2593 for more information about what OTC has on the horizon for you and the community.
Again, thank you for supporting us these past five years. We look forward to providing quality community theatre entertainment for many years to come and for your future support.
Marty Moore, Executive Artistic Director
Opelika Theatre Company