OFC Creations Expands Theater Programs to Meet High Demands, Now in Residence at Lyric Theatre
Youth performers are presenting Rent and The Wiz, while adult actors will stage The Golden Girls Musical
Rochester, N.Y. OFC Creations has announced a range of new arts programming for the 2018-2019 season, offering a palette of opportunities for theatergoers, performers, and students — and expanding fall and winter programs to meet student demand. Under the leadership of Eric Vaughn Johnson, executive director, OFC Creations (Opportunities For Creativity) was founded in 2005 to give adults and students an opportunity to push their creative limits.
In recent years, OFC has offered several theater productions featuring adult performers at the Kodak Center, including: Avenue Q, Spring Awakening, and The Wild Party. In 2018, OFC Creations presented international drag queen Miss Richfield 1981 for the first time in Rochester, as well as produced the sold-out run of Hedwig and the Angry Inch at the Rochester Fringe Festival.
Additionally, OFC adult performers mentor the next generation of actors through OFC’s educational programs in the schools. For five years, OFC Creations has run the afterschool drama program at Seton Catholic School, as well as more recent programs at Harris Hill Elementary School and World of Inquiry School.
OFC is now in residence at The Lyric Theatre, 440 East Ave., Rochester, a collaboration that has enabled this expansion of educational and artistic programs.
“A central location for arts education is of vital importance in our community,” said Susan Cotroneo, Lyric Theatre managing director. “OFC is providing students with stellar programming, allowing them to follow their hearts in the performing arts.”
In October 2018, OFC Creations launched three new theater learning and performing opportunities for students of all ages, housed at The Lyric. Goldilocks and the Three Bears for preschool students, ages 4 to 7, Experiencing the Sound of Music for new performers ages 7 to 11, and The Wiz for teens ages 11 to 17.
“The students currently enrolled in OFC’s fall programs are from diverse backgrounds and school districts including Pittsford, Victor, Greece, and Hilton,” said Eric Vaughn Johnson, OFC executive director. “Nearly half of the students enrolled in The Wiz are from Rochester City Schools and many are brand new to theater. We are excited to offer unique and individualized opportunities for every student.”
OFC Creations expanded its winter 2019 offerings line up to keep up with demand. Winter classes will include Snow White for preschool students ages 4 to 7, The Jungle Book and Experiencing Disney Magic for new performers ages 7 to 11, and RENT: School Edition for teens ages 11 to 18. Additionally, OFC Creations is offering a new audition workshop, a musical theater dance workshop series, and private lessons in voice, acting, and dance.
Day camps during school breaks will feature the creation of a production in one week — Madagascar in February and Disney’s The Little Mermaid in April.
OFC is currently hiring teaching artists and part-time staff for spring and summer 2019 programs, as well as seeking high school and college interns for summer 2019. Details can be found at www.OfcCreations.com.
Upcoming Theater Productions
OFC Creations will present adult stage productions from November through April, including the regional premiere of Thank You For Being A Friend: The Golden Girls Musical.
Thank You For Being A Friend: The Golden Girls Musical, taking the stage at The Lyric April 5-20, 2019, is based on the 1980s TV sitcom and stars a cast of men in drag. The adult cast includes OFC teaching artists Hunter Ekberg, Shawn Gray, Eric Vaughn Johnson, Hector Manuel, and Eric Schutt. Get your tickets for Golden Girls here or at www.OfcCreations.com.
On Nov. 10, OFC Creations is assisting in the production of Judith Ranaletta Presents Vanities at The Rochester Century Club, 566 East Ave., with dinner-theater seating. The play follows three friends from their days as cheerleaders at a Texas high school in 1963 and travels to adventures in their college sorority house, and ultimately to their careers and new realities a decade later.
Vanities tickets are now on sale at www.OfcCreations.com
“OFC Creations is innovative, collaborative, and inclusive in bringing outstanding theater to the Rochester community,” said Judith Ranaletta, director of Vanities.
Kicking off 2019, OFC Creations will be producing the workshop of a world premiere stage show, Produce: The Musical. Written by local author Carrie Bodell, Produce: The Musical is comedy about the ups and downs of a family-owned grocery store. The production will run Jan. 25-27, 2019, at the Bruce Legacy Studios (75 Stutson Street).
Tickets for Produce: The Musical on sale soon.
School Partnership Programs
OFC Creations will be expanding its tour schedule to include more elementary and middle schools in the Greater Rochester Area. Teachers can now book an OFC touring theater performance to local schools.
Featuring adult actors, available performances include shows such as Charlotte’s Web, Cinderella, and Rumpelstiltskin. Performances last roughly an hour and come with educational materials for teachers and students.
OFC Creations also is expanding its afterschool drama programs in schools across the Rochester area. Schools provide the location and OFC does the rest. In afterschool sessions, elementary and middle school students rehearse shows, such as The Wizard of Oz, Beauty and the Beast, and Seussical, with full sets, costumes, and props leading up to performances for family and friends.
Details to bring OFC Creations to your school can be found at www.OfcCreations.com