Frozen Jr was a great show for Youngstown.  Kids First Theatre had more fun with this show and is one of their favorites.
A Christmas Story, the Musical is coming December 13,14,15 & 20.21.22. 2019 in Youngstown
David El' Hatton Scholarship fundraiser and dinner to benefit a Oakland Center program, Acorn Project to recieve a scholarship.
stay safe stay home


Audition are a sample performance of associate degree by an  actor, singer, musician, dancer or different entertainer. It usually includes the entertainer showing their ability through a earlier memorized and rehearsed solo piece or playing a piece provided to the actor at or presently before the audition.

Auditions at the Oakland Center are held 2+ months prior to its actual show dates. Our rehearsal schedule goes for 4-6 weeks prior to the show performances, pending the show, number in cast, and complexity of the show.

We encourage kids from 4 through 18 years of age. We also encourage parents of children with autism and other disabilities to come see how theater can make a difference for them.  We have several autistic of varying levels who have made some achievements for themselves with the parents seeing some changes in them as a result of the theater activities.


Since kids are put first within our organization, we do our very best to include all who audition a part in a show. 

  • The goal is to see if it is a real interest for child.
  • If they have the commitment it takes to stick with the course of rehearsals and performances.
  • We want to expose kids to theater, as it help with their confidence and gives them new life skills.

We know that many of our cast members come from areas as far as 20 miles to participate in our theater programming in the Youngstown and Boardman areas.  Our theater is near you!  Come and find out how our program can give your kids new life skills.

If you have questions or concerns regarding the audition process, please feel free to email us or contact us at 330-406-0606


The Oakland Center for the Arts is a nonprofit organization and relies on fundraising as a part of our mission to keep the Oakland alive and well.
The average cost of putting a production on is $10K-$12K per show.
We have many people, businesses, and other nonprofits recognize the importance of what we do within the community and for the youths of the Mahoning Valley, Youngstown, and surrounding cities. Some of them have contributed generously to our cause. Without the sponsorship of our organization, we will not be able to bring great quality theater to the area and give youths a chance to bring new life skills and confidence in their daily lives.
Please contact  us for more information at:
To make a tax-deductable donation:
Mail to:
Oakland Center for the Arts
4749 South Ave.
Youngstown, OH 44512
Or use our online store to make your donation.

Oakland Center for the Arts has a rich tradition of producing great theater with many genres of theatre.  Currently, we have moved our focus to youth theater, life skills, teaching more than acting and music, but more hands-on training on lights, sound, set design, costuming, fundraising, and much more than most any other youth theater company in Ohio. Our goal is to teach more than acting and singing.  The passions of youths extend into the other realms of theatre which they can use in other ways throughout their lives.
But as the community sees our final product, the production/show, the work behind the scenes is much more intensive with responsibilities passed onto each child, youths, and adults to increase attendance, advertising, and awareness to the Oakland Center and Kids First Theater Initiative.
Without the hard work from parents, the kids, and all of our supporters coming to see our performances we wouldn't be able to bring you productions like:
Annie Jr., the Emporer's new clothes, Shrek Jr., Freckleface Strawberry, A Christmas Story, Flat Stanley, Lion King Jr., Godspell, Beauty and the Beast, Frozen Jr., David El' Hatton Scholarship fundraiser, and our Camp Showbiz Summer Camp.
Annie Jr
annieAnnie is a Broadway musical based upon the popular Harold Gray comic strip Little Orphan Annie, with music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin, and book by Thomas Meehan.
Individual Price Free
(Winter/Spring 2018)
Auditions December 4 and 5 2017
Performances January 29, 30, 31 and February 2, 3, 4 2018
- Educational Focus: “Staging”
- Written by Youngstown’s own Jim Canacci
- Directed by David El’Hatton
Individual Price Free
The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley Jr - Youngstown Area Premier

Directed by Alex Sanders & Grace Schuler
Created by Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich, the team that brought you Dear Edwina, comes Junie B. Jones, The Musical.

The beloved children's book, written by Jeff Brown in 1964, has become a literary and pop cultural phenomenon, delighting readers and travelers all around the world. And now, Timothy Allen McDonald, the writer behind Willy Wonka and James and the Giant Peach, has taken everyone's favorite two-dimensional hero and given him a new life in The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley.
Stanley Lambchop is your ordinary, everyday, run-of-the-mill, ten-year-old: normal mom and dad, normal little brother, normal life. That's just the problem... for Stanley, life is too normal. He wants to travel the world, do something amazing, something no one's ever seen before.  Careful what you wish for, Stanley!

Individual Price Free
(Musical - Spring 2018)
Auditions Feb 5 and 6
Performances April 20, 21, 22 and 27, 28, 29
- Educational Focus “Projection and Diction”
- Directed by Donna Downie
Individual Price Free
8 days of theatrical learning, focus on lighting and sound for Shrek's Production later in July.
June 11, 12, 13, 14 and 18, 19, 20, 21   9AM–1PM
Camp Showbiz Performance June 22, 2018 at 7:30 PM
Includes lunch for every participant.
Event Date Mon-Jun-11-2018 9:00 am
Individual Price Free
Shrek Jr
Performance July 27, 28, 29 and Aug 3, 4, 5
- Educational Focus Lighting Design
- Directed By Donna Downie
- Featuring Brendan Byers as Shrek
Individual Price NA
A Christmas Story the Musical - An Area Premier
Ralphie Parker wants only one thing for Christmas: An Official Red Ryder® Carbine-Action 200-shot Range Model Air Rifle. A Christmas Story, The Musical is the hilarious account of Ralphie’s desperate quest to ensure that this most perfect of gifts ends up under his tree this Christmas. Based on the book this is a  fun charming musical The New York Times says, “I WAS DAZZLED”
Individual Price NA
1st Annual Oakland Acorn Project
Spaghetti Dinner

ElHatton David Memorial Scholarship Dinner fundraiserThis is a scholarship program named by the Oakland Center's Acorn Project Youth Board of Directors for local performer and director David El'Hatton. The Acorn Project is one of a kind program for high school-aged teenagers that fully immerses them in all aspects of theatre. With the help of professional theatre mentors, they get hands-on experience in directing, choreographing, light, sound, and set design, and construction.
To give the kids full exposure to how theatre works, they also design and implement the marketing and promotions, create budgets, and manage a bank for numerous junior shows during a season around the theatre program.
Event Date Sat-Mar-23-2019 11:00 am
Individual Price NA
Brunch with the Easter Bunny and a show!

Want something fun to do with your little one/s for Easter, near you in the Youngstown area?

LIMITED to 100 Persons per day


The Oakland Center for the Arts and Kids First Theatre Initiative will be hosting an Easter Brunch with a fun little show
"Miss Beatrix Potter meets Mr. Peter Rabbit

Individual Price NA