The Oakland Center's Kids First is now approaching 5 years in their new space in Boardman, and it seems to be paying off. Starting with a $5000. a grant from Ronald McDonald house charities with 16 kids they now average 50-70 per production. This is a year around the educationally based company, with teaching and accountability at the forefront of their productions, taking the not for profit organization the Oakland, in a whole new direction. While the Oakland had a history of working with kids and at-risk youth, in particular, they were the edgy company that produced off-Broadway productions, now kids are the main focus.
Brendan Byers Exec. Director says the monies made on productions have really gone back into the shows. The Oakland's Kids First was rebuilt from the ground up, so we had to purchase all new equipment lighting, sound, A huge new screen, and rear projector. We have amassed a pretty big costume and prop shop. Every theatre professional involved with this company has only taken small stipends and generally donated most of their time, which includes the Executive Director. This is unique in community theatre because most administration receives a regular salary, and while they hope to get to that point, we try to live up to our name KIDS FIRST.
We have made some changes to our scheduled season, and will offer an exciting spring and summer coming up here are some of the events.
1. NE Ohio's Got talent age 4-adult auditions March 11 or 12 6:30 to run April 24,25,26
Not competition is a showcase for the area. Do you dance, sing, are you a comedian, puppeteer, or have a secret talent and always wanted to be on stage? Here is a great no-pressure way to get on stage. The rehearsal process will be minimal, and it runs for one weekend only.
The Kid's First kids will perform a special salute to Disney throughout the show and will spotlight some of their very talented kids, who will also offer some solo and group numbers.
2. Auditions for Disney's brand new musical Descendants Auditions March 25 or 26 6:30
this will run late spring and early summer we have scheduled two weekends and have already have planned and have applied for a third, this requires a large cast with many roles and also an ensemble. We will double cast some roles to deal with family summer vacations. This show was just released on March
5th, what is online at this point are productions put together mostly by schools, and not at all representative of this show.
this production will be directed by Brendan Byers and Choreography by Heather Livesay.
Based on the popular Disney Channel Original Movies, Disney's Descendants: The Musical is a brand-new musical comedy featuring the beloved characters and hit songs from the films! It is present-day, and in the kingdom of Auradon, all of Disney’s beloved heroes and royalty are living happily ever after, safe from the terrifying villains and troublesome sidekicks they have banished to the magic-free Isle of the Lost. That is until Ben, the benevolent teenage son of Belle and King Adam (The Beast), offers a chance of redemption for the troublemaking offspring of the evilest villains. Mal, Evie, Jay and Carlos – the children of Maleficent, the Evil Queen, Cruella De Vil, and Jafar – are welcomed to Auradon Prep to attend school with the children of their parents’ sworn enemies. Now entering a completely foreign world and way of life, the four Villain Kids have a difficult choice to make: should they follow in their parents’ wicked footsteps or learn to be good?
2(a). 2nd Annual Oakland Acorn Projects David J. El' Hatton Scholarship Spaghetti Dinner. Dinner Includes salad, rolls,, and butter, spaghetti with homemade sauce, homemade meatball, coffee or Iced tea. There is a dessert table as well. Soda and bottled water available at an additional cost. You may also upgrade to Chicken Parmesan for an additional charge. There will be live entertainment throughout the day, provided by Kids First. Last year we were able to provide a $1500.00 Scholarship to graduating seniors from our program Alex Sanders to YSU. For Donations or tickets visit our website www.oaklandcenter.info. Prices $10 Adults, $7 kids you may upgrade to chicken Parmesan for and additional $3. We will also be holding a 50/50, and basket raffle. For more info call 330-406-0606 or email
3.Summer Camp ShowBIZ 2020
One of our most successful events of the season, we have some new theatre professionals joining us this year and will be covering acting, singing, dance,, and movement, playwriting, this year we are also adding costuming and design and improv! The camp runs two weeks M-Th June 8, 9,10,11,15,16,17,18 with a small showcase at the end. The the musical focus this year is the musical Little Mermaid. All kids who attend our summer camp will be automatically cast in the production if they wish to be part of it.
July. 2 Teen only workshops overnight theatre. We will offer two overnight workshops where you write a play in one night and produce it the next day to an audience. Dates and times to be announced. This is specifically geared towards teens. (ill have these dates next week)
August Disney's Little Mermaid Auditions June 29,30 Opens August 14 and runs two weekends. This production will be directed by Boardman's Tyler Moliterno with choreography by Danielle Santiago.