Mission Statement

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The mission of the Oxford Area Community Theatre shall be to provide the community with the highest quality amateur theatre possible. In order to achieve our goal, OxACT will present a mixture of musicals, dramas, and comedies from the classical and contemporary repertoire. We will do our best to achieve balance between shows that are appealing to the audience, cast, crew, and director while increasing theatrical knowledge for all involved.

Oxford Community Arts Center Photo

Our Home

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The Oxford Area Community Theater resides in the Oxford Community Arts Center, which began life as the Oxford Presbyterian Female Institute. The Oxford Female Institute was founded by John Witherspoon Scott in 1849, with the building going up in 1850. At that time most institutions of higher education, including Miami University, were for men only. Scott had been the first professor of science at Miami University, although he was fired by then Miami president George Junkin in the early 1840s for opposing Junkin’s proslavery views. After teaching in Cincinnati for a few years he returned to found the Institute. Scott’s daughter Caroline attended the school and during that time met Miami University undergraduate Benjamin Harrison, who she married after graduating in 1853. Harrison went on to become the 23rd President of the United States, and Caroline Scott Harrison became a first lady known for her involvement in the arts, women’s rights, and historic preservation. In 1890 she became the first president of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

In 1867 the Institute merged with the Oxford Female College and took on that school’s name. In 1906 the name changed to the Oxford College for Women. Miami University absorbed the Oxford College for Women in 1928 (Miami had become co-educational in 1902 as a result of the Ohio Sesse Bill), and turned the building into a women’s dormitory. Miami refurbished the building and gave it its current Georgian exterior, and the local Daughters of the American Revolution chapter raised money to add a ballroom in honor of Caroline Scott Harrison. For the next sixty years it was known colloquially as “Ox College”.

Miami University closed the Oxford College Dormitory in the late 1980s and the structure sat vacant for several years. In August of 1997 the Oxford Area Community Theater board first suggested to the City of Oxford that the former Oxford College building might be an ideal location for a community arts center.

Since 1998 the Oxford Community Arts Center has provided Oxford with a theater, a ballroom, classrooms, and dance and art studios. It has become a popular venue for weddings as well as musical and theatrical performances. OxACT is proud to call this historic building, with its connection to education and inclusivity, our home.

Timeline of the Creation of the Oxford Community Arts Center

Ripcord

posted in: 2022-2023 Season, Shows | 0
2022 -2023 Season

“A situational comedy about adversarial roommates in a nursing home:” A sunny room on an upper floor is prime real estate in the Bristol Place Senior Living Facility, so when the cantankerous Abby is forced to share her quarters with new arrival Marilyn, she has no choice but to get rid of the infuriatingly chipper woman by any means necessary. A seemingly harmless bet between the old women quickly escalates into a dangerous game of one-upmanship that reveals not just the tenacity of these worthy opponents, but also deeper truths that each would rather remain hidden.

Two on the Aisle, Three in a Van

2022 -2023 Season

by Mary Lynn Dobson

directed by Kayleigh Swatzell

Feb. 17, 18, 19  and 24, 25, 26

A hilarious look at theater from the inside out. The show follows a local summer theater troupe through the point of view of the unsung heroes who call the show, run the spotlights, sew the costumes, count the tickets, and suffer through every flubbed line, forgotten prop, and missed cue. In the end, Two on the Aisle, Three in a Van continues to prove the old adage that somehow, some way, the show must go on. And it does—just not always as planned.

That adage has never been more true–after Covid cancelled this show in 2020, and we encountered unforeseen challenges that caused us to replace this show at the last minute last season (with the very successful Edgar Allan Poe Afterlife Radio Show), we are once again giving this production our best shot–third time’s a charm!

All the Roles I Loved the Most

posted in: 2022-2023 Season, Past Shows, Shows | 1
2022 -2023 Season

Our first show of 2022-2023 was another big success, with an impressive array of local performers, offering songs and scenes with the theme of “pieces I have performed before that I would love to perform again”!

An eclectic mix of comedy, drama, singing, and dancing, with variety in the lineup for each performance! More than a simple talent show, this production showcased the extraordinary and amazing talent in our community, with the high quality production values that OxACT has always embodied!

Our 2023-24 Season!

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The Woolgatherer

by William Mastrosimone

Directed by Cathy and Michael McVey

Oct. 14, 15 & 20, 21, 22

This “opposites attract” story features Rose, a shy dime-store clerk, and Cliff, a hardworking truck driver, who struggle to find love. First staged in 1979, The Woolgatherer “profiles two lonely people who have nothing in common except that they are in the same room together, yet by the end of the play, they have found each other, soothing their respective senses of isolation and loneliness.” (VC Onstage Review)

Profanity, Poetry, Humor, Hauntings, Wackos, Wine, Birds, Beer, Sweaters, Sweets, and Nosy Old Ladies

Educating Rita

by Willy Russell

directed by Ben Mattox

Feb. 16, 17, 18 & 23, 24, 25

This comedy by British playwright Willy Russell is a witty yet poignant look at a working class woman’s attempts to change her social circumstances through pursuit of an Open University qualification. Frank is a tutor of English in his fifties whose disillusioned outlook on life drives him to drink and bury himself in his books. Enter Rita, a forthright 26 year-old hairdresser who is eager to learn. Their relationship as teacher and student blossoms, ultimately giving Frank a new sense of self and Rita the knowledge she so craves.

Murder at the Howard Johnson’s

by Ron Clark and Sam Bobrick

directed by Kayleigh Swatzell

Apr. 19, 20, 21 & 26, 27, 28

Is all fair in love? Even murder? That’s the question posed by this light and funny suspense comedy about a love triangle set in a Howard Johnson’s Motor Inn. Self-absorbed Arlene is married to blundering car salesman Paul, who adores her. Arlene’s lover Mitchell, a dentist who fancies himself an irresistible ladies’ man, joins her to plot the murder of her husband. But wait—a betrayal shifts the alliances and the intended victim. A rambunctious suspense comedy where the target keeps changing and the laughs keep coming!

The Edgar Allan Poe Afterlife Radio Show

The Edgar Allan Poe Afterlife Radio Show brings us into the world of Poe, as his spirit is determined to keep his works alive for a new generation. Accompanied by his very opinionated feline companion, Poe presents several of his most well-known works in the format of a “radio show,” complete with live “Foley” sound effects! This unique production will delight fans of Poe, fans of radio, and fans of gothic amusement (as well as fans of talking cats and feisty spirits)!

Cast:

Performances April 22, 23, 24 and 29, 30, May 1

The Octette Bridge Club

Tickets now on sale for The Octette Bridge Club! Tickets are available by phone reservation at 513-523-6228; at the door; or online at

https://octette.brownpapertickets.com

All the Roles Ill Never Have

All the Roles I’ll Never Have

2021 -2022 Season

Our first show of 2021-2022 was performed on Friday October 15, Saturday October 16, Sunday October 17. This gift to the community brought together an impressive array of local performers, offering songs and scenes with the theme of “roles I would love to perform, but will likely never be cast in”!

An eclectic mix of comedy, drama, singing, and dancing, with variety in the lineup for each performance! More than a simple talent show, this production showcased the extraordinary and amazing talent in our community, with the high quality production values that OxACT has always embodied!

This event was a free gift to the community, to celebrate our strength through adversity and the return of live performance!

The Woolgatherer

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Our first production of the 2023-24 season was a stunning success! Thank you to everyone who came to see this powerful production! by William Mastrosimone directed by Cathy and Michael McVey This “opposites... READ MORE