We Believe
Every child who shows the desire to be a performer or assist with stage craft should be given the opportunity.

 

Our Goal

Is to enable children through our volunteers, directors and assistants to: learn, perform and control a theatre production. 

 

Our Strive

To show children that they are capable of anything they are willing to do the work for.

 

Our Achievement

Is strong, capable and confident children who will take this theatre arts experience into their adult lives. 

OCCT Board
OCCT Board

(left to right) Shirley Benedict, Mike Hagen, Beth Dodge, Michelle Leigh & Mike Benedict

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OCCT Board Presidents
OCCT Board Presidents

President Mike Hagen & Vice President Michelle Leigh

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OCCT Board
OCCT Board

(left to right) Shirley Benedict, Mike Hagen, Beth Dodge, Michelle Leigh & Mike Benedict

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Board of Directors

President: Michael Hagen
Vice President: Michelle Leigh
Secretary:
Beth Dodge
Treasurer: Shirley Benedict
Voting Member: Becky Pentecost
Voting Member: Lori MacKenzie
Voting Member: Mike Benedict

about us

Staff Members: 

OCCT is looking for guest directors and instructors to join our organization increasing the number of productions, classes and camps offered each year. All applicants must be, at least, eighteen years old and able to work with performers of all ages and varying levels of experience. OCCT has a very specific model by which we operate and any and all applicants who wish to be considered must agree to that model. Pay is negotiable.

 

Submissions
All submissions should include: an updated headshot, resume and a sample of your work if applicable. Send them to oregoncity.childrenstheatre@gmail.com

 

OCCT Staff Positions
OCCT is looking to expand and hire additional staff members. The following positions are available for submission: Director, Technical/ Scenic Director, Music Director, Choreographer, Hair/ Makeup Designer, OCCT staff administrator and instructors of varying subjects. 

Michelle Leigh - Founder & Director
 

"I am frequently asked why I run a theatre. Why would a single parent and full time registered nurse donate so much time to a volunteer project? The answer is quite simple: Theatre changed my life when I was a teenager. I am so proud to know that my program is changing the lives of kids in our community."

Theatre came into my life when I was 14 years old. I was a shy, quiet & content wall flower who worked to not be noticed. When I found I had the overwhelming desire to audition for the spring musical in the brand new HS after our family moved to Oregon I was as shocked as my parents at the pronouncement. I was cast in the chorus and found over the weeks that followed that theatre opened a world to me that I didn’t know could exist. I literally found my voice – which lead to confidence, strength and facing fears of a world that seemed so much bigger than myself.

Over the next 10 years I continued in theatre through college and into the professional world around the Hollywood area. I truly felt I had found my niche and loved every moment of it. In 1994 I made the decision to be a mom and come back to Oregon with my then spouse as he wished to return to college in our home state. Five years later I graduated from Nursing school and stepped into a new career that I found I was as equally passionate about as the theatre – I knew my skill in nursing was in great thanks to the skills I had learned from the theatre and I knew I would be forever grateful for what I had been given and hoped that one day I could give back. The day to give back came in a most unexpected way.

 

When my oldest daughter (now my Artistic Director & Choreographer) was five years old when I signed her up for her first Drama camp –  in one week they rehearsed and performed a stage production. By the time she was nine she had performed in eight of these camps. One night when I was working at the hospital my daughter discovered my memory box in the garage labeled “theatre – mom” She opened it and found that “mom the nurse” had a secret past that she didn't know about. She asked me about the programs, videos, mementos and posters she found.  She asked what I did, where I did it and then, the biggest question of all, she asked if I would direct a show she could be in. At the time she asked my reaction was, "No." The financial part of putting a show together was overwhelming to think about – how could I do it? Two nights later I had the most vivid dream that showed me how – I wanted to know if the community had a need for a program like this and decided it was worth a try.

What started out as a onetime thing – has led to a theatre with now, a ten year and 25 production history under its belt! I will be forever grateful for the innocence of a child making a request that seemed impossible. Having been a nurse for now fifteen years and running a children’s theatre that has had to date over 1, 400 participants: performers, crew members, volunteers and assistants, I'm still going strong. I had hoped one day I could give back to that which gave me so much – I am so proud of the way that has come about. People ask me all the time – how do you find the time with your schedule. I realize when I see the children and families whose lives are made better due to access to a program such as OCCT – it isn’t about finding or making time. It’s about something much more – and recognizing that time is the least I can give

Beth Dodge

Artistic Director, Choreographer & Instructor
Musical Theatre and Improvisation 

 

Beth has been with OCCT since it's start up in 2005, as a performer for the first 21 productions. She stepped in as our choreographer in 2010 and has choreographed every musical production, to date, since. She is a college graduate with her AAOT and a well-rounded performer and stage manager having either performed or worked on over 100 stage productions. She has worked as an  adjudicator for the State of Oregon High School Thespian Competition and has had the privilege of

working and performing with Clackamas Repertory Theatre (CRT) and the Dinner Detective Theatre Co. Some of her favorite on stage roles include: Brooke/ Vicki in Noises Off, Sally in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Laurie in Brighton Beach Memoirs, Ariel in The Little Mermaid Jr., White Witch in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and Allison in The Breakfast Club amongst others.