Ogdensburg Command Performances celebrating 50 years of musical theater memories
Saturday, March 2, 2013 - 8:41 am

OGDENSBURG -- Ogdensburg Command Performance is celebrating 50 years of bringing the performing arts to the North Country.

The organization was founded in 1963 as Ogdensburg Community Players by eight inspired citizens. Thirty years later the group, no longer producing their own productions, became known as Ogdensburg Command Performances with a new mission “to present the finest professional touring productions.”

Many of the shows also perform in cities like Syracuse, Utica, and Ottawa where the price to attend can be double, even triple the Ogdensburg fee.

This 2012-13 season marks 50 years for the organization, grounded in a volunteer base, serving the citizens of approximately 80 communities throughout northern New York and eastern Ontario.

In 1992, recognizing there were no cultural opportunities designed specifically for youth, OCP began Youtheatre: Class Acts for students in grades K-12. Children of the North Country could now experience their favorite literary and historical characters coming to life in professional theatrical productions. In an effort to reach all children and accommodate cash strapped school districts, the performances are not only held in Ogdensburg but in Massena, Gouverneur, and Salmon River as well. Since 1992 more than 270,000 children have benefited from these educationally challenging presentations. One little boy told the Administrator, Sally Palao, “It’s the best three bucks I ever spent”! Another child shared a “secret” with her…”Winnie the Pooh is alive!”

Although OCP is also alive and well, one of the biggest challenges is keeping ticket prices low while production costs continue to rise.

Like many non-profits, OCP has seen funding from foundations and city, county, and state governments shrink in these poor economic times while income from ticket sales only covers half of the presenting costs. Consequently, OCP depends heavily on fund raising and donations from local businesses and private individuals to close the gap between expenses and income.

“We want theater to be accessible for everyone and to encourage those who have never been to come…it is an experience they will long remember,” the administrator emphasizes.

The following shows complete OCP Ogdensburg Command Performances’ anniversary season:

• “Hooray for Hollywood” – Relive famous song and dance numbers from favorite movies spanning the last 50 years. – March 19, 2013

• “The Highwaymen: A Musical Tribute” to Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash & Kris Kristofferson, the greatest super group in country music history - April 11, 2013

• “Angel of Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Most Memorable Music - May 18, 2013

• The United States Army Field Band Jazz Ambassadors – This exceptional program is offered free to the public to close OCP’s 50th Anniversary Season. - June 25, 2013

More information is available on the website, www.ILoveTheatre.org where tickets can also be purchased or by calling 393-2625.