OPT is an exciting new intergenerational community theatre company for anyone aged 12+ who wants to create new work alongside professional theatre artists.
Founded by Co - directors Lizzy McBain and Emma Webb the company creates community through theatre, by bringing together Oxfordshire residents and artists in a supportive and inspiring environment.
Lizzy McBain is a Director and Designer with a passion for visually striking performance, site and historical inspired work, and collaborative projects with the community. Alongside OPT she also has her own company, UnderConstruction Theatre, is the Creative Director for the Arts at the old Fire Station Hidden Spire Project and runs the Theatre Scratch Night at OFS
Emma is a choreographer, movement director and theatre maker. Emma has worked with a number of theatre and dance companies including Justice in Motion, Red Dog, Komola Collective, Human Story Theatre, Watson and Malone and Cherwell Theatre Company. She is currently associate/ movement director for Yippee Ki Yay with Seabright Productions.
"I have met people from all backgrounds, of all ages, who I would never have had the chance to meet before. People getting to know their neighbours that well has enhanced our community in many positive ways." (Participant)
"Personally, I had never been on stage before and it gave me a chance to step onto the stage in a very safe way with a local, supportive audience and a team who had your back. It has given me a new-found confidence that I have never had before. I feel that if I can do that, I can do anything"
Community theatre feels like warm open arms, the team feeling is so strong that you feel held, and that feels like a healthy place to be. I’ve learned that there is great strength in working as a team and letting go and relying on others and encouraging others to be their best self as part of the ensemble. It has made me feel excited about the future.
The People's Pantomime
Our first project was the People’s Pantomime Robin Hood and was performed at the Old Fire Station in January 2023. All four performances were sold out. A review of the show can be seen here.
Over 40 people were involved on and off stage, ranging from 8 - 89 years of age.
Participation was through open selection workshops and there were roles created so that everyone who wanted to could perform.
OPT - Creating community through theatre.
"A Fantastic show. Really good fun. I have never participated so much with a show, the warmth and talent of the actors drew in the audience. Wonderful music and clever lyrics. I am looking forward to the next show. Thank you !"
"A wonderful celebration of community theatre at its best. Excellent script, directing, movement, acting,music and audience involvement."
26 performers aged between 17 and 80+ performed a site specific promenade performance in the grounds of the Old Radcliffe Infirmary ,Oxford. In one day they performed three sold out shows exploring ,medicine and the history of the building. It was a time leaping extravaganza filled with Saints, sheet folding, quacks, Obstetric flying squads, resurrections and one very strict Matron. Developed over two days of devising the cast then had 4 rehearsals to get to grips with their roles before playing to over 200 members of the public
Shaping Destiny is a TORCH project in conjunction with the Wellcome Trust and the Institute of Developmental and Regenerative Medicine