OLN presents original, devised stories and classic works of the stage to engage artists, audience members, and community leaders in thoughtful discussion and effective action regarding the important issues of the day. OLN also supports local arts groups and nonprofits through creative collaborations.
(Image: Shadow puppet by artist Adrienne Thompson for Clifford Odets' Waiting for Lefty, 2019)
Established in 2016 and officially registered as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt theatre company in 2017, OLN partners with other non-profits and educational institutions to create community-based theatre projects and programs that address issues important to both our artistic collective and to the communities with whom we work.
Over the past three years, OLN has partnered with University of Central Arkansas, Faulkner County Juvenile Court, Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre, Conway Symphony Orchestra, El Zocalo Immigrant Resource Center, Lucie's Place, Just Communities of Arkansas, and other organizations and arts groups to create performances that benefit communities. Our projects have included a live actor and shadow puppet production of Clifford Odets' Waiting for Lefty (2019), a full-length shadow puppet version of Ray Bradbury's The Halloween Tree (2016), shadow versions of Carolyn Marie Wright's Call to Arms and Adam Frank's The Girl Who Flew (2015), and an occasional "Unfringed" puppet slam/cabaret in support of Central Arkansas charitable organizations.
Juvenile Restorative Justice Program
For the last two years, OLN has also partnered with UCA Schedler Honors College and Faulkner County Juvenile Court to engage juvenile probationers in theatre through improv and Shakespeare workshops. In summer 2019, through a grant from the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame, OLN began a series of "training for trainers" workshops to pass on the program to juvenile justice workers in Cleburne and Van Buren counties.
Big Puppets for Hire
OLN has drawn upon its collection of large puppets to raise funds for Louisiana flood relief, draw attention to proposed concealed carry legislation on college campuses, support local women's shelters, and protest the forced separation of immigrant families.
OLN runs an occasional workshop series. Our most recent workshops included a devised theatre workshop on artists and the #MeToo movement, facilitated by Board member Carolyn Marie Wright, and a poetry and shadow puppetry workshop for the Arkansas Theatre Festival, facilitated by producing artistic director Adam Frank.