Awards and Honors

Recipient 2014 Special Recognition Governor Arts Award and the

2015 National Distinguished Merit Award by AACT

A series of awards were established in '86, '88, '90, and '95, and 2011 to recognize outstanding contributions to Oklahoma community theatre. Some awards were designated for conference (even-numbered) years and others for special occasions only, to be designated when worthy recipients are identified. The nomination process is determined by appointed awards committee.  

The first OCTA Award to be approved was the OCTA HALL OF HONOR in 1987.  The first recipients were Lil Williams (Ardmore Little Theatre), Fiske Robertson (Bartlesville Little Theatre), and Jon Wagner (Town and Gown, Stillwater).  Denny Vick, OCTA Executive Director, was instrumental in getting this award approved.  In 1988, The OCTA Board of Directors selected Bill Crawford (Arts Editor, Lawton Constitution Newspaper) and Curt Schwartz  (Oklahoma Arts & Humanity Council) to receive this award.  Both gentleman were founders of OCTA in 1969. 

To celebrate OCTA’s 20th anniversary in 1989, OCTA President Jimmy Vaughn appointed a Recognition Awards Committee to establish additional awards to give praise for those volunteers who give so much time and expertise to make OCTA the leading state Community Theatre Association.  The Chair was Mike Kintz (OKC) and members were Sue Heath (OKC, Past President 1977-78), Lil Williams (Ardmore, Past President 1970-71), and Dr. Steve Mills (Hutchison, KS, Past President 1986-87).  The Technical Awards Committee consisted of Jack Liggett (Bartlesville, Past President 1984-85) and Jim Clark (Lyric Theatre, OCTA VP Theatre Services). 

Also to celebrate the 20th anniversary, OCTA was nominated for the ‘AACT 1989 Distinguished Merit Award’ in addition to  Lil Williams (Ardmore) being nominated for the ‘1989 Robert E. Gard Superior Citizen Volunteer Award’.  These were presented at the 1989 AACTFest.  

New awards approved in 1989 were the Bill Crawford Memorial VIP Award, Jean Adams Wray Special Recognition Award, and the Theatre of the Year Award. In 1992, OCTA approved the OCTAVISION Award.  In 2011, OCTA approved the Tony Batchelder Website Award, the Corporation of the Year Award, the Charles Hair Volunteer of the Year Award and the New Theatre Award. 

The Mission of the Oklahoma Community Theatre Association is to promote Excellence in Community Theatre.  To accomplish this, it takes the support of all Oklahoma community theatre and their volunteers.  It takes many people and many man-hours of working people who have a vision and community purpose to achieve this.  To celebrate and encourage the high standard of excellence in community theatre production and management, OCTA proudly honors those who have been nominated and selected through the OCTA Awards Program. 

Congratulations to the following people for their 2019 AACT Starlight Awards: 

Chuck Tweed, OKC

Sharon Burum, Duncan