After 20 years with Oklahoma Children's Theatre, its executive director, Lyn Adams, still speaks passionately about teaching and drama. Involved in theater since her childhood, she first used creative dramatics to teach rural elementary students in her native Australia.
After coming to America, she landed at the University of Oklahoma, where she earned a bachelor's degree in theater and a master's in directing. Then her two passions "? education and theater "? came together with Oklahoma Children's Theatre.
While the organization always presents a successful roster of plays performed for youthful audiences, it's the workshops and camps, with their strong goal to teach through creativity, that set OCT apart.
"We have never been about performance as an end product," Adams said. "For some kids, that is absolutely what motivates them. But for other kids, that terrifies them, and turns them off of theater."
Instead, her goal is to creatively educate children.
"It's always got to be fun," she said, "but there has to be something they walk away with that they've learned. Maybe they become more confident in communicating with others or reading in front of a classroom."
Equally important to Adams is that these habits will follow into adulthood.
"If we start kids off thinking it's important in their lives to do this, then they will always believe that it's important to go to the theater and support the arts," she said. "It becomes something they have to do."