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Reviving a theater troupe

Tiina Allas is organizing an informational meeting to see if there is interest in bringing the Ochoco Players theater troupe back to life


by: KEVIN SPERL - Maureen Fagan, of Riches & Rags (ABOVE), along with Tiina Allis, is hoping to see a revival of The Ochoco Players, bringing Community Theater back to Prineville.

Tiina Allas made pies that where so good, she was wanted in Heaven. Unfortunately, that meant sending an angel to kill her.

"Luckily, the angel wasn't successful," she laughed, explaining her role in "Heaven Can Wait" while performing with the South Fork Players in Dayville, Ore.

With that experience, Allas fell in love with community theater, and having moved to Prineville two years ago, wants to bring that same feeling to Crook County.

"What I am doing is organizing a meeting to see if there is interest in reviving The Ochoco Players," said Allas. "I enjoy plays and everything about them, so I thought, why not here?"

Maureen Fagan remembers the troupe being in Prineville as far back as the 1950s, founded by then residents Dick Burger and Ed Wilson.

"I got involved during the 1970s with the production of 'Mash,'" said Fagan. "We performed that play on the Ochoco Elementary School stage."

After that success, Fagan said the group produced one melodrama per year, with performances taking place in the fairgrounds show barns.

"We also took the plays on the road to Paulina and Mitchell," she said. "And, we produced a Neil Simon dinner theater at the Prineville Country Club."

She also recalls Dr. Bruce Williams moving back to town in the 1980s, when the group began presenting Shakespeare.

"We were rehearsing a Greek tragedy out on Williams' property," said Fagan, adding that the play was set in modern times, and the cast was dressed in army fatigues, camouflage, and was carrying weapons.

"Someone called the police, reporting us as a strange kind of military cult gathering," she laughed.

Fagan went on to perform in just about every production, including one in which she played "Constant Hope," in a play titled "Egad, What a Cad."

"I married the male lead, 'Manly Rash'," she said, "and my name, of course, changed to 'Constant Rash.'"

"I'm not sure what happened," replied Fagan, when asked about the demise of the Ochoco Players. "But, I'm hoping that it gets going again."

And, that's where Allas has stepped in.

"My vision for this group is to present light-hearted skits and melodramas," she said. "I want interested people to know that there is no commitment, just because they come to the meeting. A lot of new people have moved into the area in the past 15 years. You never know who might be out there."

An informational meeting is scheduled for Feb. 11, from 7 to 9 p.m., at the Crook County Library. If interested, call Allas at 541-447 4446.



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