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Tue., Oct. 6
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Bigger stage means bigger performances for OCP


OGDENSBURG — Construction on the George Hall Auditorium at Ogdensburg Free Academy will mean the next two Ogdensburg Command Performances seasons will be shorter, but the renovations in the long run could mean larger-scale performances and bigger crowds.

OCP Administrator Sally F. Palao said the renovations will include more seats, dressing rooms and a larger stage. “It should be an enormous change,” she said. “We have been lacking all new lighting and fly scenery, and we had to use the library for dressing rooms. This will be much more accommodating for the companies.”

She said 135 seats will be added, making it a 950-seat auditorium.

“It will be state of the art,” Mrs. Palao said. “It’s a great addition to the community.”

The auditorium’s stage will extend by 8 feet to have 38 feet of depth and larger wings.

“It will be able to accommodate some of the bigger shows we weren’t able to book before,” Mrs. Palao said.

The project is part of a four-phase building project funded by the state’s EXCEL program. The auditorium renovations amount to $5 million of the total $55 million project.

Renovations will cut short the OCP schedule for the spring and fall of 2014. The theater will reopen in late January 2015.

“We’ll lose about eight shows, but this way we won’t lose a whole season,” Mrs. Palao said. “By presenting two half-seasons, it will keep us more on our audience’s radar.”

OCP YouTheatre will be presented at Lisbon Central School during the renovations.

“There are only two other auditoriums in the county that can house these large productions — Massena and Gouverneur — but they are used heavily by their own districts,” Mrs. Palao said.

For a full listing of this year’s performances, call 393-2625, visit the website or email

Despite a shorter season, she said, the performance series will be just as exciting as before.

The popular “Menopause the Musical” will return Oct. 1.

Another highlight, Mrs. Palao said, is “Say Goodnight Gracie.”

“Street Beat,” an urban rhythm music show that uses household items and other objects for drums and percussion in the tradition of “Stomp,” will be presented Nov. 3.

“We’ve always wanted to host ‘Stomp,’ but it was too big for our stage,” Mrs. Palao said. “We’re really glad to present something that’s equally entertaining.”

For a full listing of this year’s performances and to purchase tickets, call 393-2625, visit the website or email

OCP’s 2013-14 season is made possible with public state funds.

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