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Company We are a theater program in the Hammond area directed toward the young and the young at heart. We strive to provide the best theater education and entertainment in the area by holding weekly workshops and quarterly performances. Our workshops are designed for students in grades 3, through adults. Our performances are based on children's literature, fairy tales and folk tales. While using children and adults as performers, our productions are geared toward the family audience. We are sure you will love what you see.
To provide activities for young people in the performing arts, which will build self-esteem, promote education and continuation of the arts, hone leadership skills, provide community service opportunities.
Ruth Rocker, Founding President As a young woman Ruth was an accomplished dancer and performed at many events in the New Orleans area including annual Mardi Gras balls. She had always dreamed of opening her own dance studio but after meeting Henry Rocker, she happily became a wife and mother to seven children instead. Ruth was an employee of H. Rocker Electric for 35 years. She later became employed as Director of the YMCA Adult Literacy Program in New Orleans, LA, and remained there for 8 years. Now retired, Ruth spends much of her time with her grandchildren and supporting local charities. As a dedicated grandmother she developed Granny's Angels, a group of youth dedicated to performing Christian service in the community. Now "Grands & Grannies" is a day for grandparents to get together with their grand-children and have some fun. While she is a published author, having her stories included in the Simon & Schuster's "Chocolate..." series, Ruth has put this part of her creativity on hold and has turned her thoughts back to the performing arts. She, along with her children, and Director Anna Pfeil, developed "The Octavians" in hope that this program will allow children and adults alike a chance to let go of life's everyday doldrums and have a little fun on stage by stepping out of their usual personality and transforming into a character different from themselves, even if just for a night. No longer a member of the Board of Directors, Ruth still supports The Octavians wholeheartedly.
Anna Pfeil, Executive/Artistic Director Anna has over 25 years experience in theatre andhas worked in almost every aspect of stage production. She enjoys writing, directing, and quick costume changes the most. Originally from the Southshore, Anna has lived in Hammond, LA, with her husband Pete and their four children for over 15 years. A very theatrical family, she and/or some member of her family, has been a part of practically every production around Hammond since they arrived. Her favorite part of theatre is costume design and her favorite designs have been "Christopher Columbus" for SLU Opera Theater, "Oliver!" for Jefferson Performing Arts Society, "Rumpelstiltskin" for Loranger High School Drama Club, and "The Fantastiks" for the Columbia Players for which she won their Hammy Award for best costumes. Her directorial favorites are "Our Town"forHammond High School, and "The Pied Piper" for SLU Cultural Resource Management program, for which she adapted the script from the poem by Robert Browning, and of course all of The Octavian productions. Anna also likes to write poetry, read, go camping, and playvideo games with her children. History
The 2010-2011 season started off with a gripping production of Edgar Allan Poe's stories "The Tell Tale Heart, The Raven, and The Black Cat." We continued with a production of "Hansel & Gretel" in January and SOLD OUT performances of "The Empty Pot" for the Summer.
During our 2007-08 season, we provided our audience with memorable productions of "The Enchanted Christmas Tree", "The Elves and The Schumachers" and "Toad of Toad Hall". These performances were viewed by over 1300 theater patrons! The Octavians also brought "The Elves and the Schumachers'" to the 2008 Strawberry Jam'N Tost to the Arts Festival in Ponchatoula, LA. Additionally, this production was performed at the Hammond and Ponchatoula, LA parish libraries during their summer reading program.
In 2008-09 we brought to the stage Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life." A treasured Christmas movie classic adapted for the stage and loved by all. The Spring production of Oscar Wilde's "The Happy Prince" showed the cast, crew and audience the joy of selfless giving.
The 2009-10 Season brought to the stage an eerie, but excellent, production of "Nosferatu: The legend of Dracula" followed by "The Pied Piper" in the Spring and finishing with "Robin Hood" as our Summer/ Red Carpet Dinner Theater production.
As a part of our Outreach program, we are proud to continue bringing our productions to the Hammond and Ponchatoula libraries as a part of their summer reading program and of our ability to distribute books to our area Head Start programs in an effort to promote literacy.
With 11 productions under our belt, we feel confident that The Octavians will continue for a long time to come.
The directors hope that, in addition to local productions, The Octavians will develop a group of performers willing to travel, bringing their productions to the far regions of Louisiana and across the South, to those who might not otherwise have a chance to experience the joy of live theatre.
The Octavian Foundation for the Arts is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization supported in part private donations and our patrons.