Sooner Theatre, 2020 ONE Awards Finalist

Linh M. Sasser, Marketing Coordinator, Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits

The Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits (OKCNP) will host the 2020 Oklahoma Nonprofit Excellence (ONE) Awards on Friday, April 24, 2020, in Tulsa, Okla. In the weeks leading up to the event, we are spotlighting the 21 finalists in seven categories.

Sooner Theatre, located in Norman, Okla. is one of three finalists in the Arts and Humanities category.

According to the Cinema Treasures website, the Sooner Theatre building was constructed in 1929 as a movie house featuring sound films and could seat 650 film viewers. The theatre is now fitted to house live performances, such as plays, musicals and concerts.

“When I walked into the Sooner Theatre, I was immediately taken back to the many times I went there to see a movie when I was a child,” said Billie Carlsen-Farris, theatre patron and local school teacher. “The integrity of the beautiful theatre had been maintained with the only difference being the presence of a stage instead of a screen.”

The majority of performances held at Sooner Theatre are productions offered by The Studio at Sooner Theatre. Performing arts classes and camps are offered to students ages 3-18 of all skill levels.

Classes range from acting and singing to dance technique, tap, and hip hop to “improve” and magic.

Being a school teacher, Billie has seen the effect Sooner theatre has had, not only on her students, but also her grandson.

“My grandson is a rather bashful kid,” said Billie. “He is going into his fourth year at Sooner Theatre. His first production was ‘Wizard of Oz.’ He was rather unsure of himself as a munchkin. Last summer, he played the conductor in ‘The Music Man.’ That very bashful munchkin has become the confident conductor.”

In addition to the classes and production offered through The Studio at Sooner Theatre, Sooner Theatre offers building rental space and is one of the twenty-four National Register of Historic Places in Cleveland County.

To learn more about Sooner Theatre, visit their website:

The Oklahoma Nonprofit Excellence (ONE) Awards gala is dedicated to honoring the outstanding work of Oklahoma nonprofits statewide. The ONE Awards also serves as the primary fundraising event for the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits. Proceeds from the ONE Awards enable OKCNP to serve communities throughout Oklahoma.

To learn more about the 2020 ONE Awards or to purchase tickets, visit

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