OJAI YOUTH ENTERTAINERS STUDIO (OYES) Ojai - Local Business Review - Should Say O-NO
Their Banner Should Say "No"
Community Theater And What This Means - This Is NOT A Community Theater
Over the years I have performed and also helped run and produced theater productions in various venues in the Los Angeles area. I have been living in Ojai, California for over 10 years now, have had my kids in private and public school here and have seen this local tiny theater go through various owners. The previous owners were awesome and they were always open to locals bringing other classes to the venue. This is what "community theater" is all about. This theater however does not allow locals to rent if they are teaching any type of theater classes. Now really, does this make sense? This Hollywood mentality does not belong here and they are not working for the community. So, if you are donating to any of OYES for any of their fundraisers, please be aware that they are not a "community" theater and turn down local residents who want to rent their room that looks like a messy storage room for $30 per hour and/or their tiny theater for no less then $450 per day. After all it is not the best venue in town, but easy to find since it is the only actual theater with a stage here.
First of all, just know that when you contact the theater, you never hear back from them and the email address on-line goes to someone who left a long time ago. Very unprofessional. I had to call various times to get any sort of answer and finally had to go by there. One of the girls in the office did not have any answers when I dropped by also and she actually called me back about something else. Then I went through the run around for more then a week to get a reply "supposedly" from the "artistic director." This attitude is a joke and it reminds me of a very unorganized business with people who work there who have no idea what is going on. Thank goodness I booked another place instead of waiting for them to get organized enough to return an email. They don't call you more then once and that is only after you email them various times.
Community, Theater & Children - The Word "Community"
Let's get this straight. If you bill yourself as a community organization that supports the arts, and conducts fundraisers for their cause from locals......you need to welcome outside vendors/locals to help the community and reach more children and families in the area. Not only can some families not afford theater classes there, there are a limited amount of scholarships and locations offered for kids who are talented and can't afford to join a class in this area. I can tell by the amount they charge to rent the theater that they are not giving out any scholarships.The workshop I am teaching will offer some scholarships to families so that kids have the opportunity to learn about theater. Anyway, I have already heard so many bad things about this theater (Newest ownership) and this is a case where I tried to give it a chance because it is the only one in town. The funny thing is they have no idea who they are dealing with because I never gave them all of my professional information. To sum this up this theater will probably fail like it has done time and time again. It is a sad world when local businesses operate like a corporation instead of a community venue. I do know for sure I will tell people to stop donating to a theater that laces their own pockets. This you can be sure of because like on my YELP reviews I tell it like it is and I am all about "principle" and helping everyone, not just the families that have a lot of money.
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