This is OLT!

Celebrating the 100th Birthday of the Lyric Theatre!

Ouachita Little Theatre (OLT) is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to the purpose of providing quality entertainment to citizens of the Ouachita Mountain region.  OLT’s history began in 1979 under the leadership of its founder and first president, Leda Benson.  The Old Lyric Theatre, built as a movie house in 1923, became the permanent home for OLT in 1985.  Since that time, there have been countless theatrical presentations on the stage, primarily showcasing local talent in live performances.  OLT is well known across Arkansas for staging recognized Broadway musical shows, popular comedies, moving dramas, and even special performances from guest artists.  The foundation of the OLT theater season is based on four or five plays a year, including a musical.  There will be a sprinkling of productions springing from the two subgroups described below. OLT is also open to rentals which can bring in professional musicians or entertainers from other areas of the country.   For information about renting the theater for your performance or event, contact us through our website at and choose the “contact us” option.

Who Runs OLT?

Ouachita Little Theatre is totally managed by volunteers and non-professionals.   Some of our volunteers have had varying levels of professional experience in their resumes, which has raised the level of excellence over the years, but no one is paid for their service.  OLT remains a non-profit organization that strives to bring material that is meaningful, sometimes thought provoking, often hilarious, and always entertaining, to the community.  OLT is governed by an elected Board of Directors, including officers, and operates under an updated constitution.  The members of Ouachita Little Theatre vote on the officers and board members yearly in the spring.  The OLT Board meets monthly to discuss business and operations and is open to the public.  Check our webpage for meeting times. 


Ouachita Little Theatre embraces a definite purpose to introduce young people to the arts on the stage as well as backstage.  A subset of our theatre group is called Junior Ouachita Little Theatre (JOLT).  This special group allows young people to develop the skills necessary to put on a play, but in a totally educational setting to encourage them to grow as young artists.  This is done under the direction of adults who are skilled and motivated to teach them.  JOLT has fueled many students to become theater majors in college. Some of those young people have returned as adults to be valuable contributors to the Ouachita Little Theatre.  The number of JOLT performances vary during the yearly seasons based on interest and leadership for this group of younger performers.  As of May 2018, JOLT is officially recognized under the auspices of OLT, as are The Lyric Players. 

Lyric Players

The Lyric Players are another subgroup of OLT that consists mainly of mature actors who might be limited in their ability to perform due to mobility or memory issues.  But anyone, including some of our young people, can be involved in these shows. This hearty group of people have performed regularly at community venues and events such as the Lum and Abner Festival, restaurants, and of course on the OLT stage. They do a lively “readers theater” style of performance that has been delighting audiences for a long time.

Benson Awards

Every two years, OLT hosts the “Benson Awards” which is named for the first president of the theatre.  It is a night to celebrate the productions performed the previous two years and award volunteers for their work both onstage and backstage.  The community is always invited to this fun event.

Become Involved!

OLT is always looking for volunteers who like to act, direct, or help backstage.  We also need concession stand workers, set builders and painters, make-up artists, musicians, costumers, ushers, and technicians to run lights and sound.  If you are interested in volunteering, if you would like more information, or if you think you might want to rent the theater for an event, you can click the “Contact Us” tab on this website.  If you prefer, you can send an email to

Come “play” with us!