How TAG Began
What began as primarily a social group of performers in 1967 (and as a dissident protest of sorts to one of Omaha’s large performance houses) has grown into one of community theater’s most ardent support organizations, the Theatre Arts Guild. Originally the Metropolitan Arts Guild, the organization was designed to help performers learn more about theater and to celebrate the theatre arts form. The group’s major function was its annual Awards Night (Omaha’s own Tony Awards), which continues today much as it was at the organization’s inception. In order to obtain non-profit status, the Metropolitan Arts Guild disbanded in 1987 and a few minutes later, the non-profit Theatre Arts Guild was born.
After a significant reduction in membership, new leadership breathed life into the group through an expansion of the Board of Directors, including a nominations and elections process. The organization grew to encompass all areas of the theatre arts and conducted a membership drive. Today, members include technicians as well as perfomers. People who simply love the theatre and want to support the community are welcome to join. To further encourage youth participation and education, a scholarship program was developed.
The Theatre Arts Guild continues to encourage participation in the theater arts and to actively and passionately promote local theatre. The metro Omaha theatre community has grown to include over 35 active production companies. TAG is now represented in multimedia advertising, has a large web presence, and annually presents multiple scholarships to deserving high school seniors planning to further their education in theatre arts. TAG also offers financial assistance to graduate students for their theatre arts studies. Current TAG projects include a mass media publicity campaign promoting the live theatre art form to the community and visitors and a member theatre forum to engage the theatre community in helping to design programs that will serve and strengthen our vibrant theatre arts scene.