In an official announcement, the Branson Regional Arts Council announces that they have merged Tri-Lakes Community Theatre into their organization.

State of Missouri Secretary of State, John Ashcroft, signed the merger as official on January 23, 2018 after several months of discussion and preparation between both non-profit organizations, as well as unanimous votes of support from their active members.

“When the Branson Regional Arts Council entered into our agreement last Fall to assume operations of the Historic Owen Theatre, we knew this would create an opportunity to provide a permanent home venue for community theatre in the Branson Tri-Lakes Area,” stated BRAC Executive Director Jim Barber. ” TLC (Tri-Lakes Community Theatre) has struggled in recent years to find available performance space, and therefore, financial support to sustain it’s operations into the future. We felt that this merger, with the goal of preserving the amazing 34 year history of TLC productions, would be very beneficial to our community, and provide TLC with additional management and marketing support.  I want to thank Jean Cantwell, Harry Styron, Phoebe Fox-Head, Sean Neil Myers, Della Mason Stacy, and the Branson Regional Arts Council board, for their cooperation and vision during this merger process.” added Barber.

There were some interesting connections between the two organizations that made this merger a natural progression.  Both groups were founded by long-time Branson resident Jean Cantwell and other area arts enthusiasts.  The Branson Regional Arts Council was founded 53 years ago in 1965 as the Taney Arts Council, and Tri-Lakes Community Theatre is now celebrating it’s 35th year having been formed in 1983.  Jean was extremely excited to learn that both organizations she help give life to, would now continue forward as one, combining her love of the visual arts and live community theatre.

The Arts Council plans to document and preserve every past TLC production on it’s website, thereby preserving the historic roots of community theatre in our area.

Excitement is high for this opportunity to improve the quality of community theatre in the Branson area.  Audition turnout for the first 2018 season production of Annie, was much higher than expected, with an enthusiastic and extremely talented team of actors, directors, musicians, set designers, electricians and painters, who understand and want to participate in building a thriving theatre arts community in Historic downtown Branson.

Area businesses or individuals interested in underwriting portions of this and other theatre productions are asked to contact the Arts Council at

Public performances of Annie run March 8-11th at the Historic Owen Theatre.  Tickets are on sale now, and expected to sell out for each performance. Visit BransonArts.org/tix to reserve seats before they are all gone.

Paul Haygood brings his imaginative Storytelling Workshop and Performance to the Historic Owen Theatre this Saturday, February 10, 2018. (UPDATE: This event is postponed due to bad weather, rescheduled date TBA)

BRAC Executive Director Jim Barber welcomes Paul Haygood

Storytelling is one of the earliest artforms, stimulating the creative imagination and building a sense of community between the teller and listeners. It fosters an appreciation for one’s own culture and history, while at the same time, allowing us to learn about other peoples and places.

Paul Haygood is a master storyteller. His stories are well-researched and engaging.” – Joshua Heston, StateOfTheOzarks

Each of us has a story in the making, and the 2pm afternoon workshop will help your own stories come to life. Participants will have fun learning story preparation, picture thinking, and the difference between acting and storytelling. Finding the raw material of a story, listening as a skill, dramatic facial expression and body language will also be included. 

The 7pm evening concert performance will include a variety of engaging stories, skillfully presented by Mr. Haygood. These may include: “The Water of Life,” from Grimm’s Fairy Tales; “Iduna and the Golden Apples,” from the Norse tradition (Thor, Loki, etc); and “The Boatman and the Bear,” improbable adventures with a paddle-wheeler, a bear and a catfish, on a flatboat between St. Louis and New Orleans.

Paul Haygood was born and raised in the nature and story-rich Islands of Hawaii, and has shared his stories around the world, from New Zealand to New York. He is related to the famous Haygood family of entertainers, so you know that he is a creative performer at heart.

We are thrilled to present his inventive and entertaining storytelling right here at the Historic Owen Theatre in Branson.