Olney Theatre Center Announces 75th Anniversary Season

Jun 18, 2012
Olney Theatre Center

Olney Theatre Center Artistic Director Martin Platt announced the Theatre's 75th Anniversary Season. The award-winning Theatre's season will emphasize 20th-century American classics, new works, reinterpretations of classics and musical theater.

"There is no better way for me to begin to share with you my ideas and dreams for Olney Theatre Center than by presenting my first season's plays as Artistic Director. Olney is a magical place, with 75 years of glorious history of producing more than 480 plays and musicals. This season, and the seasons ahead will look to the future of theatre in exciting and challenging ways, as well as always keeping an eye on Olney Theatre Center's heritage," says Mr. Platt.

"You may look at some of the shows in the season and say to yourself, 'Oh, I know that play!' You may want to think again. These will be productions that will challenge your expectations, and I am confident will more than reward you for revisiting a title you think you know all too well.

The 2013 season features three musicals - one current and 'buzzy', one a near forgotten classic, and one a treasured family musical comedy. We have a politically and racially charged 2012 award-winning new American play which will make us a little uncomfortable in all the right ways, and a brilliant English comedy by the screenwriter of 'Calendar Girls'. We have a classic 'Thriller' last produced by Olney in 1950, which will bring our Historic Stage back to glorious life. We have the classic French comedy set in Modern Paris, and dancing to a Euro-pop beat. And two of the greatest plays ever written done in rotating repertory by one of New York's most innovative and compelling theatre companies. Wear comfortable shoes and clothes to Bedlam. It will be a journey you won't soon forget.

The nine plays in the season we are announcing today are the core of our 2013 work at Olney Theatre Center. But it's not all we will be doing. In the next months we will be announcing much more programming - theatre, music, dance, and film - that will make Olney Theatre Center the Performing Arts Center of Montgomery County.

I hope you will enjoy our 2013 season at Olney Theatre Center as much as I, the Board, and the wonderful staff at Olney Theatre Center will enjoy bringing it to you."

Additional programming will be announced at a later date.
Olney Theatre Center 2013 Schedule*:

Spring Awakening
The Tony Award Winning Musical
Music by Duncan Sheik/ Book and Lyrics Steven Sater
February 7 - March 3, 2013 on the Mainstage

Winner of eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Spring Awakening explores the journey from adolescence to adulthood with poignancy and passion you will never forget. Entertainment Weekly called the music in this show "the most gorgeous Broadway score this decade."

Neville's Island, A Comedy in Thick Fog
by Tim Firth / Directed by Martin Platt
April 4 - 28, 2013 on the Mainstage

Follow four out-of-shape, middle-aged businessmen who, instead of completing a simple teambuilding exercise in England's bucolic Lake District, succeed in being the first people ever to get shipwrecked on a tiny island in this tourist paradise. Neville's Island...where The Office meets Lord of the Flies.

The Submission
by Jeff Talbott / Directed by David Elliott
The 2012 Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award Winner/DC Area Premiere
May 9 - June 2, 2013 in the Mulitz-Gudelsky Theatre Lab

Shaleeha G'ntamobi's stirring new play about an alcoholic black mother and her card sharp son trying to get out of the Projects has just been accepted into the nation's preeminent theater festival. Trouble is, Shaleeha G'ntamobi doesn't exist, except in the imagination of wannabe white playwright Danny, who created her as a kind of affirmative-action nom-de-plume. Winner of the 2012 Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award and the 2011 Laurents/Hatcher Award, The New York Times calls The Submission "a perky tale of racial pride and prejudice in the theatre."

Angel Street ('Gaslight')
by Patrick Hamilton / Directed By John Going
June 20 - July 14, 2013 on the Historic Stage

This Victorian thriller focuses on a seemingly normal couple, the Manninghams. Is the handsome Jack Manningham a caring husband - or is he discreetly trying to drive his young wife Bella into insanity under the guise of kindness. It takes an extraordinarily dedicated Scotland Yard detective, the aptly named Inspector Rough, to unravel this delightfully twisted thriller. This is the first in an annual series of Olney Theatre Center Heritage Productions. Angel Street last thrilled audiences at Olney Theatre Center in 1950.

Book by Michael Stewart / Music & Lyrics by Bob Merrill / Directed By Martin Platt
August 1 - 26, 2013 on the Mainstage

Based on the ever-popular 1953 film Lili and featuring the hit song 'Love Makes The World Go Round,' Carnival! tells the story of a lonely orphan girl who literally runs away to join the circus - The Grande Imperial Cirque de Paris - which is in actuality a rather flea-bitten travelling troupe. There are magicians, trapezes, puppets, and romance in Carnival! - and all wrapped in some of the most wonderful Broadway music of all time. Variety calls Carnival! "a gem."

Olney Theatre Center presents BEDLAM (Theatre Company)
In rotating Repertory
Saint Joan
by George Bernard Shaw
by William Shakespeare
Directed by Eric Tucker
September 4 - October 13 in the Mulitz-Gudelsky Theatre Lab

In the Autumn, just as the leaves are turning, New York's critically acclaimed BEDLAM Theatre brings you two great classics as you've never seen them before. Four actors (count them - four) bring Shakespeare and Shaw to vivid life, up close and personal. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes!

The Wall Street Journal's Terry Teachout called BEDLAM's production of Saint Joan "an unforgettable show ...The most exciting George Bernard Shaw revival I've ever seen, bar none." The Providence Journal called BEDLAM's Hamlet "...a remarkable Hamlet - raw, vital, intense theatre, a production for all its quirkiness, is not to be missed. Tucker leads his band of players get to the heart of this great play."

Tartuffe, or The Hypocrite
by Moliere / Translated By Richard Wilbur / Directed by Martin Platt
September 26 - October 20, 2013 on the Mainstage

"Oh, I may be devout - but I am human all the same ..." Set in Modern Paris, Molière's always relevant classic comedy Tartuffe, about a religious hypocrite and the home he invades, gets a vibrant makeover, and a Euro-pop score. The New York Times calls Tartuffe "Moliere's hilarious raillery against religious fanatics, hypocrisy and sex." Molière once said, "It is a strange enterprise to make respectable people laugh."

Once Upon a Mattress
Music by Mary Rodgers / Lyrics by Marshall Barer
Book by Jay Thompson, Dean Fuller, & Marshall Barer
November 14 - December 29 on the Mainstage

The musical comedy that made Carol Burnett a star remains one of the great Broadway family shows of all time. If you thought you knew the story of The Princess and the Pea, you may be in for a walloping surprise! Carried on a wave of beguiling songs (by the daughter of Richard Rodgers and mom of Light in the Piazza's composer Adam Guettel), a shy prince, a hen-pecked King, a Wicked Queen and a one-of-a-kind Princess lead a cast of characters that will ensure that you'll never look at fairy tales quite the same way again. A great show for the entire family during the Holiday Season.

Subscription packages are now on sale and may be purchased by calling the Olney Theatre Center Box Office at 301-924-3400.