"Sweeney Todd," by Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler, at Olney Theatre Center in Olney, Md., in 2017. (Photo by Stan Barouh)

Olney Theatre Center Sets 2017-18 Season

The lineup will include musicals, plays, children’s fare, and touring productions.

OLNEY, MD.: Olney Theatre Center has announced its 2017-18 season, featuring 17 productions.

“The beautiful and complex tapestry that makes up America is on display throughout Olney Theatre Center’s 80th season,” said artistic director Jason Loewith in a statement. “To paraphrase Oscar-winner Viola Davis, these plays and musicals celebrate lives fully lived; from Grover’s Corners to Times Square, from Hooverville to Washington Heights, and in every neighborhood where immigrants, dissidents, artists and orphans, sailors and sous chefs add their dynamic chapter to our national story. ”

The season will kick off with In the Heights (Sept. 6-Oct. 8), coproduced with the Round House Theatre. The musical features music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda and book by Quiara Alegría Hudes, and follows the lively inhabitants of Washington Heights in New York City. Marcos Santana will choreograph and direct.

Next up will be Our Town (Oct. 4-Nov. 12), adapted by Aaron Posner from Thornton Wilder, about two young lovers and their quintessential American neighborhood. In this production, the neighbors will be portrayed by Japanese Bunraku-style puppets. Posner will direct.

Following will be a family musical (Nov. 8-Dec. 31), which will be announced on April 24.

The season will continue with Julia Cho’s Aubergine (Feb. 7-March 4, 2018), coproduced with Everyman Theatre, about a young man who leaves his job as a chef to care for his ailing father. Vincent M. Lancisi will direct.

Next up will be Every Brilliant Thing (Feb. 28-March 25, 2018), by Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe, about a 7-year-old boy affected by his mother’s attempted suicide who makes a list of things to live for that grows from his childhood to adulthood. Michael Dove will direct.

Following will be Arthur Miller’s The Crucible (April 18-May 20, 2018), about the Salem witch trials of 1692. Eleanor Holdridge will direct.

Next will be Ayad Akhtar’s Invisible Hand (May 9-June 10, 2018), a thriller about an American options trader and Citibank executive held hostage by a fringe radical group in Pakistan. Michael Bloom will direct.

The season will continue with On the Town (June 20-July 22, 2018), with music by Leonard Bernstein, and book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, about three young sailors who experience New York City while on shore-leave in 1944. The cast will feature Evan Casey, Donna Migliaccio, Tracy Lynn Olivera, Bobby Smith, and Rachel Zampelli. Jason Loewith will direct.

Next up will be the Hypocrites‘s production of The Pirates of Penzance (July 11-Aug.19, 2018), adapted by Sean Graney and Kevin O’Donnell, an eccentric take on the classic musical about a young pirate who falls for the Major General’s daughter. Graney will direct.

Running in repertory will be the Hypocrites’s production of H.M.S. Pinafore (July 11-Aug. 19, 2018), adapted by Graney from Sullivan, a comic opera about the captain of the H.M.S. Pinafore’s daughter who falls in love with a lower-class sailor aboard the ship. Graney will direct.

The theatre for young audiences season will start with Click-Clack Moo! (Feb. 3-4, 2018), presented by Theatreworks USA, a musical based on the book by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin.

Next up in the TYA lineup will be The Ugly Duckling (April 14-15, 2018), presented by Virginia Repertory Theatre, a tale about an ugly duckling, a Burmese mole that hates dirt, and an Inuit bald eagle with a full head of hair.

Next, Theatreworks USA will present Dragons Love Tacos (May 19-20, 2018), about a boy who throws his new dragon friends a spicy salsa taco party.

In addition to the subscription season, the theatre will present A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas (Nov. 21-Dec. 31), adapted and performed by Paul Morella.

Also part of the programming will be works by the Olney Theatre Center’s touring company, National Players. First will be a free performance of Shakespeare’s Othello (Sept. 2-3).

Next up will be the world premiere Alice (Sept. 13-17), a retelling of Alice in Wonderland in the 21st century.

Following will be The Great Gatsby (Sept. 20-24), adapted by Simon Levy from F. Scott Fitzgerald, about the Jazz Age of New York where love, opportunity, deception, and tragedy all reside.

The Olney Theatre Center, founded in 1938, is one of Maryland’s two state theatres. It produces a mix of new plays and classics in its four-theatre campus.

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