OLNEY, MD.: Olney Theatre Center (OTC) has announced its 2019-20 season, featuring seven mainstage productions.
“The past five seasons have proven our community is comprised of diverse audiences,” said artistic director Jason Loewith in a statement. “One wants to indulge in award-winning productions of classic musicals, while another expects OTC to introduce them to new works that stretch theatrical boundaries and speak to this troubled socio-cultural moment in our nation’s history. Yet another sees live theatre as an opportunity to celebrate with multiple generations of their families. All of them expect the vivid and professional storytelling we’ve become known for, artistic excellence on par with anything they’ve seen downtown or in New York. We’ve got something for all of them.”
The season will start with Cabaret (Aug. 28-Oct. 6), with book by Joe Masteroff, music by John Kander, and lyrics by Fred Ebb. Based on the play by John Van Druten and stories by Christopher Isherwood, the musical is set in 1931 Berlin as the Nazis rise to power. Katie Spelman will choreograph and associate artistic director Alan Paul will direct.
Next up will be Marco Ramirez’s The Royale (Sept. 25-Oct. 27), a co-production with 1st Stage, about boxer Jay “The Sport” Jackson and his dreams of becoming the first African American heavyweight champion. Paige Hernandez will direct.
Following will be Singin’ in the Rain (Nov. 8-Jan. 5, 2020), by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, featuring songs by Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed. The musical, based on the film by Comden and Green, follows Hollywood’s transition from the silent era to the Talkies.
Angie Benson will provide music direction, Grady Bowman will choreograph, and Marcos Santana will direct.
For the holidays will be A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas (Nov. 29-Dec. 29), adapted and performed by Paul Morella. This year marks the 10th annual production of the solo show adapted from Dickens’s classic holiday tale.
The season will continue with Miss You Like Hell (Jan. 29-March 1, 2020), with book and lyrics by Quiara Alegría Hudes and music and lyrics by Erin McKeown. The musical is about a woman who arrives to Philadelphia to convince her estranged 16-year-old daughter to join her on a road trip to California. Lisa Portes will direct.
Next up will be Jordan Harrison’s The Amateurs (March 4-April 5, 2020), about a traveling troupe of actors in the 14th century who are putting on a show about the story of Noah, all while the Black Death is ravaging Europe. Jason King Jones will direct.
Following will be The Humans (April 1-May 3, 2020), by Stephen Karam, about a Pennsylvania family celebrating Thanksgiving at their daughter’s New York City apartment. Aaron Posner will direct.
The final mainstage production will be Pippin (June 10-July 19, 2020), with book by Roger O. Hirson, and music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz. The coming-of-age musical is about a young man’s search for his place in the world. Christopher Youstra will provide music direction, and Eleanor Holdridge will direct.
OTC will also present the Applause Concert Series. The series will feature one-night concert versions of Kiss of the Spider Woman (Oct. 11), Dessa Rose (March 6, 2020), and Brigadoon (July 24, 2020).
The company’s Theater for Young Audiences program will present productions of Dragons Love Tacos & Other Stories (Oct. 26-27) and Pete the Cat (Jan. 11-12), both produced by TheatreWorksUSA.
OTC’s ensemble National Players, under the direction of Theatre Alliance artistic director Raymond O. Caldwell, will tour productions of Walk Two Moons (Aug. 10-11), As You Like It (Aug. 16-18), and The Diary of Anne Frank (Sept. 17-19). The productions will travel to communities across the U.S.
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.