THE LITTLE MERMAID, THE PIANO LESSON and More Set for Olney Theatre Center's Complete 2014 Season
Olney Theatre Center Artistic Director Jason Loewith announced the company would revamp and expand its traditional subscription format while producing an ambitious slate of three seasons and nine productions for the Theatre's 2014 76th Season. Three "mini-seasons" will feature Rolling World Premieres, 20th century American classics, four extraordinary musicals, and an outdoor Shakespeare production beneath the stars.
Olney Theatre Center's 2014 Season offers patrons three tracks of programming: the Classic Series, the Contemporary Series and the Family Series. "After so many years of trying to serve ever-more diverse audiences with the same broad array of programming, we're digging deeper for each audience and asking patrons to choose what they want and how they want it. We're offering a Classic Series, a Contemporary Series, and a Family Series - so we can pursue each with great rigor and without apology," says Loewith.
Loewith also announced the annual holiday musical, which generates one-sixth of the company's revenues each year:
"After months of searching for the most exciting holiday show we could offer our patrons, I am excited to announce that we will be producing the area premiere of Disney's The Little Mermaid in November and December next year," says Loewith. "Not only is this show exciting on its own, but when paired with Once On This Island in our Family Series patrons get to experience two very different shows inspired by the same classic tale - Hans Christian Andersen's 'The Little Mermaid'. And with the summer's outdoor Tempest, it's a veritable feast of island adventures for the families in our community."
The Classic Series is designed specifically for Olney's traditional audience: they love the classics, the literary experience of the theater, good drama, and good stories told in fully-produced, Broadway-quality fashion. This series includes the musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, directed by Jason Loewith and featuring actors Sam Ludwig, Angela Miller, George Dvorsky, and Sherri L. Edelen; Olney Theatre Center's first production of an August Wilson play The Piano Lesson, directed by Jamil Jude; and Clifford Odets' Awake and Sing!, directed by Kimberly Senior.
For our audience who wants cutting-edge theatrical adventure involving new works by American Playwrights and modern musicals, there is the Contemporary Series. This series includes Olney Theatre Center's second National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere - I and You by Lauren Gunderson and directed by Eleanor Holdridge. In the fall, the Rolling World Premiere of Colossal by Andrew Hinderaker will feature actor Michael Patrick Thornton and be directed by Will Davis. Between these two Rolling World Premieres is the world-famous, satirical, hilarious, and foul-mouthed puppets from 2004 Tony-winner Avenue Q, directed by Jason Loewith, choreographed by Bobby Smith, and featuring actors Evan Casey and Steven Gregory Smith.
The Family Series invites patrons of every age, new and old, to the theater together. This "trio of island adventures" includes the Caribbean musical fairytale Once On This Island, directed by Sesame Street's Alan Muraoka, an outdoor production of Shakespeare's The Tempest to celebrate the 65th birthday of the National Players, and Disney's The Little Mermaid.
Each show has specialized FREE Member Access Events for 2014 Olney Theatre Center Members. Contemporary Series Members are invited to attend meet-and-greets with playwrights; Classic Series Members receive free seminars about the plays and dramaturgy mailings; and Family Series Members get special meet-the-cast and family-friendly events surrounding the show.