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Michael R. Jackson, Lauren Gunderson and More to Take Part in Olney Theatre Center's STREAMING SATURDAYS


Michael R. Jackson, Lauren Gunderson and More to Take Part in Olney Theatre Center's STREAMING SATURDAYS

Beginning this Saturday. May 9 at 5:00 pm, Olney Theatre Center presents "Streaming Saturdays: Artists Envision the Future" a new series of live, online discussions that will feature the perspectives of a wide range of theatre makers locally and across the country. On alternate Saturdays at 5:00 pm on the OTC Facebook and YouTube pages, Washington Post Chief Theatre Critic Peter Marks will host a live-streamed discussion with artists in different parts of the industry, and Olney Artistic Director Jason Loewith will talk with Olney-affiliated artists with productions slated for the 20-21 Season.

Marks will moderate discussions among Playwrights (May 9), Actors & Stage Managers (May 23), Directors (June 6), and Futurecasting with Todd London (June 13). Loewith will handle discussions with artists attached to Olney productions scheduled for the 20-21 Season including Dance Nation (May 16), The Music Man (May 30) and the world premiere musical A.D. 16 (June 20). Panelists include Michael R. Jackson (winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for A Strange Loop), Lauren Gunderson (I and You), Stephen Brackett (Be More Chill), Todd London (Dramatists' Guild and others) Tracy Olivera (Matilda: The Musical), Sandra Mae Frank (DeafWest's Spring Awakening) and Alexandria Wailes (also DeafWest's Spring Awakening). A full listing of panelists and dates is below and online at:

"In the pandemic's early days, we sponsored a discussion with local artistic directors and Peter, grappling with what the new environment would mean for theatre," says Jason Loewith, OTC Artistic Director. "One of the big takeaways from that discussion was that there were a lot more perspectives we need to hear. Not just Artistic Directors, but actors, stage managers, playwrights and directors. We're grateful Peter graciously agreed to sign up for more."

Full Schedule for Streaming Saturdays: Artists Envision the Future

Saturday, May 9 at 5:00pm

PLAYWRIGHTS - moderated by Peter Marks

One prominent article advised theatres emerging from the crisis to think smaller - one-person plays and two-handers. But Michael Kaiser of the DeVos Institute takes the opposite tack, essentially arguing that theatres need to "go big or go home." What's a playwright to do? How are working playwrights thinking about their viability in the new environment? And what amazing stories lie ahead for us in a post-pandemic world?


Lauren Gunderson (I and You)

Michael R. Jackson (A Strange Loop - winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Drama)

Dani Stoller (Easy Women Smoking Loose Cigarettes)

Saturday, May 16 at 5:00pm


Jason Loewith speaks with Paige Hernandez, the director/choreographer of this season's Helen Hayes Nominated The Royale. Paige is set to return to direct Claire Barron's incendiary dream-play Dance Nation in the 20-21 Season.

Saturday, May 23 at 5:00pm

ACTORS & STAGE MANAGERS - moderated by Peter Marks

Making a living in the theater has never been easy, but COVID-19 has thrown an unprecedented challenge at working actors and stage managers. What are freelance DMV artists expecting and hoping for when theatre returns? How will they manage the tension between practicing their craft and staying safe?


Dylan Arredondo, former National Player and the upcoming Disney's Beauty and the Beast

Evan Casey, actor (The Amateurs)

Tracy Lynn Olivera, actor (Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical)

Karen Currie, stage manager

Jade Jones, (Ford's Theater's Into the Woods)

Saturday, May 30 at 5:00pm

Meredith Willson's The Music Man

Moderated by Jason Loewith

Deaf and hearing artists will collaborate on an unprecedented production of Meredith Willson's The Music Man next season that puts the importance of theatre's role in making community centerstage . Though opening night is over a year away, much work has already been done. Learn about it in this pre-production conversation.


Michael Baron, director

Joey Caverly, actor

Sandra Mae Frank, actor

Alexandria Wailes, director

Chris Youstra, music director

Saturday, June 6 at 5:00 pm

DIRECTORS - moderated by Peter Marks

How will the staging of productions change in an era of social distancing? Can an effective family drama or rousing musical observe social distancing between actors? How are directors going to approach plays with a whole new set of considerations for performers and audiences?


Stephen Brackett, director

Others TBA

Saturday, June 13 at 5:00 pm

FUTURECASTING: Todd London in conversation with Peter Marks

Peter talks with Todd London, former artistic director of New Dramatists and head of the MFA Playwriting program at the New School, School of Drama and the Director of Theatre Relations for the Dramatists Guild of America.

Saturday, June 20 at 5:00 pm

A.D. 16 - moderated by Jason Loewith

Jason checks-in with the powerhouse team behind OTC's world premiere musical A.D. 16. From Cinco Paul (Despicable Me) and Bekah Brunstetter (This Is Us) comes the delightfully witty, sublimely inspiring story of teenaged Mary Magdalene, who falls in love with the carpenter's son next door... who happens to be a kid named Jesus.


Cinco Paul (composer, lyricist)

Bekah Brunstetter (bookwriter)

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos

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