4th Annual SummerFest Returns to Olney Theatre Center

Olney Theatre Center's SummerFest, its annual open house, happens Saturday, July 27 beginning at 11:00am with events continuing all day and late into the evening. This is the fourth edition of the event with several new elements and improvements over past years along with the continuation of perennial favorites. The popular Props and Costume Sale will be accompanied by a Used Book Sale sponsored by the Friends of the Library. In addition to games and classes for children, a bounce house has been added this year to ensure maximum kid enjoyment. In the evening, the new event Tipsy Tunes and Trivia is a mashup of cabaret, quiz show, and happy hour. Most events are free and everyone is welcome whether coming to OTC for the 100th time or the first time.

"This is my favorite day of the year," said Christopher Youstra, the organizer of SummerFest and Olney Theatre's Associate Artistic Director/Director of Music Theatre. "We love bringing new people and families to our campus with games and free performances, deepening the engagement of those in our long-time audience with lectures and concerts, and reinforcing our commitment to being a theatre for everyone. It's not every suburban town the size of Olney that has regional professional theatre of our size and caliber, and we want the whole community to feel a sense of ownership and pride."

The day's activities can be loosely divided into 5 categories: All Day Events, Live Performances, For The Kids, Free Classes and Inside OTC.

  • All Day Events include: Prop and Costume Sale, Used Book Sale, Food Trucks, The SummerFest Tavern featuring local beer and wine
  • Live Performances include: Encore Performance of Every Brilliant Thing with Alexander Strain, Olney Big Band, Grateful Dead Cover Band: Better Off Red, Annapolis-based rock band Dirk & The Truth, Indian Dance Demonstration
  • For The Kids: Bounce House, Face Painting, Games and Prizes, STEM activities, Performance of numbers from Seussical Jr. by Lopez Studios, Matilda Dance Party, Performances of Our Play: works created by 5th Grade Students in OTC's Arts Integration Program
  • Free Classes: Audition Workshop for Young Performers with Jenna Duncan, Tap Class with Bobby Smith, Intro to Bollywood Dance, Voice Class with Lisa Carrier Baker, Zumba Class, Stage Combat with National Players
  • Inside OTC: Backstage Tours, Preview the Music of the 2019-20 Season, Managing Director Debbie Ellinghaus and Artistic Director Jason Loewith host, "Dish with Debbie and Jason - A Conversation About the Future of OTC"

Rebecca Dzida, Community Engagement Coordinator says, "We're celebrating summer, we're celebrating our community, and we're celebrating the arts at OTC. All are welcome, and if you've never visited before, this is the day with free activities for all ages."

Non-profit partners who will be tabling at the event include:

  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI-MC)
  • American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
  • Lollipop Kids Foundation
  • Meals on Wheels
  • Beltway Barks

The day concludes with ice cream to celebrate the theatre's 81st Birthday.

For the complete schedule of all the activities at SummerFest, please visit Olney Theatre Center's website at www.olneytheatre.org/summerfes

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