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Olney Theatre Center Kicks Off the Decade With a Production of Quiara Alegría Hudes' MISS YOU LIKE HELL

Olney Theatre Center Kicks Off the Decade With a Production of Quiara Alegría Hudes' MISS YOU LIKE HELL

Olney Theatre Center kicks off the decade with a production of Quiara Alegría Hudes' newest musical, Miss You Like Hell on the Mainstage (January 29 - March 1, 2020). Hudes, a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Lin-Manuel Miranda's collaborator on the book and film of In The Heights, wrote the book and shares credit for the lyrics with folk-rock star Erin McKeown who also wrote the music. Lisa Portes and Breon Arzell make their Olney Theatre debuts as director and choreographer, respectively. Press is invited to attend the performance on Saturday, February 1 at 8:00 pm.

Miss You Like Hell is both as relevant as the headlines and as intimate as the love between a mother and a daughter. Beatriz arrives in Philadelphia after a prolonged absence and convinces her teenage daughter Olivia to drive cross-country with her to California. This attempt at a mother-daugher rapprochement is enlivened by the odd cast of characters they encounter along the way, and complicated by Beatriz's revelation that she faces imminent deportation to Mexico after years of living as an undocumented immigrant. The show features sharp comedy and a winning acoustic score by Erin McKeown. When learning of the OTC production, Lin-Manuel Miranda tweeted, "The Olney rules, can't wait for this!" (January 9, 2019)

"Few writers meld the personal and political with as much passion as Quiara Alegría Hudes," said OTC Artistic Director Jason Loewith. "And this musical - a major work at the center of this year's political battles - challenges us and our audience to reconcile its beautifully human story with the system we as Americans have the power to change."

Karmine Alers, a veteran of the Broadway productions of Rent and On Your Feet, stars as Beatriz, a Mexican-American mother facing deportation. Valeria Morales, a freshman at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School, makes her professional stage debut as Olivia, Beatriz's estranged teenage daughter, who writes a popular blog on which she has invented the fiction that her mother is dead. Once they begin heading west they meet Bradley Mott (who makes his Olney Theatre debut) and Lawrence Redmond (returning to OTC) as Mo and Higgins, a couple on a long-term retirement road trip with the goal of getting married in all 50 states. In South Dakota they encounter Manuel, played by Carlos Encinias, a tamale vendor and widower from Peru. On a detour to Yellowstone they rendezvous with Pearl, one of Olivia's online friends and an African-American Junior Park Ranger played by Kayla Gross, making her OTC debut. The ensemble includes Jyline Carranza, Jay Frisby, Olivia Ashley Reed, Kara-Tameika Watkins and Michael Wood.

Director Lisa Portes is an award-winning artist and industry leader with credits at most of the country's major regional theaters. She is head of directing at the Theatre School of DePaul University, and was a co-founder of the Latinx Theatre Commons. Portes will return to Olney Theatre in April of 2020 for the Vanguard Arts Fund Workshop of Okuni, a new musical by playwright Naomi Iizuka and composer Paul Hodge. Chicago-based choreographer Breon Arzell has worked with Victory Gardens Theatre, Writers Theatre, American Theatre Company and Drury Lane Theatre. They are joined by DC-based Music Director Walter "Bobby" McCoy, recipient of the Helen Hayes Award for Gala Hispanic Theatre's production of In The Heights. Rounding out the artistic team are Scenic Designer Milagros Ponce de León, Costume Designer Ivania Stack, Lighting Designer Pablo Santiago, Projections Designer Thomas Ontiveros, Sound Designer Matt Rowe, and Stage Manager Richard Lundy.

Miss You Like Hell is generously supported by the Maryland State Arts Council and the Nora Roberts Foundation.

Miss You Like Hell

Book and Lyrics by Quiara Allegría Hudes

Music and Lyrics by Erin McKeown

Music Direction by Walter "Bobby" McCoy

Choreographed by Breon Arzell

Directed by Lisa Portes

January 29 - March 1, 2020

Regular performances are Wednesday-Saturday at 8:00 pm; matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 pm; and Wednesday matinees at 2:00 pm on February 5 and 19. No Saturday matinee on February 1.

There will be an Audio-described performance for the blind and visually impaired on Wednesday, February 12 at 8:00 pm and a sign-interpreted performance on Thursday, February 20 at 8:00 pm. Audience members who wish to use these services should contact Julie Via, Patron Services Manager ( to confirm.

Tickets begin at $42. Discounts available for groups, seniors, military and students.

Special Events:

Miss You Like Home: Where we are and where we've been

A Free, All-Day Open House

Saturday, February 1

What does it mean to be "at home" in America today? Through story circles, art workshops, panels and discussions, as well as theatre and dance performances featuring amazing local Latinx artists, we'll celebrate and amplify the diverse perspectives and unique stories of home in our community. We'll finish the day with a StorySlam where participants can tell us a 3-5 minute story about "home", whatever that means to you. A full schedule, registration and story submission recording is online at

Afterwords discussions will occur after the following Saturday matinee performances: February 8, February 15, February 22 and February 29.

Olney Theatre Center for the Arts produces, presents and tours extraordinary performances for a diversity of audiences, and educates and inspires the next generation of theater-makers. We strive every day to unleash the creative potential of our artists and audiences, and in so doing, become a nationally-prominent destination for the most impactful theater performance and education. In the past five years, Olney Theatre has twice won the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Musical Production and produced 6 world premieres, including Andrew Hinderaker's The Magic Play and Colossal (2015 Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play or Musical), and Jennifer Hoppe-House's Bad Dog (2015 Steinberg Award nominee). Olney Theatre places a priority on engaging our community by ensuring that we remain affordable, accessible and inviting to new and returning audiences.

Located just north of Washington, D.C. in arts-rich Montgomery County, Maryland, is situated on 14 wooded acres in the heart of the beautiful Washington-Baltimore-Frederick "triangle," within easy access to all three cities, and is also home to National Players, America's longest-running touring company. Olney Theatre Center is led by Artistic Director Jason Loewith and Managing Director Debbie Ellinghaus. For more information, please visit

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