Whether you enjoy period pieces, seasonal tales or comedic ventures, Olympic Theatre Arts offers something for every cultural taste bud going into its 40th season.
OTA members got a sneak peek of the 2019-2020 season on June 9, with cast and directors introducing their plays and musicals.
Shows begin with “The Reluctant Dragon” Aug. 23-Sept. 1, 2019 by OTA Children’s Theatre Production; “Greater Tuna” Oct. 4-13, 2019; “Silent Sky” Nov. 8-24, 2019; “Another Night Before Christmas” Dec. 13-22, 2019; “Miss Lillian, a Life of Some Significance” Jan. 18-19; “Quilters” Feb. 21-March 8, 2020; Shakespearean Renaissance Faire March 27-29; “A Facility for Living” May 1-17; and “Let Me Down Easy” June 19-28.
The play selection committee consists of Jim Guthrie, Sara Nicholls, Joe Schulz, Olivia Shea, Carol Willis and BZ Zabora.
Willis, OTA’s executive director, said next season commemorates 10 years in the new theater building.
Organizers plan to continue the tradition of raffling off a piece of commissioned art during the run of each show, with a winner selected at the end of the show’s final performance.
This year, artists include Priscilla Patterson (“Silent Sky”), Gail McLain (“Another Night Before Christmas”), Sharman Owings (“Miss Lillian”), Debbie Harding (“Quilters”), Jim Bradick (“A Facility for Living”), and David Willis (“Let Me Down Easy”).
Carol Willis also introduced new artistic director Marissa Meek who begins her role with OTA soon.
Olympic Theatre Arts began with Sequim actor Richard Waites and his performance of “Krapp’s Last Tape” in March 1980 in the Dungeness Schoolhouse. He asked attendees if they’d like to start a community theater, which led him and others like Olivia Shea to form OTA.
Waites returns with Michael Aldrich to start in “Greater Tuna” this October. The duo starred in the production 10 years ago with Shea directing, too.
2019-20 OTA Season
• “The Reluctant Dragon,” Aug. 23-Sept. 1, 2019, Main Stage
OTA Children’s Theatre Production focuses on Charity who builds a friendship with a poetry-loving dragon but conflict arises when villagers ask for the dragon to be slain.
• “Greater Tuna,” Oct. 4-13, 2019, Gathering Hall
By Ed Howard, Joe Sears and Jackson Williams
Olivia Shea directs Rick Waites and Michael Aldrich in Greater Tuna 10 years after they worked together to bring small town Tuna, Texas to life. Waites and Aldrich each play 10 characters sharing comedic anecdotes about small town life.
• “Silent Sky,” Nov. 8-24, 2019, Main Stage
By Lauren Gunderson
This biographical play follows astronomer Henrietta Leavitt, a 19th century astronomer, and her struggles during a time of immense scientific discoveries and men claimed their credit. Director Josh Sutcliffe said there are powerful female roles in the play that all have character arcs. “These are the roles I’d want to play if I were a woman,” he said.
• “Another Night Before Christmas,” Dec. 13-22, 2019, Gathering Hall
By Sean Grennan, music by Leah Okimoto
Dan DePrez directs for the first time with Steven Humphrey serving as musical director for the tale of a social worker that becomes entrenched with a homeless man claiming to be Santa Claus. Directors said the script made is emotional and is a comedic, musical battle between cynicism and belief.
• “Miss Lillian, a Life of Some Significance,” Jan. 18-19, 2020, Main Stage
Carol Swarbrick-Dries brings the story of Jimmy Carter’s mother to life in this one-woman show in cooperation with The League of Women Voters.
• Quilters, Feb. 21-March 8, 2020, Main Stage
By Molly Newman and Barbara Damashek
Richard Stephens directs this music following a pioneer woman and her six daughters. Organizers say it blends love, warmth, rich and lively humor and the moving spectacle of simple human dignity and steadfastness in the face of adversity.
• OTA’s Shakespearean Renaissance Faire! March 27-29, 2020
Dress up and join OTA for its annual romp into the Elizabethan era.
• “A Facility for Living,” May 1-17, 2020, Main Stage
By Katie Forgette
Christy Holy directs this comedy centered on retired actor Joe Taylor as he moves into a prison-turned-elder-care facility shortly after the demise of Medicare. Organizers say Taylor discovers a community of lovable, irascible inmates hellbent on bucking the dehumanizing system in which they have landed.
• “Let Me Down Easy,” June 19-28, Gathering Hall
By Anna Deavere Smith
Carol Swarbrick-Dries returns to direct this comedy-drama composed of interview transcripts with a range of people examining the miracle of human resilience through the lens of the national debate on health care.
Contact Olympic Theatre Arts, 414 N. Sequim Ave., at www.olympictheatrearts.org or call 360-683-7326.
Reach Matthew Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org.