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Music by Richard Rodgers • Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II • Book by Oscar Hammerstein II and Joshua Logan • Adapted from the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Tales of the South Pacific by James A. Michener • Music Direction by Kristen Rosenfeld • Choreography by Darren Lee • Directed by Alan Muraoka


August 31 – October 7, 2018 • Mainstage

With songs like "Some Enchanted Evening," "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair," and "Bali Ha’i" South Pacific is one of the most beloved of American musicals - and Olney Theatre Center has never tackled it! Set on a remote Pacific island during World War II, South Pacific gave us the unforgettable love story between nurse Nellie Forbush and French expatriate Emile de Becque, a love threatened by war, as well as the dark corners of Nellie’s soul. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1950 Pulitzer Prize-winner was ahead of its time with its unflinching look at racism and prejudice that, sadly, still resonates today. Featuring Jessica Ball (Guys and Dolls) as Nellie Forbush.




American Premiere


A comedy by James Graham • Directed by Leora Morris


September 26 - October 28, 2018 • Mulitz-Gudelsky Theatre Lab

Direct from London’s West End comes this wildly witty comedy about the ups and downs of left-of-center politics over the past twenty-five years. MP David Lyons parachuted into Parliament with Tony Blair’s generation of center-left politicos focused on electability and effectiveness. His local office director, Jean Whittaker, firmly believes in the pro-union, far-left policies that have historically served his constituency deep in the heart of British coal country… a district that in 2018 just might turn conservative for the first time in a century.  Unfolding over decades, across multiple election nights, through economic booms and busts, this wickedly funny clash of values and class reflects a shifting political landscape that will resonate for anyone asking, “whither the Democrats?” James Graham is one of the UK’s hottest playwrights who recently had three separate works (including Labour of Love) running concurrently on the West End.


“a rom-com pol-com that is knockabout funny and politically incisive.” - The Times of London




Book by Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin • Music by Matthew Sklar • Lyrics by Chad Beguelin • Based on the New Line Cinema film by David Berenbaum • Music Direction by Angie Benson • Choreography by Tara Jeanne Vallee • Directed by Michael Bobbitt


November 9, 2018 January 6, 2019 • Mainstage

Based on the hit Will Ferrell movie, Elf has quickly entered the pantheon of holiday classics, and for good reason. This warm-hearted family musical tells the story of Buddy, a human accidentally transported to the North Pole as a baby who grows up believing himself to be an elf, despite his large size and sub-par toy-making. Upon learning the truth from Santa, Buddy journeys to New York to find his father and help the jaded city folk rediscover the wonder and joy of the Christmas season. The humor of the original film is boosted by a carol-inflected score and lots of dancing to guarantee plenty of smiles and laughter for the whole family. The first of three Resident Professional Premieres at Olney this season.


“a bona fide treat.” - The New York Post




Book by Enda Walsh • Music and Lyrics by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová • Based on the motion picture written and directed by John Carney • Music Direction by Christopher Youstra • Directed and Choreographed by Marcia Milgrom Dodge


February 6 – March 10, 2019 • Mainstage

This unlikely gem of a musical delighted Broadway in 2012 with its emotional folk-rock ballads and an ensemble that plays its own instruments, winning 8 Tony Awards including Best Musical.  Set in contemporary Dublin, a thirty-something street guitarist is about to give up on his musical dreams when he meets a curious woman who wants to know all about him. Captivated by her optimism, the two embark on a remarkable music-making journey that includes a cadre of unlikely companions -- immigrants, oddballs, and lonely hearts. Along the way, can the two of them find love? Based on the 2006 film which won an Oscar® for Best Original Song, Once channels the visceral power of music and the elusive mysteries of love.


“feels as vital and surprising as the early spring…” - The New York Times



American Premiere


By Ella Hickson • Directed by Tracy Brigden


February 27 – March 31, 2019 • Mulitz-Gudelsky Theatre Lab

“Scorchingly ambitious,” (The Guardian) this genre-busting American premiere follows mothers and daughters over two centuries, from the dawn of the age of oil in 1889 to its “peak-oil” demise sometime in the not-to-distant future. In five separate but connected playlets, a single mother named May defies the odds to provide for her daughter by any means necessary. From Cornwall, to Tehran, London, Baghdad, and back, the mother-daughter power struggle evolves and shifts, even as the resources that fuel it (and the rest of the world) begin to dwindle. Bursting with theatricality, big ideas, and deeply personal emotions, Oil showcases the talent of one of Britain’s fastest rising playwrights.


“an audacious piece of writing… a huge, ambitious study of co-dependency: mother and daughter, man and machine, east and west, Britain and empire.” - Time Out London




By Ken Ludwig • Directed by Jason King Jones


April 10 – May 12, 2019 • Mainstage

The Tony Award®-winning playwright of Lend Me a Tenor is back with another farce set on the precipice of a big concert in 1936 Paris. When star tenor Tito Merelli refuses to perform (he mistakenly believes himself cuckolded), the American impresario Saunders and his sidekick Max stumble upon Beppo the Bellman, who happens to look exactly like Tito and has a voice to match. Throw in a couple of young lovers caught in flagrante delicto, Tito’s fiery wife, a randy Russian diva, some slamming doors, and the result is an uproarious adult evening of laughter and love.


“Doors slam, trios are sung, seductions are interrupted, faces are slapped and a very good time ensues.” - The New York Times




Based on the play by Friedrich Schiller • Adapted by Jason Loewith and the company • Directed by Jason Loewith


May 8 – June 9, 2019 • Mulitz-Gudelsky Theatre Lab

The two most powerful women of the 16th Century – Queen Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots – are on an explosive collision course in this thrilling drama of sex, power, intrigue, and betrayal.  Pressured by the men of her court, who desperately want her to marry and ensure the succession, the Protestant Queen Elizabeth I must decide whether to put her cousin, the Catholic Mary Queen of Scots, to the death. As she tries to keep her fragile hold on both the realm and her conscience, a country fights to define itself. Artistic Director Jason Loewith adapts Schiller’s classic clash of titans for the #MeToo world with six extraordinary performers and the barest of sets in our most intimate performance space.




Book by Dennis Kelly • Music and Lyrics by Tim Minchin • Choreographed by Byron Easley • Directed by Peter Flynn


June 21 – July 21, 2019 • Mainstage

From the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory comes another unlikely hero: Matilda Wormwood. Born to parents who prize their own ignorance and disdain books, learning, and any information they can’t get from television, Matilda somehow manages to emerge...a genius. Maybe even a magical one. However, she and the rest of the school are under the tyrannical rule of a deliciously devious villain, principal Agatha Trunchbull. Matilda embraces the fearful and terrifying moments of childhood with humor, hard-earned optimism, and astoundingly witty musical numbers. Songs like “Miracle,” “Naughty,” and “Revolting Children” will ring true to adults and belong in the survival kit of any child making their way through pre-adolescence and beyond.


“the most satisfying and subversive musical ever to come out of Britain.” - The New York Times




By Mike Lew


July 17 – August 18, 2019 • Mulitz-Gudelsky Theatre Lab

In this outrageous satire about stereotypes, political correctness flies out the window as two Chinese-American siblings search for their authentic selves. Albert Chen is a computer programmer so modest he lets others take credit for his work.  His sister Jennifer, a doctor, is so professionally driven she can’t sustain a relationship (even if she could find someone worthy of her work ethic).  Despite their Ivy League educations, musical virtuosity and impeccable manners, the siblings mount a delayed adolescent rebellion against their disappointed Tiger Mother (and equally demanding Tiger Father): they embark on an “Asian Freedom Tour” that takes them to the People’s Republic of China, where the tour goes - no spoilers - terribly wrong.


“A witty, sharply-observed comedy” - The Boston Globe