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In honor of Women’s History Month, I wanted to take a moment and highlight two women whose contributions to the art world made a lasting impact on Olney Theatre Center and the DC arts community at large. This is the legacy of Halo Wines and Jeanne Bland. Original portraits of these two women were completed earlier this month by Olney Theatre’s prop artisan Jason Dearing, and hang proudly in the William H. Graham Sr. Actors' Hall space to honor their artistry and compassion. Their faces serve as a beautiful reminder of their continuous inspiration and support of the art and artists who pass through these halls. Special thanks to Jason Loewith for sharing this insight into the lives of these wonderful women.

Halo Wines

  • Halo Wines

    (1940-2021) A woman of many talents with a rich history of performance credits in DC. Halo was a Catholic University student who eventually became a National Player. For decades, she served as a member of Arena Stage's acting company under Zelda Fischandler, earning her recognition as DC's preeminent dramatic actress. She won the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in 1985 for her role in Cloud Nine at Arena Stage. She also worked at Olney Theatre Center and Theatre J on many occasions taking up the role of both performer and creative. At OTC she served as an actress, director, and master teacher for the National Players, who adored her.

    Director of Marketing, Joshua Ford, shared a few words about Halo Wines - “I was lucky to work with Halo in her post-Arena years at Theater J, once as part of a co-pro with Olney of "Collected Stories" by Donald Margulies. She was the best. She could both carry a show on her shoulders, hold the audience in her hand without saying a word, as well as be a generous member of an ensemble. I saw her do both. Her legend is more about being the former, but I'll always feel privileged to have experienced the latter.”

Jeanne Bland

  • Jeanne Bland

    (1953-2020) She was the theater's longstanding Costume Shop Manager (and occasional designer) up to the time of the pandemic. People who worked with Jeanne say that you could never forget the prized gift of her laughter, her insane love of cats, and her mysterious ability to source period shows on a dollar and a half. Her sharp sarcasm and even sharper eye brought her incredible loyalty from many colleagues, directors, and designers. 

Thank you to everyone whose dedication has supported Olney Theatre Center for over 85 years. The talent and grace emitted from both of these artists will forever bring a smile to anyone who steps on campus.

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