Skip to main content

Help transform Olney Theatre Center's facilities to meet the needs of a world-class home for artists

Donate Now

Renovating the 1938 Original Theatre into the Bernard Family Theatre.

Since 1938, the Original Theatre has showcased the talents of groundbreaking, renowned artists such as Tallulah Bankhead, Sir Ian McKellen, Carol Channing, and recently, stage and screen sensation Mason Alexander Park. But as the Original Theatre aged, the space increasingly struggled to meet the demands of modern theatre design and performance. Staging the Future will transform the 1938 Original Theatre into the Bernard Family Theatre, a flexible space for performance, education, and community gatherings. Also, renovations will include an updated lobby and adjacent courtyard. 

Renovations to the Bernard Family Theatre will include:

► Welcoming entrances and an improved exterior

► An updated lobby that celebrates Olney Theatre’s past, present and future

► A full-flexible, state-of-the-art performance and event space

► A unique sliding door that opens to the courtyard to encourage indoor/outdoor experiences

A beautiful new entrance

Staging the Future will rejuvenate the building's exterior, creating a more welcoming entrance and courtyard for audiences and artists to enjoy for years to come. Renovations will also include a sliding door that opens onto the courtyard, allowing for the use of both indoor and outdoor space in performances and events.

A welcoming and engaging lobby

The refreshed lobby will add a lounge that celebrates Olney Theatre's storied history. This inviting new lobby will feature a donor wall recognizing the generous supporters who have helped make Olney Theatre into an arts and culture powerhouse.

A modern, versatile space for immersive theatre and community gatherings

Renovations will open up a whole new world of opportunities for both Olney Theatre and our community. The theatre's fully flexible seating and sliding door will not only revolutionize the way we create theatre, but also provide a large gathering space for both private and civic events, fulfilling an immediate need in the Olney area.

Sir Ian McKellen, Award Winning Actor

"It's over 30 years since I played at Olney but I still remember the charm of the [Original 1938] Theatre and the enthusiasm of its audience. It's exciting to know that the iconic building will be refurbished to once again shine brightly."

Campaign Progress

We are now at capacity for our Gala dinner and show-only tickets! If you would like to join our Gala dinner waitlist please email




Advancement office: 240-722-6033

Open Monday - Friday: 10:00PM - 6:00PM

Mailing list

Want to stay in touch with staging the future?

Join our mailing list