Education has been at the heart of Olney Theatre Center since its founding.
When Steve Cochran transformed a roller-skating rink into a theatre in rural Montgomery County, he also opened an acting school. Now, 80 years later, Olney Theatre welcomes 5,000+ students of all ages to our campus annually. Our education offerings include an apprenticeship program, which provides rigorous professional training for up to 26 early career artists and arts administrators every year. While education remains a pillar of Olney Theatre’s mission, our programs have grown far beyond the capacity of our current facilities.
The establishment of the Education Center will:
► Create a dance studio and two classrooms to support a growing roster of classes for learners of all ages
► Improve Olney Theatre’s ability train early career professionals and support the work of independent artists and small arts organizations
► Provide high-quality, affordable community spaces for community partners and local organizations
A bright and spacious rehearsal hall and dance studio
With our multiple stages, Olney Theatre Center has long outgrown our single rehearsal hall. The Education Center will provide an additional space designed specifically to meet the needs of the musical theatre rehearsal process. This new hall will also provide opportunities for artist showcases, community gatherings, special events, and expanded educational programming.
Classrooms for students of all ages
Despite education being at the core of our mission, we frequently lack the necessary space to provide students with an in-depth and well-rounded experience. The Education Center will contain two new classrooms, giving our learners appropriate space to explore and play, and allowing Olney Theatre to grow our roster of classes and workshops. These classrooms will also be community spaces, where community members and local organizations can gather.
Chris Sarandon (FRIGHT NIGHT, THE PRINCESS BRIDE, THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS)
"I got my Actors Equity Association card while working at Olney Theatre. For an actor, that is that ultimate badge of honor, the moment when the universe tells you that you are doing the right thing. Without Olney Theatre and my experience as a National Player, I wouldn't be where I am and wouldn't have accomplished what I have."