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New Voices: One-Act Festival

New Voices is a two week production process for students aged 13-19 that takes original one-act plays from script to stage for public performance. These plays will be written, directed, designed, performed, and technically managed by program participants, running from June 13-June 28. No previous theatrical experience required! Production mentorship will be provided by experienced members of the Olney Theatre Center staff. The program culminates in a final performance of the one-act plays during the weekend of June 26-28th, 2020 at Olney Theatre Center’s Historic Stage.  With New Voices, students can be extensively involved in all aspects of the theater, not just performance. 


Why Join?

This program…

  • allows students a chance to create their own work with guidance and resources from professionals

  • has participation opportunities in writing, technical theatre, production design, and directing, for those who do not wish to perform

  • requires no previous experience

  • gives teenagers the opportunity to build their community and collaborate with one another

  • costs $150 per-participant for the two week*

  • limited scholarships are available to cover the cost of the program for those in need 

*Playwrights that wish to enter the writing competition but do not take part in any of the other pathways will not have to pay any participation fee. 


Program Structure

Students are invited to choose one of six pathways to pursue during a two-week production process. For some of the pathways, participation requires meeting certain deadlines and/or a weekly time commitment prior to the start of the festival on June 13. Attached are the details and requirements specific to each pathway.

New Voices Pathways

Click a pathway to learn more, apply or register!

Playwriting (first deadline: April 25)

Production Design (first deadline: April 25)

Directing (first deadline: April 25) 

Stage Management (first deadline: April 25) 

Performance (first deadline: May 19)

Technical Crew (first deadline: May 19)

To see program dates and a preliminary rehearsal schedule, please visit our calendar.

Note that the first deadline for play submissions is on April 25th. For more information on the writing competition & guidelines, click here.

Register Online Today

Register Online Today

To Register:

  1. Parents/Guardians must complete the New Voices Registration form online along with payment. Parents are invited to attend the Parent Meeting at Olney Theatre Center on Monday, June 8 at 7:00pm to meet the Student Program Coordinators and OTC Staff member overseeing the program.

  2. Students must click a pathway below with further instructions to apply.

Playwriting (first deadline: April 25)

Production Design (first deadline: April 25)

Directing (first deadline: April 25)

Stage Management (first deadline: April 25)

Performance (first deadline: May 19)

Technical Crew (first deadline: May 19)

Questions? Send an email to to contact this year’s student program leaders, Sabina Jafri and Ella Gatlin.

If you need to reach the Olney Theatre administrator that is overseeing this project, email or call Jason King Jones at (240) 722-6027.


Box Office: 301.924.3400

Open Wednesday - Sunday: 12:00PM - 6:00PM

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