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Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the New Voices One-Act Festival will occur virtually this summer. Students will apply, interview, audition, and rehearse online. Despite the absence of a physical performance space, students will perform and participate in online readings for a virtual audience. Performances will live-streamed on June 27 on the Olney Theatre Center Facebook Live and Youtube pages.

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 14-June 27. 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 on June 27, 2020. With New Voices, students can be extensively involved in all aspects of the theater, not just performance.

Watch the Livestream Here!

New Voices Cast List: 2020


Performance order:

A Mother’s Day Poem // No Authority // Reflections // Thanksgiving Surprise


A Mother’s Day Poem

written by Ethan & Gabe Santiago
(directed by Silmarien Grinath & Ava Oehrlein)

Austin - Connor Harman
Luka - Rhiannon Pelton
Harper - Logan Delavan-Hoover
Nurse - Yasmin Sheikh
Elise - Lydia Sayers

No Authority

written by Logan Delavan-Hoover
(directed by Logan Delavan-Hoover & Reese Schenkel)

Martin - JJ Jafri
Emma - Silmarien Grinath
David - Connor Harman
Alice - Ali Saffell
Mr. Hall - Gabe Santiago
Mr. Miller - Elliott Kirwan
Principal Beatty - Marcos Mendizabal


written by Emma Taussig
(directed by Cole Schenkel & Phoebe Farris)

Eliza - Ali Saffell
Eliza’s Reflection - Silmarien Grinath

Thanksgiving Surprise

written by Betsy Zaubler
(directed by Ben Martinez)

David - Ethan Santiago
Jeanine - Lydia Sayers
Emily - Ella Gatlin
Joe - Gabe Santiago
Grams - Rhiannon Pelton
Gramps - Logan Delavan-Hoover
Michael - Marcos Mendizabal

About the Program

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

*Due to the conditions present by the recent COVID-19 outbreak, students are welcome to participate in this program free of charge.


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: June 6)

Production Design (first deadline: June 6

Directing (first deadline: June 6)

Performance (first deadline: June 6)

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

Note that the first deadline for play submissions is on June 6. For more information on the writing competition & guidelines, click here.

To Register:

  1. Parents/Guardians must complete the New Voices Registration form.

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

Playwriting (first deadline: June 6)

Production Design (first deadline: June 6)

Directing (first deadline: June 6)

Performance (first deadline: June 6)


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 - Saturday: 12:00PM - 6:00PM

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