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Most productions at Olney Theatre Center come with a quick rating that corresponds to those used by the Motion Picture Association of America. Since those ratings are imperfect and different patrons have different concerns, we created this more in-depth guide. It allows you advance knowledge of specific content that may or may not be deemed problematic or triggering. Do not hesitate to contact us with questions prior to purchasing tickets if you have concerns. Please note that all ticket sales are final.

 

KEN LUDWIG'S A COMEDY OF TENORS

Synopsis: When star tenor Tito Merelli refuses to perform (he mistakenly believes himself cuckolded), the American impresario Saunders and his sidekick Max stumble upon Beppo the Bellman, who happens to look exactly like Tito and has a voice to match. Throw in a couple of young lovers caught in flagrante delicto, Tito’s fiery wife, a randy Russian diva, some slamming doors, and the result is an uproarious adult evening of laughter and love.

Language: Use of "goddammit" and "fuck"

Adult Behavior: Discussion of alcohol.

Sexual Content: Partial nudity, implied sexual intercourse offstage, kissing, groping and sexual actions onstage.

Violence: Some comical violence, slapstick.

For which audiences: Ages 13+

If this were a movie: It would be rated PG-13 for sexual humor.

 

MARY STUART

Synopsis: The two most powerful women of the 16th Century – Queen Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots – are on an explosive collision course in this thrilling drama of sex, power, intrigue, and betrayal. Pressured by the men of her court, who desperately want her to marry and ensure the succession, the Protestant Queen Elizabeth I must decide whether to put her cousin, the Catholic Mary Queen of Scots, to the death. As she tries to keep her fragile hold on both the realm and her conscience, a country fights to define itself.

Language: Use of "hell," "damn".

Adult Behavior: None.

Sexual Content: Discussions of adultery and sexual desire, portrayal of attempted rape, portrayal of sexual desire while clothed.

Violence: Discussion of violence, beheading, imprisonment, sexual violence towards women, suicide.

For which audiences: Ages 13+

If this were a movie: It would be rated PG-13 for violence and adult themes.

 

ROALD DAHL'S MATILDA THE MUSICAL

Synopsis: Born to parents who prize their own ignorance and disdain books, learning, and any information they can’t get from television, Matilda somehow manages to emerge...a genius. Maybe even a magical one. However, she and the rest of the school are under the tyrannical rule of a deliciously devious villain, principal Agatha Trunchbull.

Language: Use of "hell".

Adult Behavior: Smoking of cigarettes and cigars onstage.

Sexual Content: Discussion of genitalia.

Violence: Discussion of violence, including violence towards children.

For which audiences: Ages 8+ with parental guidance.

If this were a movie: It would be rated PG.

 

TIGER STYLE!

Synopsis: Albert Chen is a computer programmer so modest he lets others take credit for his work. His sister Jennifer, a doctor, is so professionally driven she can’t sustain a relationship (even if she could find someone worthy of her work ethic). Despite their Ivy League educations, musical virtuosity and impeccable manners, the siblings mount a delayed adolescent rebellion against their disappointed Tiger Mother (and equally demanding Tiger Father): they embark on an “Asian Freedom Tour” that takes them to the People’s Republic of China, where the tour goes - no spoilers - terribly wrong.

Language: Use of "fuck," "shit," "dick," etc.

Adult Behavior: None.

Sexual Content: Discussions of sex.

Violence: Discussion of violence and torture.

For which audiences: Ages 16+

If this were a movie: It would be rated R for language.

 

National Players Productions

Around the World in 80 Days

Synopsis: After making a bet at the Reform Club, British gentleman Phileas Fogg breaks the precise routine of his life and sets out to complete a journey around the world in 80 days with his valet, Passepartout. His efforts are complicated by an investigator, Mr. Fix, who pursues Fogg, believing him to be a bank robber.

Language: None.

Adult Behavior: Obscure drug usage in one scene. Multiple references to alcohol consumption.

Sexual Content: None.

Violence: Some mild, slapstick violence done behind screen with shadows.

For which audiences: Ages 10+

If this were a movie: The movie adaptation of Jules Verne’s original book was rated PG. However, the play is significantly more mild than the movie and could be rated G.

 

The Crucible

Synopsis: This is a dramatic depiction of the Salem witch trials that occurred in the Puritan town of Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. The story follows John Proctor, his wife Elizabeth, and a young girl Abigail Williams. After having a adulterous relationship with Proctor, Abigail wrongfully accuses Elizabeth of witchcraft. Proctor takes Abigail to court to admit her lie, but then finds himself accused of witchcraft.

Language: Use of the words “damn” and “whore.” Frequent mentions of the devil

Adult Behavior: This is a depiction of a highly disturbing historical event, in which a town suffered mass hysteria and twenty people were executed for witchcraft.

Sexual Content: A sexual relationship between John Proctor (a married man) and Abigail Williams (a teenager) happens before the start of the play and is referenced.

Violence: Characters accused of witchcraft are hung (offstage) and one character is crushed by the weight of stones (offstage). They are not described in graphic detail. There is also mention of scratching one’s skin until it bleeds, bruises and abuse, and using needles in a doll to cause pain to other humans.

For which audiences: Ages 13+

If this were a movie: The 1996 movie adaptation is rated PG-13. The play could be rated similarly.

 

Twelfth Night

Synopsis: Twins Viola and Cesario are separated when their ship wrecks on the coast of Illyria. Comedy ensues involving twisting lines of romance. Viola, who is disguised as a boy, falls in love with Duke Orsino, whom she is serving while she is trying to figure out what to do next. Orsino, in turn, loves Countess Olivia. And Olivia, believing Viola to be a man, falls in love with her.

Language: Mild use of the words “damned,” “hell” and “wench.”

Adult Behavior: Various scenes involving alcohol consumption.

Sexual Content: Some kissing and implications of sexual activity.

Violence: Some slapstick stage combat.

For which audiences: Age 10+

If this were a movie: Would likely be rated PG.

 

2019 - 2020 Season

CABARET

Synopsis: In 1929 Berlin, Cliff arrives to work on his novel but finds himself swept up in the life of the cabaret with its bawdy Emcee, and swept away by the performer and provocateur Sally Bowles. Bunked together at Fräulein Schneider’s boarding house, their impossible affair bumps up against the threatened love between their landlord and a Jewish fruit seller. Cabaret delivers a raw theatrical experience on a knife’s edge between unbridled sexuality and the looming rise of Hitler. 

Language: Sexual language and innuendo, single use of “fucking”

Adult Behavior: Alcohol consumption, implied sexual acts, general culture of debauchery, a character chooses to have an abortion

Sexual Content: Scantily-clad burlesque dancing, sexual solicitation, kissing, implied and suggestive sexual acts

Violence: Use of anti-semitic symbols and actions, brief physical altercations.

For which audiences: 13+

If this were a movie: The 1972 film was rated PG. Our version of the script is the 1998 revival and would be rated PG-13 for language, sexual content and disturbing themes.

 

THE ROYALE

Synopsis: In 1905, Jay “The Sport” Jackson dreams of becoming the first African American boxer to fight for the heavyweight championship. Despite racking up a string of vicious knockouts, racial segregation and his white manager’s own reservations stand in the way. Inspired by the true story of Jack Johnson, The Royale breaks new ground by taking us inside the fighter’s mind where the disciplined brutality of boxing reveals itself in theatrically-unforgettable bouts. At stake is more than wins or losses, but equality and survival.

Language: Use of "goddamn," “damn,” "fuck," "shit," “ass,” “sonofabitch,” and “bastard”

Adult Behavior: Fighting, some drinking

Sexual Content: None

Violence: discussion of fighting, knocking out teeth, hate crimes, racial violence and guns, rhythmic boxing “fight” sequences during which the actors don’t actually face or swing at each other

For which audiences: 13+

If this were a movie: PG-13 for racially charged discussions and cursing

 

SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN

Synopsis: The greatest movie musical of all time comes to life on the Mainstage and for once, rain during the holidays is guaranteed to make you smile. Comden and Green’s ingenious tale of Hollywood’s transition from the silent era is buoyed by the thrill of live singing and dancing to some of the greatest songs in the American canon including “Good Mornin’,” “Make ‘em Laugh,” and “Moses Supposes.” Our biggest production of the year is certain to impress Broadway regulars and enchant kids meeting this musical for the first time.

Language: One use of “dammit”

Adult Behavior: Flirtation and mild sexual advances

Sexual Content: Flashback to a burlesque dancer

Violence: Silent-movie fight scene in which the villain is stabbed

For which audiences:  All audiences.

If this were a movie: The movie version of Singin’ in the Rain was rated G.

 

A CHRISTMAS CAROL: A GHOST STORY OF CHRISTMAS

Synopsis: Ebenezer Scrooge lives a dismal life without family, friends, or a love for anything but money. One Christmas Eve, he is visited by the ghost of his former business partner and then three spirits urging him to examine the state of his past, present, and future life. Based on the classic story by Charles Dickens.

Language: This production is a one-man show using the original text of Dickens' short story. The Victorian-era language may take some getting-used-to for younger audience members. The word “ass” is used in reference to a donkey. There is a lot of discussion surrounding death, including the death of the protagonist and a child.

Adult Behavior: Smoking, Drinking, and Gambling: Mention of beer, punch, and wine.

Sexual Content: None.

Violence: None.

For which audiences: Ages 10+ 

If this were a movie: It would be rated G, although because of the format and Victorian language we recommend it for ages 10 and up. View Frequently Asked Questions about this production

 

MISS YOU LIKE HELL

Synopsis: From the Pulitzer Prize-winning co-creator of In the Heights comes a new musical as big as America and as intimate as love between a mother and her daughter. Beatriz arrives in Philadelphia to convince her estranged 16 year-old daughter Olivia to join her on a road trip to California. Along the way, they encounter a mosaic of characters as diverse and weird as America itself, but the hard truth of Beatriz’s undocumented status and pending deportation to Mexico threatens to build a wall between them. With sharp comedy and a winning acoustic score by folk-rock star Erin McKeown, Miss You Like Hell is an American story for our time.

Language: Use of words such as “bitches,” “hell,” “ass,” “fuck,” “shit,” “bastard,” “goddammit,”

Adult Behavior: References to smoking marijuana, alcohol use, discussion of suicidal thoughts and contemplated attempts, smoking cigarettes on stage 

Sexual Content: Discussions of sexual history and safe sex, implied sexual encounter

Violence: Hitting

For which audiences: 13+ if accompanied by parent. 16+ without parental guidance.

If this were a movie:  This show would be rated R for language.

 

THE AMATEURS

Synopsis: A traveling troupe of actors is rehearsing a morality play about the life of Noah while simultaneously running from the Black Death as it ravages 14th Century Europe. As the troupe prepares to perform for the Duke, they hold on to the hope that if they impress the Duke, they will be named his royal players and will be granted safety from the plague inside the city walls. 

Language: Use of “Hell,” “cunt,” “fucking,” and “shit” 

Adult Behavior: Sexual content

Sexual Content: Discussion of sex, oral sex, sex education, AIDs

Violence: Lancing a boil, stillbirth on stage, death from illness, reference to burning Jewish people alive

For which audiences: 16+

If this were a movie: The show would be rated R for language and violence and sexual situations.

 

THE HUMANS

Synopsis: By turns hilarious and haunting, the Tony-winning play The Humans tells the story of the Blakes, a middle-class American family celebrating a most unusual Thanksgiving. This year, they gather in New York City at youngest daughter Brigid’s Chinatown apartment - a basement duplex that would feel like a bargain if not for the lack of sunlight and the sudden, unexplained, loud noises coming from upstairs. Normally they celebrate in Scranton, but the break with tradition is just one of many disruptions with which they’re forced to contend. Stephen Karam’s brilliant play delivers both the warm comfort of family and a thoroughly modern anxiety about what’s on the other side of the wall.

Language: “Smart-ass,” “bastard,” “hell,” “fuck,” “bitch,” “shit”

Adult Behavior: Drinking, discussions of illness, mental illness, senility, same-sex relationships and cohabitation outside of marriage

Sexual Content: Discussion of adultery 

Violence: Recollections of New York on September 11, 2001 and associated trauma

For which audiences: 13+

If this were a movie: The show would be rated R for language and suspenseful sequences

 

PIPPIN

Synopsis: We’ve got magic to do in the Summer of 2020! This classic musical about a young man in search of his purpose features some of music-theater’s best-loved songs and most theatrical moments. From the battlefield to the bedroom, from intrigues political to intrigues romantical, Pippin just can’t figure out how to be extraordinary. Director Eleanor Holdridge (I And You, The Crucible) gives OTC a production of the most beloved coming-of-age musical.

Language: “damn,” “asshole,”

Adult Behavior: Discussion of “raping and sacking”

Sexual Content: References to “fornicating,” onstage representations of sexual acts, allusion to molestation, scantily clad performers

Violence: War portrayed on stage (detached heads and limbs strewn), people killed on stage, potential of self-immolation

For which audiences: 13+    

If this were a movie: It would be rated PG-13

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