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Sarah Straub
Associate Director of Marketing

Fela! at Olney Theatre to be followed by Ink at Round House

April 11, 2022 – Olney, MD – Montgomery County’s two leading theatre companies are teaming up again to co-produce a pair of shows in 2023. Olney Theatre Center and Round House Theatre will produce the Broadway musical Fela! (July 7, 2023 - August 13, 2023) on the Olney Mainstage and will mount James Graham’s Tony-nominated play Ink on Round House’s Bethesda stage during the 2023-24 season. The two organizations last collaborated in 2016 and 2017 to produce both parts of Angels in America at Round House, followed by In the Heights at Olney Theatre, the latter of which went on to win the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Production of a Musical.

The announcement of a director and artistic team for Fela! (music and lyrics by Fela Kuti, book by Bill T. Jones and Jim Lewis) is expected soon, and Olney’s artistic director, Jason Loewith, will direct Ink in Bethesda. Said Ryan Rilette, Round House Theatre’s Artistic Director, “Our past co-productions have been incredibly rewarding and successful for both Round House and Olney. I couldn’t be more excited to continue our partnership over the next two seasons—and to welcome Jason back to Round House as a director.”

“In a post-pandemic world, institutions must work together to thrive: it’s better for audiences, it’s better for artists, and it’s better for the DMV,” said Jason Loewith. “Last time we collaborated, it allowed us to go big, so we’re doing it again. The legacy of Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti portrayed in the musical Fela! is fittingly larger than life, and a symbol of rebellion across the world. And James Graham’s Ink tells the most significant media story of our era: how Rupert Murdoch set the stage for our hyper-partisan news culture when he remade the British tabloids way back in 1969. Both stories are intimate in their portrayal of character and human choices, but continental and even inter-continental in their impact."

Both theatres are scheduled to announce their other 2022-2023 season productions later this month, including information on tickets and subscriptions.

About Round House Theatre Round House Theatre is one of the leading professional theatres in the Washington, DC area, producing a season of new plays, modern classics, and musicals for more than 40,000 patrons each year at our theatre in Bethesda. Round House has been nominated for 197 Helen Hayes Awards and has won 37, including four Outstanding Resident Play Awards and the Charles MacArthur Award for Original New Play in 2016. Round House’s lifelong learning and education programs serve more than 5,000 students each year at its Education Center in Silver Spring, in schools throughout Montgomery County, and at our Bethesda theatre. Cornerstone programs include Free Play, which provides free tickets for students age 13-college, the Teen Performance Company, which culminates in the student-produced Sarah Metzger Memorial Play, Summer Camp for students in grades K-12, and a full slate of classes for adults and youth.

About Olney Theatre Center Founded in 1938 as a summer playhouse, Olney Theatre Center (OTC) now produces world and American premieres of plays and musicals, and reimaginings of familiar titles year-round; presents the work of leading companies and artists; tours nationally and locally; teaches students of all ages; and mentors a more inclusive generation of theatremakers. For more than 8 decades, OTC has brought impactful theater performance and education to our community, helping to grow the vibrancy and vitality of our home in the Washington, DC region.

Over the years, some of the biggest names in theater and film have appeared on our stages, from Tallulah Bankhead and Helen Hayes to Uzo Aduba, Alan Cumming and Robin de Jesus. Olney Theatre is now the cultural anchor of a rapidly changing region and serves one of the most diverse, best educated, and wealthiest counties in the country. Situated on the unceded land of the Piscataway-Conoy people, the Olney area was once a rural farming community with a unique Quaker heritage. Now the area is occupied by every kind of family that makes up 21st Century America, along with major corporations, shopping districts, civic associations, non-profit organizations, and a diverse collection of houses of worship. Montgomery County’s 1 million residents play a dynamic role in the Baltimore-Washington corridor and are a driving force behind the region’s creative economy.


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