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Come to the conversation, old chum!

Join us for a conversation with Olney Theatre’s own Kevin McAllister and Chris Youstra, director/actor and music director respectively for The World Goes ‘Round, about the legacy of musical theatre writing duo Kander and Ebb (Chicago, Cabaret, Kiss of the Spider Woman, and more) and where the future of musical theatre is headed. Bring your burning questions!



Kevin S. McAllister

Christopher Youstra


Moderated by:

Irene Martinko

2022-23 Season
Part of the 2022-23 Season

Watch the Livestream

Meet the Speakers

  • Kevin McAllister Kevin joined the staff of Olney Theatre in March of 2021 where he currently serves as Director of Curated Programs and BIPOC Artist Advocate. Previous Olney directing credits include creating and directing The Most Wonderful Time of the YearThe Joy That Carries You, which he co-directed with Jason Loewith and The Applause Series Concert of Children of Eden in which he also played Father. Locally, Kevin has directed or served on the production team of various works that have been featured at Ford's Theatre, Baltimore Center Stage, Young Artists of America, Toby's Dinner Theatre, NextStop Theatre, and Monumental Theatre Company.  Nationally, he is the Assistant Directing Fellow on all Broadway and touring productions of the hit musical Come From Away. Kevin is also the Co-Founder and Artistic Director of ArtsCentric, a performing arts organization in Baltimore dedicated to re-examining traditional roles in the arts where he has directed over 30 shows.  For continued commitment to arts advancement in Baltimore, he and ArtsCentric were selected as Director and Theatre Company of the Decade by BroadwayWorld in Baltimore. He is also a recurring guest lecturer at Montgomery College, American University, Howard University, University of Maryland and Catholic University. In November 2020, Kevin was also selected as DC’s Artist of The Decade by Broadway World.  He dedicates all his work to his family, Cedric, and Lola.

  • Christopher Youstra

    Christopher Youstra As the past resident music director, Mr. Youstra has music directed and conducted over 45 musicals at Olney Theatre Center, including Kinky Boots, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, A.D. 16, Cabaret, Matilda, Once, On the Town, In the Heights, My Fair Lady, Sweeney Todd, Evita, Carmen: An Afro-Cuban Jazz Musical, Carousel, Godspell, How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying and has also music directed at many of the other local theaters including Ford’s Theatre: Ragtime, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee; Studio Theatre 2nd Stage: Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson, Jerry Springer: The Opera, Passing Strange; Studio Theatre: Adding Machine: A Musical; Round House Theatre: Once on This Island, A Murder A Mystery A Marriage, The Summer of ‘42, and The World Goes ‘Round; Toby’s Dinner Theatre: Les Misérables, The Color Purple, Titanic, Beauty and the Beast; Imagination Stage; The Kennedy Center Theatre for Young Audiences; Arena Stage; Burn Brae Dinner Theatre; Montgomery College; American University; Musical Theatre Center; Signature Theatre; and Columbia Center for the Theatrical Arts. Mr. Youstra has been nominated for twelve Helen Hayes Awards for Outstanding Music Direction and received the award for Titanic. He was director of music at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Columbia for 29 years, has worked with both Phoenix Productions and Troika Entertainment national touring companies and toured both Europe and Korea with Smokey Joe’s Café. As a composer, Mr. Youstra’s music has been heard throughout the area, including The Dancing Princesses at Imagination Stage, Big Nate: The Musical (with Jason Loewith), the Helen Hayes Awards, the 2014 Summer Hummer, and the opening gala of the ATLAS center. 

Meet the Moderator

  • Irene, a white, Jewish woman, smiles at the camera on a sunny day by the water. She has long brown hair and wears a black  with pink flowers on it.

    Irene Martinko is a dramaturg, writer, producer, and performer currently working as Olney’s Casting and Producing Fellow. Originally from Springfield, VA, she graduated from Muhlenberg College in 2018 with a major in Theatre and minors in Music and Women and Gender Studies. From New York to Alaska, Irene has worked for regional theatres across the country including Perseverance Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre, and the Adirondack Theatre Festival. Favorite credits include With (Dramaturg), Voyager One (Dramaturg), and Silent Sky (Margaret). She also served as a Staff Writer with Onstage Blog for which she wrote opinion pieces, theatre news updates, and artist profiles, and her children’s chapter books can be found on Amazon. Irene is most passionate about new play development and is a member of the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas and Ring of Keys.

Behind the Scenes: The Place of Kander & Ebb in the American Musical Theatre Canon

Saturday April 29th 2023 at 5:00pm

Box Office: 301.924.3400

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

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