Join us every Monday as we "Signal Boost" some of our favorite musical acts in the DMV and beyond. These online events are free, viewable on Facebook, YouTube, and our Blog–but they're only available online for one week. RSVP so you'll receive a reminder to watch when it premieres and a warning when we're about to take it offline.
These are free, online events, although the artists are all paid. Reserve a ticket to receive reminders, get updates, or make a (very optional, but encouraged) donation to support the program.
What is Signal Boost?
It's concerts, podcasts, and special events featuring new voices, familiar faces, and unique online experiences.
It's a series of weekly free, online concerts every Monday, beginning November 9 at 7:00 pm.
It's a new podcast, The Melissa Gilbert Learning Hour with new episodes every other week exploring the history of Olney Theatre Center through some of the famous actors who graced the stage during the Summer Stock era.
It's special online experiences with some of your favorite OTC people and some who will quickly become favorites.
Keep your antennae up, more exciting details to come soon!
Signal Boost is supported in part by Creative Sponsors Lois Taylor and Stephen Simpson.
Feb 15: Jordan Friend
Jordan Friend is a DC-based director, performer and singer-songwriter, as well as the Founding Artistic Director of 4615 Theatre Company. His music mixes adventurous melodies with sharp, character-driven lyrics. He is currently in performances for OLD SOUL, a new solo musical he wrote and composed, which tells the story of two "missing years", and his attempt to recover memories through songwriting. For his Music Mondays show, Jordan will perform some of his own material, including a song from his musical, plus a few covers of Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and more. If you want to check out the virtual run of OLD SOUL, performances (via interactive video call) run through March 7th, and tickets are available.
Feb 22: In The Valley
Since 2018, "James & Katie" Johnson have performed across stages throughout the Capital Region as a folk-pop cover band. The married singer-songwriters are now releasing new music each month under the moniker "In The Valley." The duo offer a hybrid blend of dissonant, indie melodies and lo-fi-pop rhythms. In The Valley music is reminiscent of Oh Wonder, Billie Eilish, and Noah Gundersen. You can hear the music on Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music.
March 1: Matt Merline
Hi I'm Matt. I play guitar and I'm learning to sing. This is my virtual concert. It includes some of my very favorite acoustic finger-style and folk songs.
Matt is also a former National Player.
Jade Jones is a theatre actor and singer, and a native to the DMV area. As a young girl she traveled alongside her mother and aunt, a dynamic gospel duo. Growing up, Jade found her passion performing in her church choir and high school theatre productions. Her musical influences include a wide range of genres and artists such as Billie Holiday, Nat King Cole, Gwen Stefani, Marvin Gaye, Sarah Vaughn, The Notorious B.I.G., Erykah Badu, Lil Wayne, and Elvis. Earlier this year, she appeared in the highly acclaimed production of James Baldwin's The Amen Corner at the Shakespeare Theatre Company of DC. Jade has tackled notorious musical theatre roles such as Sweeney Todd’s Mrs. Lovett, and Little Red Ridinghood from Into The Woods. In February Jade was nominated for not one but two Helen Hayes awards for her work in Into The Woods at Ford’s Theatre, and her portrayal of Nana in Round House Theatre’s production of School Girl’s Or; The African Mean Girls Play.
Jade also released her first EP this summer as artist Litty Official. If you want to explore more aspects of Jade’s musical talents, Litty Official’s EP “He Could Never” can be found on Spotify, Soundcloud and Apple Music. You can support her on Cashapp: $Jada0514 and on PayPal: JadeJonesDC@gmail.com
Katie Chambers may look familiar from her performance as the Ex-Girlfriend in the ensemble of OTC production of Once. Additional credits include OFF-BROADWAY: The Cave, A Folk Opera. REGIONAL: Woolly Mammoth Theater: An Octoroon; Imagination Stage: Wake Up, Brother Bear!; Keegan Theater: Bridges Of Madison County, Big Fish, Parade, Next To Normal; Red Branch Theatre: Bridges Of Madison County. TV: Whose Wedding Is It Anyways?!, I Want That: Tech Toys. EDUCATION: MM in Cello Performance from San Francisco Conservatory of Music, BM in Cello Performance from University of Maryland, College Park. Learn more about her work as a performer and educator on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook.
Born in Baltimore and raised on the Chesapeake Bay, Amy Andrews was brought up on the sounds of Sinatra, Ella, The American Songbook, and Motown, but spent years training for a career in musical theatre before writing her own music and taking to the road. After an auspicious move to Atlanta, GA, which served as her home base for the better part of a decade, Amy is now based back home in the mid-Atlantic. A wildly talented artist known for brilliant performances, stunning vocals, and unassuming wit and candor on stage, Amy has received national (US) press, chatted with radio and tv hosts across the country (US), and toured extensively across the States, Canada, and the UK. You can listen to and/or purchase her albums on Apple Music, Bandcamp and Spotify.
Dubbed the “Hip-Hop Polymath” by the Washington Post, Dior Ashley Brown is a living legend. Her many creative roles are united by a single mission: to maintain the soul of music, empower all people, especially Black women and girls, and leave a legacy of positive change. Her latest single “Vernacular (RED/BLUE)” is hard-hitting, soft-centered, and unmistakably political – a bold call-to-action that treads down any attempts to use language as a way to divide and shut out others. At her core, Dior Ashley Brown is about changing atmospheres, breaking down barriers, and sparking a movement, revealing the ways diversity lends beauty and a greater understanding of what it means to be human. Check her out on Bandcamp, YouTube, and support her on Patreon.
Justine Icy Moral is singer and actress who has been seen onstage across the country and on television in the US and in the Philippines! At age 14 she became a Recording Artist with SonyBMG Philippines and released her Pop album entitled "Dream Away", debuting on Philippine Networks and Radio. She studied Vocal Performance and is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University. She got her professional start in theatre at 11 years old as young Ngana on the National Tour of South Pacific and has been enjoying working in Theatre all her life! Some of her favorite roles include playing Belle in Beauty and the Beast in Boston, Evelyn Nesbit in Ragtime, Mulan in The Ballad of MuLan, performing in The King and I here at Olney Theatre Center and in Dallas, Texas, and playing the role of Ghost of Christmas Past at Ford’s Theatre’s Christmas Carol during the Holiday Season. You can catch her on-screen playing the role of Amy in the recent Filipino musical feature film The Girl Who Left Home, which is currently playing in Film Festivals.
Mason McCormick is the singer-songwriter identity of DC-based Actor Nick DePinto. Olney Audiences may remember Nick from his dazzlingly endearing comedic turn as The Bank Manager in OTC's production of Once in early 2019 although he has appeared in 7 other OTC productions since 2008 and is a veteran of the National Players. As MASON McCORMICK his songwriting skills are front & center. This fine & wild troubadour is the Folklaureate of the College Park Farmers Market and the Co-Host of the weekly produced Ginger Beer & Stories FB Livestream Show. He started writing songs in the 8th grade to impress a girl and he never stopped writing songs - although he stopped impressing girls a long time ago. He has written, performed & music directed music for Imagination Stage, We Happy Few Productions, LiveArtDC, Grain Of Sand Theatre, and Flying V Theatre. His most recent release is the Christmas duet "You Can Count On Me This Christmas (with Emma G)" and his band The Dusty Stars has a new album out called "Loyal To You." You can find out more about MASON McCORMICK (and Nick) with a little internet sleuthing and if you enjoyed his performance and would like to support this Artist via his virtual tip jar then you are most welcome to do so through Venmo: @MMSONGS or Paypal: Paypal.me/mmsongs Thank you! And watch for crows of love because they are always flying around someplace!
Carlos Castillo (They/Them/Theirs) is an actor and musician who made their professional acting debut at 17 in Olney Theatre’s Carousel, and last appeared at Olney Theatre in the Helen Hayes Nominated Ensemble of Once the Musical. Carlos also appeared in the most recent National Tour of Once! Additionally, they have performed regionally in collaboration with the Kennedy Center, Imagination Stage, Adventure Theatre, and the Arden Theatre. They are excited to perform some tunes from Once, Olney’s upcoming Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and an original from their upcoming EP, titled "Slow Down!" Be sure to follow their Instagram, @cemanuelcastillo to keep up with all of their creative projects, and if you are inclined to help fund the creation of their upcoming EP, feel free to send a Venmo tip to @Carlos-Castillo-47!
Ian Geers (he/him/his) is an actor/musician currently based in Chicago who has had the pleasure working with Olney Theater Center as a member of National Players Tour 66 and as the Male Swing in their production of Once. He’s very excited to be performing songs from some of his favorite artists Tom Waits and the Decemberists as well as from the show Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and even a couple of songs he wrote and co-wrote for the National Players (T66) production of As You Like It. Ian’s writing work can be heard on his scripted, Audio Verse Finalist podcast "The Vanishing Act", which is currently available on all podcast providers vanishingpod.com. iangeers.com
Jan. 25: Rex Daugherty
Rex Daugherty (Man with Guitar) is delighted to be making his Olney Theatre debut (wink!). Rex is a DC-based artist currently serving as the Artistic Director of Theatre at Solas Nua. Originally from Oklahoma City, both of his parents grew up on farms and taught him the value of hard work and good company. Rex has made the DC area his home for the past thirteen years, and he shares his life with his wife, Lee, and son, Beckett. Beckett is three years old and loves to crash any and all Zoom meetings.
Rex has been a songwriter since he first picked up a guitar at 15 years old. Originally inspired by his Oklahoman roots and love of Woody Guthrie, his songs range from whimsical and folksy to forlorn and lyrical. He loves to combine songwriting and theatre whenever possible, and is currently co-writing a singer-songwriter musical with Stephen Spotswood called, The Devil and June Gantry, which was a semi-finalist at The Eugene O'Neill's National Music Theater Conference. Listen to the playlist!
Feb. 1: Lauren Farnell
Lauren Farnell (she/her/hers) is an actor and musician in the DMV. Originally from New Jersey, Lauren finds herself in DC singing and playing folk music to survive the pandemic. She welcomes you to "A Night of Joni and Friends"! Lauren's favorite artist and number one influence on her own music is the prolific Joni Mitchell. She will be singing folk-rock hits of the 60s and 70s and accompanying herself on guitar. Enjoy, and please sing along at home. Feel free to follow her on Instagram at @lafarnell, or drop a tip to her Venmo @Lauren-Farnell