Olney Theatre Center makes ‘The Amateurs’ available online for one week, offers other online content

The screening of 'The Amateurs' is part of an ambitious digital presence that includes online classes, panels, and storytelling opportunities during the COVID-19 shutdown

Olney Theatre Center’s production of The Amateurs by Jordan Harrison and directed by Jason King Jones will be available to stream online beginning Saturday, March 28 at noon through the end of Sunday, April 5 through Vimeo On-Demand. The streaming version is just one of the ways Olney Theatre Center has shifted its activities online during this period of prolonged home-confinement. Other highlights include free classes on Zoom, a panel discussion on the future of DC Theatre and a community storytelling project.

James Konicek and Emily Townley in ‘The Amateurs’ at Olney Theatre Center. Photo by Teresa Castracane Photography.

The Amateurs, which was originally scheduled to run through April 5, had the final 3 weeks of performances canceled due to the executive orders by Governor Larry Hogan banning public gatherings. Writing in The Washington Post, critic Celia Wren wrote in her review of The Amateurs, “Set amid a rampaging 14th-century plague, Jordan Harrison’s The Amateurs might seem to gain topicality from the current coronavirus outbreak. But in truth, the insights in this smart comedy are evergreen, as the Olney Theatre Center production makes clear.” $20 for a 24-hour rental begins Saturday at noon on Vimeo.

In addition, on Monday, March 30, Olney Theatre will begin offering 8 hours daily of free online classes for all ages via Zoom and taught by staff members, National Players and apprentices. Offerings include storytimes, crafting, playwriting, acting, movement and monologue coaching, play reading and much more. No pre-registration is required and the full schedule can be found here.

OTC has brought back the “Share Your Story” project that began during Miss You Like Hell, inviting people to record 3-minute stories online about what home means to them. Now we’re asking, “How has the meaning of “home” changed during quarantine? What unique experience can you share that will make us laugh, surprise us with an unexpected twist or help us feel less alone?” People are encouraged to share their stories here.

On Saturday, April 4 at 11:00 am, Olney Theatre will announce its 2020-21 Season in an event live-streamed on its Facebook and YouTube pages.

On Saturday, April 4, at 5:00 pm, OTC will also stream live to its Facebook and YouTube pages a panel conversation on what’s next for DC Theatres in a radically changed environment. Hosted by Artistic Director Jason Loewith, the panel will include Raymond O. Caldwell, Artistic Director of Theater Alliance, Maria Manuela Goyanes, Artistic Director of Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Peter Marks, chief theatre critic for The Washington Post and Ryan Rilette, Artistic Director of Round House Theatre.

In addition to its public-facing programs, OTC is operating an online literary department with several artists still under contract to read through and report back on a backlog of new scripts.

Olney Theatre Artistic Director Jason Loewith said, “We’ve got a lot of incredibly talented theater makers on our payroll, a ton of pent-up creativity to unleash, and a passion to keep telling stories. So here’s how we’re going to keep sharing stories through this crisis. We’re going to do it together, and we’ll come out stronger on the other side, I feel it in my bones.”

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