Honoring the Past While Moving Forward at Olney Theatre Center

The new Artistic Director of the Olney Theatre Center, Martin Platt feels it is “crucial” to honor the theatre’s past while moving it forward.

One of the questions Mr. Platt asked himself and his colleagues was “How can we find exciting plays that fill seats that move the theatre forward again?”  The answer was to mix the season with new, edgy musicals, like Spring Awakening that will attract more young adult audiences with classics such as Once Upon A Mattress and Angel Street (‘Gaslight’).

There is something for everyone in the season.  Platt says that “Every show we are doing next year is something that the traditional Olney audience will enjoy as much as possibly some newer audiences coming.”

In honor of its 75th Anniversary Season, a new logo was unveiled last night in Platt’s continued efforts to honor the theatre’s past while moving it forward.

The new logo communicates “the excitement of the live theatre experience and the diversity of content offered at Olney Theatre Center. Further distilling the logo (O!) serves as a recognizable and versatile branding element.”

In addition to the logo, Olney Theatre Center’s 2013 season brochure cover dons the slogan “Maryland’s newest theatre is also Maryland’s oldest theatre!”

In an interview with Mr. Platt, MD Theatre Guide’s Elliot Lanes asked “Where would you like to see Olney Theatre Center in five years?”  He answered by saying, “I’d like to see Olney as an essential player in the Baltimore/Washington theatre scene. Just as people that live here turn their cars south to go to Arena or Signature or Centerstage or Studio, I’d like people who are not Montgomery County commuters to go ‘Wow, Olney is doing that.  We need to turn our car in the other direction and come out.’”

About Mark Beachy

Mark Beachy is the publisher and video producer of the MD Theatre Guide and the NY Theatre Guide.

In 1997 he wrote the play, music, and lyrics in a musical called, “’Bout Baltimore.” This musical won the WMAR TV Channel 2 and Pumpkin Theatre Baltimore Bicentennial Playwriting contest and was produced as a 1-hour television special.

He has directed over 40 productions, including shows for Pumpkin Theatre, Timonium Dinner Theatre, Howard County Center for the Arts, and the Baltimore Children's Theatre where he was the founder and producer for 7 years.

Before starting the MTG in March of 2010, Mark was the performing arts reporter for the Baltimore Examiner.

As a professional actor he has appeared on TV nationally, including on Discovery Health as "Jerry Baldwin" on I Was Dead, “Officer Nunham” on America’s Most Wanted’s Top Cops 2009 and “Alexander T. Crane” in a Japanese TV documentary about Edgar Allan Poe.