Something for Everyone: Olympia’s Eclectic Theater Scene Has it All

first_imgFacebook87Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by Harlequin ProductionsOlympia Family Theater’s new location is on 4th Avenue, across from City Hall.There is no one answer to what makes “good” theater. Each person will answer this question from their unique perspective. Fortunately for everyone, the Olympia theater scene has a broad range of offerings for South Sound theater patrons.Olympia Family Theater (OFT) recently moved into the space across from City Hall. There, they present fantastic shows to entertain and empower children and families. Their next show is The Monster Under the Bed, a hilarious (not scary) musical for the whole family (recommended for kids 6+).Just down the road, Theater Artists Olympia (TAO) recently moved into the Midnight Sun Performance Space. As they get settled into their new home, they continue to pump out imaginative works of theater that “comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.” Currently on their stage is The Head! That Wouldn’t DIE!, a musical adaptation of a 1958 B-horror flick featuring original songs and a disembodied singing head rolling around the place. I had the chance to see this one last weekend and had a blast; it’s a fun and clever show wrought with inspired insanity.Take a short trip northward from OFT’s magical castle and TAO’s wicked cavern and you’ll find yourself at Priest Point Park, the home of Animal Fire Theatre’s outdoor Shakespeare. AFT has been presenting summer Shakespeare in the park in Olympia for five summers and are getting set for their sixth. Although they have not yet announced what their next show will be, we can expect the highest quality based on last year’s hilarious Two Gentlemen of Verona.The Washington Center, in downtown Olympia, seats 945 and hosts performances 350 days per year.Nearby, in the east side neighborhood is Olympia Little Theatre, our city’s longest-running theater company. OLT was founded in 1939, which means they were presenting plays during World War II, through the sixties psychedelic revolution, amid the cold war, while Nirvana came and went, and are still going strong today. Their next show is Come Back to the Five & Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, running the second half of January.Olympia is also host to The Washington Center for the Performing Arts, which brings some of the best theater in the country to our own backyards.In addition, there are several other theater companies new to the scene, radio-based performance groups, dance companies, burlesque groups, improv troupes, and much, much more. Olympia has a disproportionate number of theater groups compared to other cities of its size in the country. No matter what personally makes you tick when it comes to live theater, you’re sure to find it among Olympia’s many dedicated theater companies, each brilliant at the specific niche they represent.Harlequin Productions Stardust shows are a holiday tradition.We at Harlequin Productions are honored to be part of such a superb theater community. Each year we present an eclectic season reflecting the “something for everyone” character of Olympia’s theater scene as a whole. This season, we’re presenting Stardust, a holiday musical for the whole family. After that is The 39 Steps, a comedic adaptation of an Alfred Hitchcock movie featuring four actors playing 139 roles. Next up is Laughter on the 23rd Floor, a Neil Simon comedy. In May we’ll offer Time Stands Still, an edgy modern drama following a photojournalist and a foreign correspondent whose romantic relationship is put to the test after one of them is badly wounded in Afghanistan. Our summer musical this year is Sixties Chicks Too, a revisit to one our most popular musicals ever: an all-female musical revue featuring some of the best music the 1960’s had to offer. Then we round out the season with a pair of shows: To Kill A Mockingbird, an adaptation of the American literary classic, and Recent Tragic Events, the story of a blind date on September 12, 2001.All art has its place, all theater has its place. What disturbs one person comforts another; what bores one person inspires another. From the edgy to the tame, from the tragic to the hilarious, from new works to classics, theater can offer something for everyone. And Olympia’s theater scene has it all. As we approach another new year, consider making it your resolution to get out and experience live theater in our culturally rich community.No matter who you are, I guarantee you’ll find something you love.last_img

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