Olney Theatre Center and Maryland Humanities Celebrate 100 Years of Pulitzer Prizes for Drama with Multi-Day Reading Festival

September 13, 2016

Olney Theatre Center and Maryland Humanities announce a lineup of five Pulitzer Prize-winning plays as well as one dramatic adaptation of a Pulitzer-winning novel to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Awards. The celebration, to be held at Olney Theatre Center, September 30 – October 2, will consist of staged readings of the prize-winning works featuring prominent local actors and directed by some of the DC-area’s top artists.

Jason Loewith, Artistic Director of Olney Theatre Center said about the Festival, “In addition to opening our season with two Pulitzer-winners, The Diary of Anne Frank and Angels in America, we wanted to celebrate other plays the Pulitzer Committee has honored over the last century. This partnership with Maryland Humanities will allow our community to get an extraordinarily broad view of the last century of great American theater, as well as the opportunity to hear some seldom-performed works like Fiorello!”

Phoebe Stein, executive director of Maryland Humanities, explained her organization’s excitement about the Festival: “Maryland Humanities’ work this year commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Pulitzer Prizes, which is a nationwide effort, seeks to illuminate the impact of the humanities on American life today, to imagine their future, and to inspire new generations to consider the values represented by the body of Pulitzer Prize-winning work. Our investment in this Festival and our partnership with Olney exemplify how to fulfill and amplify these vitally important goals.”

The Festival schedule is as follows:

Friday, September 30 at 8:00 pm
A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE by Tennessee Williams (1948 winner)
Directed by Amber Jackson
STARRING: Amanda Forstrom (Stella), Tessa Klein (Blanche), Torey Garza (Stanley), Joe Mallon (Mitch), Celeste Jones (Blue Piano)

Saturday, October 1 at 1:00 pm
THE GIN GAME by D.L. Coburn (1978 winner)
Directed by Patrick Pearson
STARRING: Chris Bloch (Weller), Nanna Ingvarrson (Fonsia)

Saturday, October 1 at 4:00 pm
FENCES by August Wilson (1987 winner)
Directed by Michael Bobbitt
STARRING: Elliot Dash (Troy), Desmond Bing (Cory), Erica Chamblee (Rose), Frank Britton (Gabriel), KenYatta Rogers (Bono), JJ Johnson (Lyons), Sakile Lyles (Raynell)

Saturday, October 1 at 7:30 pm
FIORELLO! by Jerome Weidman and George Abbott, Music by Jerry Bock, Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick (1960 winner)
Directed by Chris Youstra
STARRING: Steve Schmidt (Fiorello), Maria Egler (Marie), MaryLee Adams (Dora), Tiziano D’Affuso (Neil), Alan Naylor (Morris), JJ Kaczynski (Mr. Zapatella), Kara-Tameika Watkins, Michael Bunce

Sunday, October 2 at 1:00 pm
WATER BY THE SPOONFUL by Quiara Alegría Hudes (2012 winner)
Directed by Clare Shaffer
STARRING: Stefanie Garcia (Odessa), Thais Menendez (Yazmin), Anthony Martinez (Elliot), KenYatta Rogers (Chutes&Ladders), Jeff Allin (Fountainhead), Chani Wereley (Orangutan)

Sunday, October 2 at 5:00 pm
THE BRIDGE OF SAN LUIS REY by Thornton Wilder (1928 winner)
Directed & Adapted by Derek Goldman
STARRING: Valerie Leonard (Marquesa), Gary Sloan (Uncle Pio), Kim Schraf, Michael Russotto, Jeff Allin, Susan Rome, Desmond Bing, Vanessa Chapoy

Tickets to all events are $10 and can be purchased online at olneytheatre.org/pulitzer or by calling or visiting the Olney Theatre Center Box Office (301) 924-3400 during business hours, Wednesday – Sunday noon – 6:00 pm (closed Mondays and Tuesdays).

This festival of readings is part of the Pulitzer Prizes Centennial Campfires Initiative, a joint venture of the Pulitzer Prizes Board and the Federation of State Humanities Councils in celebration of the 2016 centennial of the Prizes. For their generous support for the Campfires Initiative, Maryland Humanities thanks the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Pulitzer Prizes Board, and Columbia University. This festival is also sponsored in part by Montgomery College.


Olney Theatre Center is an award-winning, nonprofit, Equity theatre. Our mission is to produce and present extraordinary theatre and performance from our four-theatre campus for an ever-more diverse set of audiences in our community, and to educate the next generation of theatremakers to follow in our footsteps. We strive every day to unleash the creative potential of our artist and audiences, and in so doing, become Maryland’s premier center for theatre performance and education. In the past two years, Olney Theatre has had seven world or regional premieres, including Andrew Hinderaker’s Colossal (2015 Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play or Musical), and Jennifer Hoppe-House’s Bad Dog (2015 Steinberg Award nominee).Olney Theatre places a priority on engaging our community by ensuring that we remain affordable, accessible and inviting to new and returning audiences.

Located just north of Washington, D.C. in arts-rich Montgomery County, Maryland, Olney Theatre Center offers a diverse array of over 300 professional productions year-round. It is situated on 14 wooded acres in the heart of the beautiful Washington-Baltimore-Frederick “triangle,” within easy access to all three cities, and is also home to National Players, America’s longest-running touring company. Olney Theatre Center is led by Artistic Director Jason Loewith and Managing Director Debbie Ellinghaus. For more information, please visit www.olneytheatre.org.

Follow Olney Theatre Center on Twitter and Instagram @olneytheatre and on Facebook at facebook.com/olneytheatre.


Maryland Humanities creates and supports educational experiences in the humanities that inspire all Marylanders to embrace lifelong learning, exchange ideas openly, and enrich their communities.

We envision a Maryland where the humanities are understood as central to everyday life because they help us reflect on the past, understand the present, and shape the future. The result will be a state where thoughtful and informed Marylanders are committed to a lifetime of learning that invigorates and strengthens our democracy through an open-minded exchange of ideas.

Follow us on Twitter @MDHumanities and on Facebook at facebook.com/MDHumanities

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