The MD Theatre Guide is pleased to announce the winner of the Best of 2015 Reader’s Choice Award for Best Professional Theatre! Thank you for voting! Over 10,000 votes were cast! (Double last years numbers!)
The awards are designed to honor local performing arts, entertainment and education organizations for their creativity, talents, and contributions across MD, DC, and Northern, VA.
The winner will receive a professionally made certificate suitable for hanging up proudly as a record of their momentous achievement.
And the winner of the MD Theatre Guide’s Best of 2015 Reader’s Choice Award for Best Professional Theatre goes to……Olney Theatre Center!
Congratulations to Olney Theatre Center and all of this years nominees!
Best Professional Theatre: Olney Theatre Center
Located just north of Washington, D.C. in arts-rich Montgomery County, Maryland, Olney Theatre Center, under the artistic direction of Jason Loewith, offers a diverse array of professional productions year-round that enrich, nurture and challenge a broad range of artists, audiences and students. One of two state theaters of Maryland, Olney Theatre Center is situated on 14 acres in the heart of the beautiful Washington-Baltimore-Frederick “triangle,” within easy access of all three cities. A professional, award-winning regional theater, Olney Theatre Center operates under an Actors’ Equity Association Council of Stock Theaters (COST) contract, one of only three theaters in the country to operate under such a contract.
History of Olney Theatre Center:
Olney Theatre Center enjoys a rich tradition of bringing quality theatre productions to the community for 75 years.
The theatre’s founder, Steve Cochran, dreamed originally of opening a straw-hat theater in a relaxing country setting accessible to both Washington and Baltimore. On July 25, 1938, the theater opened its doors for the first time with a production of Ladislaus Bus-Fekete’s The Lady Has a Heart, which starred Elissa Landi of “movie fame.” Early playbills dubbed the playhouse “The South’s First Professional Summer Theatre.”
Over the years, some of the biggest names in theater and film have appeared on our stages, including:
About Jason Loewith:
Mr. Loewith has made theater as a producer, director, playwright and dramaturg in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and now Washington, DC. As a playwright, he won Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle, and Jeff Awards for Best New Musical for Adding Machine: A Musical, which he co-wrote with composer Joshua Schmidt. He produced the world premiere at Chicago’s Next Theatre Company (Next) in 2007, where he served as Artistic Director from 2002-2008. That production went on to a six-month run Off-Broadway in 2008, winning four OBIE Awards for direction, design and performance. Mr. Loewith directed a dozen regional and world premieres at Next, where his programming twice received the After Dark Award for Outstanding Season (03-04 and 05-06), and work that he directed or produced won multiple Jeff, After Dark, and Black Theatre Alliance Awards and received critical accolades from Chicagoland’s major media outlets.
Since moving to Washington in 2009, Mr. Loewith has directed new plays for Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre, DC’s Studio Theatre, and Baltimore’s Everyman and CENTERSTAGE, where he also served as Associate Producer for Special Programs. During that time, Mr. Loewith served as Executive Director of the National New Play Network (NNPN), the country’s alliance of theaters that champions the development, production, and continued life of new plays. With NNPN he supervised dozens of Rolling World Premieres across the country by writers like Luis Alfaro, Steven Dietz, Quiara Hudes, and Theresa Rebeck. In his four years at the helm, NNPN added new programs and expanded old ones, garnering major new funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.
Earlier in his career Mr. Loewith served for two years as Artistic Administrator for Chicago’s Court Theatre, five years as General Manager (and frequent dramaturg) at off-Broadway’s Classic Stage Company, worked in the literary departments of the Mark Taper Forum and the Public, and nearly lost his marbles mounting fifty productions in three years as Production Manager at the Odyssey Theatre in LA. His work has been supported multiple times with NEA grants for Artistic Excellence, as well as the Rockefeller/MAP Fund and MacArthur’s International Connections Fund. Mr. Loewith was a Theatre Communications Group (TCG) New Generations mentorship grantee in the first year of the program. His book The Director’s Voice, Volume 2 was published by TCG in 2012.
Official Voting Ballot Results:
First Place: Olney Theatre Center.
Second Place: Everyman Theatre.
Third Place: Shakespeare Theatre Company.
Fourth Place: Studio Theatre.
Fifth Place: Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.