Olney Theatre Center

Maryland State Summer Theater


'Old' Olney Theatre Interior, Montgomery, Maryland.

'Old' Olney Theatre Interior; Montgomery, Maryland.  Photo by Ryan Crierie/Flickr (Use Permitted with Attribution).

Official State Summer Theater of Maryland

Maryland designated Olney Theatre in Montgomery county (just north of Washington, D.C) as the official state summer theater in 1978 (Center Stage in Baltimore is the state theater; adopted the same year). All State Theaters

Olney is an award-winning regional theater offering year-round productions that "enrich, nurture and challenge a broad range of artists, audiences and students."

Origin of Theater

The origin of theater goes back to prehistoric people acting out their hunting experiences and ancients singing and dancing for religious ceremonies. Theater as pure entertainment evolved slowly - the first recorded European theater was in ancient Greece about 600 BC (for a festival honoring the god of wine and fertility). A poet named Thespis won a dramatic play competition at this celebration and is so considered "the first actor" (origin of the term thespian).