OPEN HOUSE – FEBRUARY 1 from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Olympic Theatre Arts is ‘puttin’on the glitz’ in celebration of its forty years of continuous operation as Sequim’s community theatre. On Saturday, February 1 the OTA Center will be holding an open house to showcase memorabilia from the past with plenty of nostalgic photos, posters, playbills and newspaper articles served alongside celebratory cake and bubbly. The organizers are planning an ‘over the top’ experience for all guests and the public is invited. Says Rosie von Engel, one of the planners, “It’s going to be a whimsically chic affair, tastefully eclectic, a real red carpet ride.” She follows with “Ruby, will you be mine?” referencing the 40th ‘ruby’ anniversary symbolism.
This established volunteer community theatre was founded in 1980 by Richard Waites when he mounted a one man show at the Old Dungeness Schoolhouse. The show was Krapp’s Last Tape by Samuel Beckett and at the end of the performance he asked anyone in attendance to please stay behind if they were interested, like he was, in starting a community theatre in Sequim. Among those interested was Olivia Shea, an actress and director who has since been continuously involved in the development and success of the organization.
The theatre grew and evolved through the years, first moving to a second floor space on Washington Street, named for one of its significant benefactors the Howard Wood Memorial Theatre. When that space became insufficient the group, spearheaded by Elaine and Bob Caldwell, rallied the community for support to buy and renovate the building now occupied at 414 N Sequim Avenue, the Olympic Theatre Arts Center. The new center staged its premier production of Cabaret in 2010, exactly ten years ago this year, making this anniversary celebration doubly exciting.
Olympic Theatre Arts is encouraging the public, those involved and those who have never walked through the doors, to come and celebrate these two milestone anniversaries. “Community theatre provides a very important element for our society,” states Carol Willis, Executive Director. “It is an artistic forum for public expression and collaboration, so important for building and maintaining a vibrant community.” Regarding the event Willis says, “We want to thank those who have helped to make it possible and encourage any and all newcomers to come play with us!”
The open house is planned for Saturday, February 1 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at 414 N Sequim Avenue.