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Family Legacy Continues at Olney Theatre

Jul 21, 2011 08:14PM ● By Anonymous

Olney, MD- July 21, 2011- Olney Theatre Center, a 73-year-old
professional, award-winning, year round performing arts institution,
announces today the opening of a special production of Godspell, a
musical by Stephen Schwartz and John-Michael Tebelak.   The production
will be performed by the high school students from Covenant Life Church
on July 29 and July 30 at 7:30pm on the Historic Stage.

The Covenant Life Church production director Cathy Graham Mays and her
sister Carole Graham Lehan hope to raise $7,000 to carry on the legacy
of their father, William H. Graham, Chairman Emeritus of Olney Theatre
Center.  The cast and crew are volunteering their time to the
production, and all proceeds go toward supporting Olney Theatre Center's
educational outreach programs, which includes the National Players,
America's longest-running touring company.

The production of Godspell not only gives back to the local community
but also fulfills Cathy and Carole's wish to continue to contribute to
theatre and arts education as their family has for many years. In 1956,
when Olney Theatre Center was struggling financially, Fr. Gilbert V.
Hartke, then chair of the Drama Department at The Catholic University of
America (CUA), handed their father, William H. Graham, the
responsibility of bringing the theatre out of debt.  By the end of that
summer, he raised $7,000 for the Theatre. Cathy and Carole hope to match
this figure with this production.

"We are thrilled about this opportunity to give back to Olney Theatre
Center and the National Players," said Cathy Graham Mays, Director.

Both Cathy and Carole are theatre educators and have worked for the
National Players, the cornerstone of the educational outreach of Olney
Theatre Center. The National Players continue to provide a professional
transition for students of theatre, just as they did when Fr. Hartke
chaired the CUA Drama Department, and has brought literature to life for
more than 2.5 million audience members since 1949.

All tickets are $10.  For tickets, call Olney Theatre Center's Box
Office at 301-924-3400 or purchase online at

About Olney Theatre Center

Olney Theatre Center, located in Olney, Maryland, is a 73-year-old
professional, award-winning, nonprofit Equity theater whose mission is
to inspire and nurture artists, students, technicians, administrators,
and its audience members through its diverse array of theatrical and
musical productions year-round.  Located in arts-rich Montgomery County,
Olney Theatre Center is easily accessible from Washington, DC and
Baltimore, MD. For more information, please visit

About the National Players

In operation since 1949, National Players is America's longest running
touring company.  Comprised of young professional actors, each year the
company travels throughout the country (including every region of
Maryland) performing two plays in repertory - one Shakespearean play and
one dramatic classic.  National Players reaches students and families
who might otherwise have a limited opportunity to see live, classical
theater.  In addition, Players conducts workshops with students in such
theater-related areas as Shakespeare, playwriting, acting, stage combat,
scene analysis, and improvisation.  Committed to the development of
young theatrical talent and audiences, National Players' tours celebrate
the experience of theatergoing by presenting the world's greatest
dramatic literature.