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Two local theaters launch seasons with “The Canterville Ghost” and “Deathtrap”

IMG 7405 copy deathtrapJ. McAndrew Breen stars as scheming playwright Sidney Bruhl in Ira Levin’s Broadway hit "Deathtrap" at Silver Spring Stage. COURTESY PHOTO  

Montgomery Playhouse, an all-volunteer theater, has a varied season ahead.

First up in 2017-2018 is “The Canterville Ghost,” a play Marisha Chamberlain adapted from the short story by Oscar Wilde.

In January, the Playhouse presents “The Reluctant Dragon,” a comedy for young audiences, and, in March, a Live Radio Show recreates the Austin Blackie Radio Series of the 1940s and ‘50s.

“Our mandate is to entertain and educate audiences,” said Loretto McNally, board president.

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Learning to overdose on the theater in a perfectly good way

greek tragedy and comedy masksIf you like “theater writ large,” the place to be over the Labor Day Weekend is the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, which is hosting the 16th annual Page-to-Stage New Play Festival.

More than 60 theaters from the metropolitan area will present open rehearsals, concert readings, and workshops of new plays often still in the development phase.

Montgomery County is well represented, with at least eight of its theaters participating.

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Center Stage: An in-depth talk with Watkins Mill's Scott Tarzwell

GAITHERSBURG – Watkins Mill High School Theater’s “The Laramie Project” closed Saturday after a run in which students portrayed the stories about a tragic, real-life murder in Wyoming.

They told the dramatic story of a gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard, who was beaten and killed in the small town of Laramie, Wyo. in 1998, before most of the Watkins Mill students were born.

The play is a series of vignettes based on hundreds of interviews following the murder, exploring the culture of the town and the nature of the murder, which was denounced as a hate crime.

Scott Tarzwell, one of the two theater directors at Watkins Mill offered his perspective on directing high school students for a play with mature themes.

“I like this play because it’s a true story, it’s about real people, and I like that it’s not a simple plot: it’s little vignettes,” said Tarzwell.

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Center Stage: "Mary Poppins" at Olney Theatre Center is 'practically perfect'

Mary PoppinsPatricia Hurley stars as the iconic magical nanny in "Mary Poppins," playing at the Olney Theatre Center through Jan. 1. COURTESY PHOTO  

OLNEY – At the Olney Theatre Center, a practically perfect production of “Mary Poppins” is running throughout the holiday season.

“Mary Poppins,” the heartwarming story about a magic nanny who appears out of nowhere to raise two troublesome children, is quite possibly the best ‘feel-good’ play of the year at the Olney Theatre Center.

The colorful and vibrant sets and the excellent acting, complete with quaint English accents, makes this play feel truly like a slice of Disney has been put on stage.

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