Olney Theatre Center
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It’s a hike, but the hour-long drive to this suburban Maryland house can be worth the trouble. Founded as a summer theater in the 1930s, it saw performances by a startlingly starry roster over the decades: Helen Hayes, Tallulah Bankhead, Olivia de Havilland, Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy, Uta Hagen and Ian McKellen are just a few of the names who’ve toured there. More recently, Olney’s season has been largely subscriber-friendly fluff, and a fiscal crisis that nearly bankrupted the place in 2009-10 hasn’t helped. But now and again artistic director Jim Petosa will offer up something gratifyingly bold. A newish 440-seat main-stage completes a campus with no fewer than four performance spaces—one of them a casual outdoor stage.
2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road (Route 108)
|Opening hours:||Box office 10am–6pm Mon–Fri; noon–5pm Sat, Sun|