New Awards Announced for Upcoming Annual Banquet

Ole Olsen’s Board of Director’s have announced 5 new recognition awards for its membership who go above & beyond. Members are asked to begin submitting names of those who they feel are deserving. Submissions will be accepted up to and including the day of our membership meeting on March 19. They can be given to any board member via email or in writing.  Board members are listed below.

The following award recipients will be announced at this year’s annual banquet & all nominees will be invited:

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“Making a Difference” Award – this is for individuals who have made a difference in our group. It is not required that it be a member. This could have been this year or in previous years.

“Behind the Scenes” Award – this is for individuals who have worked behind the scenes including backstage, lights, sound, promotion, music, set building/design, or costumes. It is not required that is be a member. This could have been this year or in previous years.

“Caught in the Act” Award – this is for individuals who are actors/actresses in one of this season’s plays. It is required that the nominee be a paid member.

“Standing Ovation” Award – this is for an individual who has contributed in any way to one of this season’s shows; as a director, actor/actress, or in any capacity who has gone above & beyond to help with this season’s plays. It is required that they be a paid member.

“Pledging/Hazing” Award – this is for an individual who is new to our group this season performing or contributing for the first time. Since we allow individuals to participate in their first show without becoming a member, membership is not required.

“Volunteer of the Year” – this award is for a member who has volunteered endless hours in making our group successful this season. It is required that they be a paid member.

“Hall of Fame” – this award is for a member who has given to our organization over a period of at least 10 years. It is also required that they be a paid member for 10 consecutive years. j

Members of Ole Olsen’s Board of Directors include: Alan Myers, Kelly Makin, Christy Sullivan, Cathy Converse, Shannon Banter, Debby Myers, Kelly Mathias-Williams, Jim Walker, Stephanie Wagner. If you would like to nominate someone for any of these fantastic awards, please contact one of these people.


Ole Olsen’s Showstoppin’ Nutcrackin’ Crazy Christmas Show is Coming!!!

Showstoppers will be taking the Christmas stage by storm this year with an original musical written & directed by mother & daughter duo—Kelly Makin & Courtney Voss.

 The story begins with the audience seeing Mary, Joseph & Jesus at the manger. shepherds, wise men, & townspeople all come to see the baby, as directed by the angels. Through the use of a narrator (Lynn Weil) & a very inquisitive child, (Brayson Thevenard) the audience learns that one of the wise men was so in awe of the sight & gift of the baby Jesus that he becomes Santa Claus in order to share the gift of Jesus every year & keep the message alive

In order to help him in his mission, angels become Christmas fairies, & other cast members who had been shepherds & townspeople become elves, toy soldiers & reindeer. In addition, Santa meets Mrs. Claus—the love of his life. Things go very well for a long time until Santa starts to feel as though he might be taking away from the real story of Christmas. He flees from Christmas town, until Jesus himself explains to him that everyone has a purpose & his life has meaning.

The show opens with dinner theater Thursday December 1st catered by Boondocks. The menu includes: butter nut squash soup, stuffed pork, loin, mashed potatoes, green beans, dinner rolls, & pumpkin roll for dessert. Additonal performances will be as follows: Dec. 2, 3, & 9 at 7:30 p.m., Dec 3, 4, 10, & 11 at 2:00 pm.

Musical numbers performed include: Mary Did You Know, Breath of Heaven, Do you Hear What I Hear, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings, The Little Drummer Boy, Children Go Where I Send Thee, Christmastime, We Need a Little Christmas, Toy Soldier Drumline, Sparklejollytwinklejingley, Jingle Bells, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Baby It’s Cold Outside, Oh Holy Night, 12 Days of Christmas, Sugar Plum Fairy Ballet, Toy Soldier Drumline Fail, Send My Love, Santa Baby, I Don’t Remember Christmas and I Don’t Remember You, Unsteady, True Colors, Hard Candy Christmas, All I Want for Christmas is You, Silent Night, Seasons of Love, & That’s Christmas to Me.

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Cast announced for Ole Olsen’s 3rd show of the season – “LUV”

Ole Olsen’s 3rd production is entitled “LUV” a comedy directed by Alan Myers. Two men & one woman have been cast for this funny show! Keith Martin will portray Milt; Mark Esch will portray Harry; & Samantha Grudzien will play Ellen. The trio will work as an ensemble! Show dates are Feb 23-26 & March 3-5.


Show dates are Fluv1eb 23-26 & March 3-5.

Check out our slate of shows for our upcoming 2016-2017 season!

“Steel Magnolias” is a 1989 American comedy-drama about the bond a group of different women share in a small-town southern community. The play is an audience favorite. M’Lynn Eatenton is the mother of bride-to-be Shelby & as they plan the wedding, close friend & hair stylist Truvy Jones fixes the women’s hair for the ceremony, with a helping hand from aspiring beautician Annelle. Diabetic Shelby has a health scare, which is averted but doesn’t bode well for her hopes of having children. Time passes, and the women and their friends encounter tragedy and good fortune, growing stronger and closer in the process. The title suggests the main female characters can be both as delicate as the magnolia flower and as tough as steel. Show dates are: Dinner theater – Sept 29th. Performances Sept 30, Oct 1 & 2, Oct 7-9 with a by reservation only tea & dessert tasting performance on Saturday, Oct 8th at 1 pm.  The show will be directed by Ole Olsen Hall of Fame member Debby Myers, who portrayed Trudy when Ole Olsen performed the show 10 years ago.



“Ole’s Showstoppin’ Christmas Story”is being written & directed by Ole Olsen Hall of Fame member Kelly Voss. Show dates: Dec 1-4, 9-11. Join the cast for Christmas themed singing, dancing, & an explosion of fun to put everyone in the holiday spirit. Using spectacular lighting & costuming will make the program shine. Both traditional & not so traditional music will also make for a nutcrackin’ crazy time!

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“LUV” will be directed by Alan Myers. As described by the New York Times: “When the play begins there is Harry Berlin, looking like a shaved, mustachioed beatnik who has sunk so low that honest beatniks would disown him. He has no future except to jump off the bridge and is about to do so when Milt Manville comes along and intervenes. Milt and Harry turn out to be college classmates. As Harry, in his rags, slowly drops hints of his tale of woe, Milt, a picture of prosperity, is all sympathy. Milt is also full of frustration, for his wife won’t release him & let him marry the girl he loves. Milt’s wife, Ellen, appears. As she stands under a lamppost, her expression is clear that she, too, is torn by anguish. Now we have a triangle matched in misery. Milt has an inspiration. Why not bring Ellen & Harry together and thus win the freedom to marry the other girl? The events that follow need not be detailed. Whatever marriages are made and unmade, Milt, Ellen and Harry end up in sorrow & agony, and the greater their misunderstandings & problems, the more you laugh.” Show dates are: Feb 23-26 & March 3-5.



“Sherlock Holmes: Raising the Dead” was written by Ole Olsen Hall of Fame member Bob Bryan, & will be directed by Bob Bryan & Jerra Moreland. The earth is faintly trembling beneath two longtime bachelor lodgers, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson of 221B Baker St. London: Watson is about to be married & move out. Holmes very reluctantly, must confront his future. Into Holmes’ life comes an attractive & bright young lady with an intriguing problem—a sister who has disappeared under eerie circumstances. Holmes takes on the case only to find it is more than he can handle emotionally. Show dates are: April 27-30, May 5-7.






Back to the Summer Kid’s Play & Theater Workshop

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 Congratulations to our 16 young thespians for a terrific show! Connor Bahney, Zoe Kesler, Jakob Bertoline, Miguel Sebastian, Kiearra Springer, Deklyn Finnigan, Lehna Wagner, Maya Wagner, Makenna Johnson, Taylor Johnson, Conner Stanley, Carleigh Mercier, Kaelynn Mercier, Zoe Wylam, Ayanna Terrell, Dyon Terrell. Also thanks to Jayne Kesler, Stephanie Wagner, Alan Myers, Tiffany Smith, Bryan Bertoline, & Tom Cavanaugh.

Cole Porter Review History

Since 2005, Ole Olsen Memorial Theatre has presented an original revue as part of the Cole Porter Festival commemorating the birth of Cole Porter in Peru, Indiana.  As of the tenth production, “Kountry Fried Cole” in 2014, over one hundred local volunteers have performed over 120 different songs composed by Porter in productions placing them in modern motifs and popular genres, including a morning news program, soap opera, murder mystery, science fiction adventure, and fairy tale.     The revues also feature lesser-known pieces by Porter, with “Night and Day” being the only song performed in all productions.  Being an annual revue gives the creators more freedom to dig more deeply into the Cole catalogue, and with the assistance of the Cole Porter Family Trust, they have been able to include songs from all periods of Porter’s prolific career.  As of the tenth production, “Coffee” and “Stereophonic Sound” had been performed as often as “You’re the Top”, and “I Get a Kick Out of You” appeared in as many productions as “Plumbing” and “Pets”.         By combining his extensive library with a different genre each year, the revues have proven to be a very fitting celebration of the inimitable talent of Cole Porter.  Regardless of the genre portrayed, his music always fits effortless, with usually no re-writing, as if the material was written specifically for each production.  Regular attendees also admire how a song like “In the Still of the Night” could be the threatening lament of a ninja-dressed murder suspect one year and then a countrified joke regarding third-shift moon shining in another.     As we hear often during the Cole Porter Festival, “What other composer could you do this for?”

2005:  Timeless Cole Co-Written by Kurt Schindler & Kelly Voss; Co-Directed by Kelly Voss & Kurt Schindler

2006:  A Cole Reception Written and Directed by Kurt Schindler

2007:  A Cup O’ ColeWritten and Directed by Kurt Schindler

2008:  Night & Day: A Soapy Cole Written and Directed by Kurt Schindler

2009:  Radio Cole Written and Directed by Kurt Schindler

2010:  Timeless Cole 2.0 – Now With Recycling! Previous material from Timeless Cole, Co-Written by Kurt Schindler & Kelly Voss New Material Written by Kurt Schindler Directed by Kurt Schindler

2011:  Cole Blooded Murder Written by Patricia Piper; Co-Directed by Patricia Piper and Tammy Hileman

2012:  Once Upon a Cole Story by Nancy Bender; Script by Nancy Bender and Kurt Schindler; Co-Directed by Nancy Bender & Kurt Schindler

2013:  Cole In Space Written and Directed by Kurt Schindler

2014:  Kountry Fried Cole Story by Sunny Holtzlander; Script by Sunny Holtzlander & Kurt Schindler;    Directed by  Sunny Holtzlander

2015: Prehistoric Cole Co-Written by Alan Myers & Kurt Schindler;  Co-Directed by Alan Myers & Kurt Schindler