Cast Chosen for “Steel Magnolias”

Director Debby Myers has announced the cast for the fall production of Steel Magnolias.

Truvy – Kelly Voss

Annelle – Teresa Hershberger

M’Lynn – Diana Blair

Shelby – Samantha Grudzien

Clairee – Kelly Mathias-Williams

Ouiser – Jayne Kesler

Also featured in the transition scenes: Young Truvy (Maya Wagner), Young M’Lynn (Meadow Stanley), Young Ouiser (Makenna Johnson), Young Clairee (Zoe Wylam), & Young Shelby (Deklyn Finnigan).

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: Sept 29 & 30, Oct 1 & 2, Oct 7-9. 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 Showstopper 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