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Olney Theatre Center

2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Rd.
Olney, Maryland 20832

301.924.4485 ext. 116
Toll-Free 866.682.7529

National Players Calendar


Tours & Booking

America's Longest Running Touring Company

Now celebrating its 63rd anniversary season, National Players has earned a distinctive place in American theatre by bringing innovative and accessible productions to audiences across the country. Performed with high-voltage energy, clarity, and wit, National Players introduces audiences to great works of dramatic literature that are rich in exciting stories and characters, and profound in language and themes. Our productions touch hearts and minds, inspire imagination and wonder, spark curiosity about the self, the world, and the creative process, and celebrate what it means to be human.

National Players was founded in 1949 by Father Gilbert V. Hartke, O.P., a prominent arts educator and then head of the drama department at Catholic University of America. His mission – to stimulate young people’s higher thinking skills and imaginations by presenting classical plays in surprisingly accessible ways – is as urgent and vital today as it was 63 years ago.

Olney Theatre Center is proud to be the artistic home of National Players and to continue Father Hartke’s vision and commitment to provide young theatre artists with their first professional opportunities. Players’ alumni include actors, directors, and designers working on film, television, and hundreds of stages across America.

National Players has performed in the East Wing of the White House, in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East for American military, and throughout 40 states. Known for its talent and commitment to excellence, National Players has brought literature to life for more than 2.5 million audience members.

National Players offers an exemplary lesson in collaboration and teamwork-in-action: the actors not only play multiple roles onstage, but also serve as managers, teaching artists, and technicians. A self-contained company, National Players carries its own sets, lights, costumes, and sound. Being a Player is a rigorous and thrilling experience, granting young performers the touring opportunity of a lifetime, the chance at several lifelong friendships, and a wealth of audiences across America looking for theatre, Shakespeare, and good company.



Maryland State Arts CouncilMD State Department of Education

All programs at Olney Theatre Center are made possible by support from the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County; the Maryland State Department of Education; and the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency funded by the State of Maryland and the National Endowment for the Arts.