Otterbein Summer Theatre Announces 2018 Season

WESTERVILLE – Otterbein Summer Theatre will continue to produce big-spirited shows with freshly minted imagination in the 2018 season. Artistic Director Lenny Leibowitz has programmed two musicals that investigate and celebrate the pioneering, go-getter, can-do American spirit: “Oklahoma!” and “Snoopy!”

According to Leibowitz, “Both titles are perfect matches for the radiant and resilient young hearts that distinguish our students and both share a kinship that goes way beyond the well-earned exclamation points in their titles.”

The season will open with “Oklahoma!” which will feature a creatively reduced cast of 13 —many playing multiple roles. Rodgers & Hammerstein’s first collaboration remains, in many ways, their most innovative, having set the standards and established the rules of musical theatre still being followed today. The production will be directed by Leibowitz with music direction by Sam Clein and choreography by Stella Hiatt Kane. It runs May 31-June 22.

Set in a Western Indian territory just after the turn of the century, the high-spirited rivalry between the local farmers and cowboys provides the colorful background against which Curly, a handsome cowboy, and Laurey, a winsome farm girl, play out their love story. Although the road to true love never runs smooth, with these two headstrong romantics holding the reins, love’s journey is as bumpy as a surrey ride down a country road.

The summer season will continue with a dog’s-eye view of America’s favorite pup, “Snoopy!” Day in and day out, man’s best friend, the trusted beagle, looks upon the world from atop his doghouse. Of course, this precious pooch wants to kick up his paws and dance, go to school, write the world’s greatest novel and much more. Whatever this dog wants to do, he does!

Melissa Lusher will direct the family-friendly musical, which runs from July 5-23, with musical direction by Dennis Davenport and choreography by Stella Hiatt Kane.

Both productions will be staged in the Fritsche Theatre at Cowan Hall in the traditional seating style, unlike years past when Otterbein Summer Theatre was produced with the audience seated on three sides of the action in portable seating banks.

“We are devoted to making the audience experience at the theatre more comfortable and enjoyable than ever before. So visitors will experience Cowan Hall in its traditional, easy access, roomy and riser-free seating arrangement,” Leibowitz explained. “Our scenic and lighting artists will be creating an overall ambiance that embraces the grandeur of the space while preserving that magical sense of intimacy that makes OST experiences so special.”

New this season at Otterbein, is a staged reading series, “Rare Sightings,” which will provide theatre lovers the experience of rarely-produced plays in an informal style. The readings will take place on June 9 and 10. Titles, schedules and locations will be announced prior to the beginning of the season.

Season ticket packages are $61 each. Individual tickets are $33 each.

Opening night performances begin at 7:30 p.m., Sunday and Friday matinees are at 2 p.m., and all other performances begin at 8 p.m.

The Otterbein Summer Theatre Box Office is open 12-4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and one hour prior to all performances. For more information about Otterbein Summer Theatre and the 2018 Season, please contact Otterbein University Theatre at 614-823-1109 or visit the Otterbein University website,

Otterbein Summer Theatre 2018 Performance Schedule:

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!”

Music by Richard Rodgers, book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. Based on the play “Green Grow the Lilacs” by Lynn Riggs. Directed by Lenny Leibowitz. Music direction by Sam Clein. Choreography by Stella Hiatt Kane.

May 31-June 3, June 7-10, June 14-17, and June 21 & 22 (Two performances Friday, June 8 – 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.)

All performances in the Fritsche Theatre at Cowan Hall, 30 S. Grove St., Westerville.

Thursday, May 31 7:30 p.m.; Friday, June 1 8 p.m.; Saturday, June 2 8 p.m.; Sunday, June 3 2 p.m.; Thursday, June 7 8 p.m.; Friday, June 8 2 p.m.; Friday, June 8 8 p.m.; Saturday, June 9 8 p.m.; Sunday, June 10 2 p.m.; Thursday, June 14 8 p.m.; Friday, June 15 8 p.m.; Saturday, June 16 8 p.m.; Sunday, June 17 2 p.m.; Thursday, June 21 8 p.m.; Friday, June 22 8 p.m.


Based on the comic strip “PEANUTS” by Charles M. Schulz. Book by Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates, Warren Lockhart, Arthur Whitelaw and Michael L. Grace. Music by Larry Grossman. Lyrics by Hal Hackady. Directed by Melissa Lusher. Music direction by Dennis Davenport. Choreography by Stella Kane.

July 5-8, July 12-15, and July 19-21 (Two performances July 20 – 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.)

All performances in the Fritsche Theatre at Cowan Hall, 30 S. Grove St., Westerville.

Thursday, July 5 7:30 p.m.; Friday, July 6 8 p.m.; Saturday, July 7 8 p.m.; Sunday, July 8 2 p.m.; Thursday, July 12 8 p.m.;

Friday, July 13 8 p.m.; Saturday, July 14 8 p.m.; Sunday, July 15 2 p.m.; Thursday, July 19 8 p.m.; Friday, July 20 2 p.m.; Friday, July 20 8 p.m.; Saturday, July 21 8 p.m.