February 17, 2011 | by Juliette Ebner
Arts briefs: Feb. 18

Alan Wiggins as Joseph and Eleasha Gamble as the Narrator in ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ directed by David Hidler. Photo courtesy of Olney Theatre Center.

‘Joseph’ production slated for Olney

David Hidler’s take on “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” opens Wednesday at 8 p.m. on the mainstage Olney Theatre Center (2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Rd).

“When I think of ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,’ I think of a show as big as its title – splashy, flashy, big dance numbers, terrific music … it all feels epic, gigantic,” said Hilder in a press release. “And yet when I read the story … what strikes me is much simpler and, fundamentally more personal … It’s a powerful story we all can learn from.”

“Joseph” is the first full-length musical by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim price that began as a 20-minute “pop cantata” by Webber for a school choir to perform in 1968 and was produced on the London stage five years later. The show went on Broadway in 1982.

Joseph will be played by Alan Wiggins, a first time performer at Olney. His father is played by R. Scott Williams (who also plays Potiphar). Williams has performed at Olney in “Of Mice and Men” and has appeared locally on stage at the Kennedy Center, Arena Stage, the Shakespeare Theatre, Washington Stage Guild and Wayside Theatre.

Another performer returning to the center is Eleasha Gamble as the Narrator, a role in which she made her professional debut at Olney in 1999.

Joseph’s brothers will be played by Stephawn Stephens, Mardee Bennett, Nick Lehan, Kurt Boehm, Parker Drown, L.C. Harden Jr., Vincent Kempsi, Ben Lurye, Jeramiah Miller, Andrew Sonntag and Russell Sunday.

On Wednesday through Saturday, there will be a performance at 8 p.m with matinees on Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. Sundays and March 8, a Tuesday, will also have a 7:30 p.m. performance. Two additional matinees will be on March 2 and 16 at 2 p.m.

Tickets start at $26 with discounts available to groups, seniors, military and students and can be purchased by calling the box office at 301-924-3400 or visiting olneytheatre.org. The show will run through March 20.

HRC plans adoption forum

This Wednesday, Human Rights Campaign (1640 Rhode Island Ave., N.W.) is hosting an adoption forum.

Ellen Kahn, Family Project Direct at HRC says there are major adoption needs in the D.C. area.

“We are a city that has a large population of older children in foster care,” Kahn said.

These older children will age out of the system if they do not find a family, she said.

That’s why she is organizing this forum.

“The long term goal, of course, is to find families for some of these young people who might not otherwise have these connections,” Kahn said.

There will be a number of speakers from different organizations at the forum, such as Adoptions Together and D.C. Child and Family Services. These representatives will be talking about the work that they do and the ways in which they help find families for children in foster care.

They will share local resources and what the process of becoming a foster parent or adopting entails. The panelists will also answer frequently asked questions.

The questions Kahn always hears is whether these organizations trying to place children in families will allow a gay man or lesbian to adopt.

Kahn says a disproportionate number of youth identify somewhere on the LGBT spectrum and agencies are having trouble placing these children because not everyone is open to adopting or fostering an LGBT child.

Agencies are trying to find parents who are open to the idea of adopting an LGBT youth or who have experience or are knowledgeable about the LGBT community. They are looking for parents, gay or straight, who would be committed to supporting these youths.

According to Kahn, there will also be some people on the panel who are raising teens to share their experiences of going through the process and being a support for a child who was in the foster care system. She hopes they will have one or two youths who can share their experiences about being in the system and finding a family.

Kahn will be on the panel as well.

This is a free event that is opened to all families whether they are single, partnered, married, gay or straight. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the program begins at 7.

“If anybody has even the slightest instinct to be a resource, we want them to come through the door,” Kahn said.

Sandy LeBrun-Evans photograph titled "View of Cells" is part of the f11 exhibit, "A Room of Our Own," which opens March 1 at Pepco Edison Place Gallery.

Rooms explored in new exhibit

f11 Women’s Photography Collective presents “A Room of Our Own” which opens March 1 at Pepco Edison Place Gallery (702 8th St., N.W.).

Sponsored by The Art League in Alexandria, “Room” features more than 50 images created by the 18 members of f11.

“The images are as rich and varied as the methods used to make them, reflecting the different perceptions, styles and processes of f11’s members,” Rose O’Donnell, Gallery Director for The Art League said in a press release.

Some of the photographs on display include Sandy LeBrun-Evans images of the Eastern State Penitentiary in Pennsylvania and Sheila Galagan’s series of images from Rock Creek Cemetery in Petworth.

Pamela Viola’s “interpretive” Egyptian landscapes will also be on display.

“I consider my work interpretive photography; meaning I develop the image beyond the straight photographic capture — sometimes layering multiple images and textures together to create an embellished landscape,” Viola said in an artist’s statement on her website.

The exhibit will run from March 1 to Apr. 1. There will be an opening reception on March 10.

The gallery is open from Tuesday through Friday from noon to 4 p.m. It will also be open March 12 and 26 from noon to 4 p.m. This exhibit is free.

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