Otterbein Summer Theatre Returns for the 2022 Season

Posted May 06, 2022

Otterbein Summer Theatre is back in production for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began with a season meant to stir the heart, gladden the soul, and tickle the funny bone.  

The 2022 season opens with a concert revue of some of Stephen Sondheim’s most well-known works in “Side by Side by Sondheim.”  Featuring music from “Company,” “Follies,” “A Little Night Music,” “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” not to mention the classics written with musical theatre giants, Leonard Bernstein, Jule Styne and Richard Rodgers, this dazzling array of some of Sondheim’s best-known songs demonstrates his masterful craft and astounding creativity. 

The production will run just one weekend, June 2-5, in Riley Auditorium at the Battelle Fine Arts Center, 170 W. Park St. 

The second production of the season is “Mrs. Mannerly,” a heartwarming comedy by Ohio native Jeffery Hatcher, on stage from June 9-12 and June 16-18 in the Fritsche Theatre at Cowan Hall, 30 S. Grove St. Inspired by the author’s own childhood memories, the play centers on 10-year-old Jeffrey, who has been sent to an etiquette class taught by the demanding Mrs. Mannerly. 

Two actors perform the roles of Mrs. Mannerly, Jeffrey, the other young members of the class, Jeffrey’s family, and more. Set during the Vietnam War, the play is a quick-paced humorous view of growing up in the 1960s. 

The season closes with “The Pirates of Penzance,” which was originally planned for production in the summer of 2020 before it was cancelled due to the pandemic. Raucous pirates, bumbling police, and irrepressible sisters are clashing, chasing, and romancing on the shores of Penzance all while a wily major general, a hapless sergeant, and a tempestuous pirate couple fight over an innocent young lad with an unfortunate birthday. 

Directed by Lenny Leibowitz, with music direction by Dennis Davenport and choreography by Stella Hiatt Kane, the Gilbert and Sullivan masterpiece will run from July 7-10 and July 14-16 in the Fritsche Theatre at Cowan Hall, 30 S. Grove St. 

In addition to the three-show subscription season, Lenny Leibowitz will perform a classical piano recital, “OST in Concert: In Search of the Sublime,” featuring guest vocalists from the student company, at 8 p.m. on Friday, June 24, in Riley Auditorium at the Battelle Fine Arts Center, 170 W. Park St. While there is no cost for admission for this performance, advance reservation is suggested due to the size of the venue, and donations will be accepted at the event to benefit Otterbein Summer Theatre.    

Season ticket packages will be available for sale starting in April for $85 each. Individual tickets will go on sale May 17 and cost $25 for “Mrs. Mannerly” and $33 for “Side by Side by Sondheim” and “The Pirates of Penzance.” Admission to “OST in Concert: In Search of the Sublime” is free; donations will be accepted to benefit Otterbein Summer Theatre.  

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

The Otterbein Summer Theatre Box Office will be open Monday-Friday from 12-4 p.m. starting May 17, and one hour prior to all performances. The box office is located at 30 S. Grove St. For more information about Otterbein Summer Theatre and the 2022 Season, please call 614-823-1109 or visit