Arts District

Local Theater Companies Compete in First-Ever Baltimore Theatre Olympics

Tongue-in-cheek events highlight staffers' skills.

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One event is held per day, starting with timed envelope stuffing on Monday, a lobby obstacle course on Tuesday, a costume change competition on Wednesday, and continuing today with a speed-reading of Hamlet’s famous monologue before wrapping up tomorrow with a time scenery change competition on the stage at Everyman.

Some of the events, like the obstacle course and Friday’s scene change, are hosted at Everyman, while the others are conducted by the individual staffs at their respective theaters and shared via Facebook Live videos, which have generated thousands of views already.

“I’ve been filming the events and we’re having lots of people from different departments participating, so it’s generating a lot of excitement internally as well as building some great camaraderie with other theater companies in town,” says Lisa Lance, the public relations manager at Center Stage. “I think there’s a healthy sense of competition but everybody’s having a lot of fun with it.”

Indeed, the videos emit a contagious sense of high-spirited hijinks as coworkers cheer each other on and engage rivals with quasi-ironic posturing and trash talk. But there is real affection underneath the bravado, maintains Horan, who used to work at Center Stage as a box office manager before accepting his current position at Everyman.

“We’re all trying to elevate the theater scene together . . . and we’re all friends,” he says.

The event will wrap up on Friday when all the participants will head to Westside restaurant Forno for happy hour, a final medal count, and a closing ceremony that Horan jokes will be “a high five in a sort of ’80s freeze-frame kind of way.”

As for whether or not this is a one-off, Horan says he doesn’t know for sure, but he’s already dreaming big.

“Maybe if we do it again, it will be even bigger.”