Hotel Olympian

Hotel Olympian 100th Anniversary Grand Gala Extravaganza

A play with music by Bryan Willis
Produced by The Northwest Playwrights Alliance & KGY


Radio Theatre broadcast on KGY, produced by Northwest Playwrights Alliance.


March 28 and May 23 at 3pm on KGY 95.3.


Tune in to KGY 95.3 FM on at the date and time above.

About the Production

The Northwest Playwrights Alliance & KGY present a recreation of the July 1920 opening night festivities for the Hotel Olympian – “The Hotel that Saved Our Capitol.”  After a devastating fire destroyed Olympia’s largest hotel, Olympia lacked proper accommodations to house Legislators, lobbyists and visitors.  The lack of a first-class hotel was used as a club against Olympia in attempts to move the Capitol to Seattle or, heaven forbid, Tacoma.  Plans for a new hotel were delayed by World War I, the Spanish Influenza and a faltering economy.  Just when it appeared our Capitol would be lost, over 150 private citizens pooled their resources (over $320,000) to build a “world class hotel.”  The Hotel Olympian was instantaneously the political hub and social center of Olympia. It’s been said that more bills were passed in the Hotel than in the adjacent Capitol. This one-hour recreation of the Opening Night Gala & Dance features a small orchestra, ten songs, a love story, and speeches from the major players who spoke at the original ceremony. 


Sponsors include the Olympia Arts Commission, Thurston County Historic Commission, Oly Arts magazine, ROXY FM, the Northwest Playwrights Alliance, The Academy of International Education, KGY FM, PARC Foundation of Thurston County, Jocelyn Dohm PARC Music Fund, PBIA Downtown Parking District, TwinStar, & Venables Pest Management and Twin Star Credit.

The production was recorded (socially distanced, of course) at Olympia Family Theater. 

Production Team

DirectorDeane Shellman
Musical DirectorDaven Tillinghast
Stage ManagerOlivia Burlingame
Sound Design and EditingJohn Maninin
DramaturgGeoff Proehl


Rowin BreauxLundy McDowell, our radio host
Brian TyrrellThad Pierce, co-manager of the hotel
Russ HolmMayor Jesse T. Mills
Kim HolmMrs. F.R. Klumb
John SerembeGovernor Louis F. Hart
Andrew GordonGeorge Fotvoye
Jana TyrrellMandy Fotvoye
Carolyn FryJosephine Koskeiner
Xander LaydenMartin Peña-Clark
Jill BarnesJillian Barnette
Richard WheelerLance Corp. Richard Wheeler
Academy of International EducationsKobe Choir Club

Photos from the Recording Session

Fine Print

“Hotel Olympian 100th Anniversary Grand Gala Extravaganza” is produced by Northwest Playwrights Alliance and KGY. Harlequin Productions is not a producer of this work.

Hotel Olympia photos by Vibert Jeffers, with graphic design by John Serembe