OLY ARTS is your leading guide to Thurston County entertainment. This newsletter features Lessons and Carols, Messiah Sing-Along and the best local arts and culture for Dec. 15-21.
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Good Tidings From OLY ARTS!

As the winter solstice approaches, we all need rejuvenating blasts of holiday joy. Luckily, some of the best entertainment of the Olympia year is to be found right now on local stages. Catch up on all our amazing, continuing theater events:

The Stardust Christmas Enchantment at Harlequin Productions, 8 p.m. Dec. 15-17, 21-23, 29 and 30; 2 p.m. Dec. 18 and 24; 3 p.m. Dec. 17; 7 p.m. Dec. 31
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever at Olympia Family Theater, 7 p.m. Dec. 16; 2 p.m. Dec. 17 and 18
A Christmas Cactus at Olympia Little Theatre, 7:25 p.m. Thursday – Saturday, Dec. 15-17, 1:25 p.m. Dec. 18
The Nutcracker at South Puget Sound Community College, 7 p.m. Dec. 16 and 17; 2 p.m. Dec. 17, 1 p.m. Dec. 18
The Physician in Spite of Himself at Theater Artists Olympia,  8 p.m. Dec. 15-17
The Nutcracker at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16 and 17, 2 p.m. Dec. 17 and 18

As you can see, this is the last weekend for all but one of these shows, so don't get left out in the cold! This OLY ARTS newsletter is your cultural digest for Thurston County, December 15-21.

St. John's Episcopal Church
Lessons and Carols at St. John's Episcopal Church

Music is part of the mission of St. John’s Episcopal Church. Therefore, the annual Service of Lessons and Carols is both a religious observance and a musical event that draws a community crowd. It tells the stories of Advent and Christmas through readings that alternate with Christmas carols. St. John’s three choirs will perform, as will the church’s jazz ensemble, contemporary pop band and liturgical dance troupe. The service will also showcase a newly installed, world-class church organ, the recent bequest of a congregant. The 3,800-pipe organ made its debut at last year’s Service of Lessons and Carols. Audience members who love caroling will get their chance, too.

When: 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15

Where: St. John’s Episcopal Church,
114 20th Ave. SE, Olympia

How much: free (donations accepted)

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Messiah Sing-Along

Messiah Sing-Along

Handel's Messiah is an oratorio from the mid-18th century, but its enduring popularity can be credited to its timeless beauty. Using orchestra and choir, the piece excels at capturing the combination of joy and solemnity that defines winter. While its libretto comes from a combination of the King James Bible and the Book of Common Prayer, Messiah can be enjoyed by nonbelievers as well as those of the Christian faith. In a special twist, this Student Orchestras of Greater Olympia production is billed as an annual sing-along. Audience members are encouraged to join in if they wish, or to simply sit back and let the gorgeous music wash over them. Bring your own copy of the score, or purchase one at The Washington Center for a mere $10.

When: 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 19

Where: Washington Center for the Performing Arts,
512 Washington St. SE, Olympia

How much: free

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Elizabeth Lord of StoryOly

StoryOly: Humiliating

On the third Tuesday of each month, Rhythm & Rye hosts StoryOly, Olympia’s most beloved “story slam” event. Half the suggested donation goes to Olympia SafePlace. Starting at 5:30 p.m., volunteers throw their names in a hat, and 10 are invited to tell an eight-minute autobiographical story on a presupplied topic. “It’s going amazing,” says Amy Shephard, co-founder and production manager of the event. December's theme is "Humiliating," followed by:

Jan. 17, 2017: Second Wind

Feb. 21: Freedom

March 21: Mixed Messages

April 18:  Freaky

May 16: Secrets

In 2017, OLY ARTS' podcast will help boost StoryOly's signal. Watch for exciting updates soon!

When: 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 20

Where: Rhythm & Rye,
311 Capitol Way N, Olympia

How much: $5-$10 (suggested donation)

Learn More
Find your copy of OLY ARTS' holiday print edition at every local theater, Batdorf & Bronson, Bread Peddler, Olympia Farmers Market and many live-arts venues!

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