Olympic Theatre Arts
Entertaining, Educating, and Inspiring
community involvement through experiences
in the arts.
414 N. Sequim Ave.
Sequim, WA 98382
Box Office open
Tuesday - Friday 1pm-4pm
Remembering Rick Waites - Founder of OTA
July 24, 1947 – August 9, 2022
Richard (Rick) Waites, passed away on August 9, 2022 in Kingston, WA, surrounded by his family. Rick spent much of his life contributing to the performing arts as an actor and director, volunteering his talents on the Olympic Peninsula as well as acting professionally in Seattle.
We at Olympic Theatre Arts (OTA) owe him a debt of gratitude for imparting his vision for a community theatre in a small rural town of Sequim, Washington. He said at the time (in 1980), “There is no reason why theatres of this kind can’t start small and grow…”
His vision began when he and his wife Wendy set out to stage the one-man-show Krapp’s Last Tape by Samuel Beckett at the Dungeness Schoolhouse, where Rick played Krapp. It was a success! Attendance was robust and at the conclusion of the show Rick asked anyone who was interested to stay behind afterwards to discuss starting a community theatre in Sequim. Among the people in that group was Olivia Shea, who to this day is still actively involved at OTA as a director and actress. Olivia remembers the time fondly: “There is absolutely nothing quite like live theatre, I live for it, and given the opportunity to help start a theatre, well, I was thrilled.”
Rick went on to direct and perform at OTA and at Port Angeles Community Theatre (PA Players) for many years before moving out of the area to be closer to his family and for quicker access to Seattle where he was frequently on stage at the Taproot Theatre. While at PA Players he developed a close friendship with actor/director Kathy Balducci who had to say, “We were all young together in those days. We had the energy to do the hard work of the theater and still have fun. We have a lot of good memories and Rick will always be a part of that for our generation of Players”.
When asked how he came up with the name for Olympic Theatre Arts he explained that he envisioned the new theatre to be an educational experience and the words ‘theatre arts’ are used to express that in the world of education. Secondly he wanted the acronym to be ‘catchy’, and so - OTA was born.
Rick is survived by his wife Wendy, and children Ian and Jackie Waites. To send condolences or messages to the family please deliver them to the Olympic Theatre Arts business office for conveyance.