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NEWS
By Donna E. Boller and Donna E. Boller,Sun Staff Writer | May 9, 1995
Westminster voters turned out the first woman they ever had elected to the City Council in yesterday's city election, replacing her with another woman. They returned one incumbent to office and gave a full term to a council member appointed in November 1994.Councilwoman Rebecca A. Orenstein lost her bid for a second term in a low-key election in which only about 10 percent of Westminster's 6,111 registered voters cast ballots.The results: incumbent Councilman Stephen R. Chapin Sr., 454; L. Gregory Pecoraro, appointed five months ago, 381; Suzanne P. Albert, a Willis Street resident, 337; Ms. Orenstein, 322; Robert D. Ballinger, a Doral Court resident, 137."
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NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun | September 6, 2013
Rebecca A. Orenstein, the first woman elected to the Westminster City Council, who was also a Carroll County political and environmental activist, died Aug. 31 of pancreatic cancer at Carroll Hospice Center's Dove House. She was 71. "Rebecca brought a strong feeling for those who might be shut out of the government process or were disenfranchised. She was an advocate for them," said Donna R. Engle, a former Baltimore Sun reporter who covered Ms. Orenstein. "And she would not hesitate to challenge authority or those in power," said Ms. Engle, who is now a retired Carroll County lawyer.
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NEWS
October 3, 2007
Toby Orenstein, founder and director of Toby's Dinner Theatre, will be honored Oct. 18 by Maryland Life magazine and the Maryland Board, the magazine's advisory panel, at the 2007 Marylander of Distinction Award Dinner at Turf Valley Resort in Ellicott City. Founder of Toby's Dinner Theatre in Columbia (1979) and Baltimore (2006), Orenstein also created the Columbia Center of Theatrical Arts, a variety of programs designed to educate through the arts. Orenstein is also a visiting professor at Catholic University, and producer and director for USO productions for U.S. troops.
NEWS
By Janene Holzberg, Special to The Baltimore Sun | February 5, 2012
Toby Orenstein is once again at the helm of one of her favorite projects - directing the Young Columbians, a singing group formed in 1975 by the founder of Toby's Dinner Theatre when Columbia was still Jim Rouse's baby. Working with talented teens as they interpret tunes that tug on heartstrings never grows old, says the artistic director, who recruited the group's first members to perform for America's bicentennial. But then again, neither does the other work she also cherishes: helping disadvantaged and special-needs children succeed in life by giving them access to the esteem-building lessons bestowed by the theater.
NEWS
By Kerry O'Rourke and Kerry O'Rourke,Sun Staff Writer | June 2, 1994
Westminster Councilwoman Rebecca A. Orenstein said yesterday she is running for Carroll County commissioner because she wants to find ways to handle the county's growing population without sacrificing the quality of life."
NEWS
BY A SUN STAFF WRITER | May 8, 2003
Toby Orenstein won a Helen Hayes Award this week for her direction of Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical at Toby's Dinner Theatre in Columbia. Each year, the awards recognize excellence in professional theater in the Washington area. The awards were announced Monday. "I was in very elite company in my nomination," said Orenstein, who owns the dinner theater. Other nominees for directing a resident musical (one that does not tour) were from the Kennedy Center, Arena Stage and Signature Theatre, all in Washington.
NEWS
By Brian Sullam and Brian Sullam,Staff writer | April 12, 1992
Councilwoman Rebecca Orenstein believes Westminster should join the many jurisdictions in the state and designate Martin Luther King's birthday a city holiday."
NEWS
By Donna E. Boller JTC and Donna E. Boller JTC,Staff Writer | September 13, 1992
Westminster Councilwoman Rebecca A. Orenstein plans to introduce a compromise proposal for historic district zoning at tomorrow night's City Council meeting in an effort to break a deadlock on the issue.Council members endorsed the concept of historic preservation at a discussion session last week.But they split 2-2 on making preservation mandatory by establishing a commission to rule on changes to building exteriors.The council is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. in the Westminster Fire Hall on East Main Street.
NEWS
By SANDY ALEXANDER and SANDY ALEXANDER,SUN REPORTER | July 21, 2006
Toby Orenstein has made teenage actors delve into the experiences of African-Americans at the turn of the century with Ragtime and the drama of war with Aida, but she says for a real challenge try being a dancing candelabrum. Or a spoon, or a teapot, or one of the other colorful Disney characters in Beauty and the Beast, which is being staged this year by the Teen Professional Theatre program. "This is probably harder than Ragtime or Aida," she said, "to do comedy and to do Disney and finding the root of realism and then exaggerate it."
NEWS
December 4, 2005
1979: Curtain rises at Toby's Toby Orenstein opened Toby's Dinner Theatre with a limited warm-up production of Godspell on Dec. 4. The grand opening was planned for New Year's Eve when Jean Ann Kain headlined Hello, Dolly. The dinner theater was the first in the area to use the arena style. Before opening Toby's, Orenstein directed plays at Slayton House and at area high schools.
NEWS
By Janene Holzberg | March 28, 2008
As 10-year-old Brett Orenstein walked alongside his grandmother on a VIP tour of Government House in Annapolis recently, he had a brainstorm. He told first lady Katie Curran O'Malley that he found her home to be "very impressive" and that he'd like to hold his bar mitzvah there when he turns 13. "She proceeded, of course, to politely explain why he would not be able to do that," recalled his grandmother, Toby Orenstein, who had been inducted that day...
NEWS
October 3, 2007
Toby Orenstein, founder and director of Toby's Dinner Theatre, will be honored Oct. 18 by Maryland Life magazine and the Maryland Board, the magazine's advisory panel, at the 2007 Marylander of Distinction Award Dinner at Turf Valley Resort in Ellicott City. Founder of Toby's Dinner Theatre in Columbia (1979) and Baltimore (2006), Orenstein also created the Columbia Center of Theatrical Arts, a variety of programs designed to educate through the arts. Orenstein is also a visiting professor at Catholic University, and producer and director for USO productions for U.S. troops.
NEWS
By MARY JOHNSON and MARY JOHNSON,[Special to The Sun] | August 31, 2007
The Titanic is once again afloat, thanks to Richard Montgomery of Annapolis, who has expanded his theater set-designing career to ship design with his latest project, creating the set for Titanic: The Musical, which opened last week at Toby's Dinner Theatre in Columbia. "It doesn't get any better than this," Montgomery said the day after its premiere. "Everything was working." Theater owner and Titanic director Toby Orenstein agreed, saying it's one of the most difficult shows the company has ever done, and the first night went smoothly.
NEWS
By Sandy Alexander and Sandy Alexander,sun reporter | June 20, 2007
While singers warmed up their voices and crew members prepared props and wigs, Toby's Dinner Theatre director Toby Orenstein addressed a 6-foot-tall foam-and-fabric plant with pointed teeth. "How are you doing in there?" she called. "It's a whole different feel," replied Michael Lehan, his sneakers sticking out from the newly repaired plant head as he worked its jaws up and down and swiveled its head. Lehan, of Glenelg, and Adam Grabau of Columbia share the role of Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors, which runs through Aug. 19 at the Columbia theater.
NEWS
By SANDY ALEXANDER and SANDY ALEXANDER,SUN REPORTER | July 21, 2006
Toby Orenstein has made teenage actors delve into the experiences of African-Americans at the turn of the century with Ragtime and the drama of war with Aida, but she says for a real challenge try being a dancing candelabrum. Or a spoon, or a teapot, or one of the other colorful Disney characters in Beauty and the Beast, which is being staged this year by the Teen Professional Theatre program. "This is probably harder than Ragtime or Aida," she said, "to do comedy and to do Disney and finding the root of realism and then exaggerate it."
SPORTS
By BILL ORDINE | July 4, 2006
Henry Orenstein, perhaps the father of televised poker where the audience can actually see when a player pretends to have a good hand, knows a few things about running a bluff. More than 60 years ago, his life literally depended on it. And so did the lives of his brothers and several dozen other prisoners of a Nazi concentration camp. For most of World War II, the 82-year-old Orenstein - who developed and patented the camera concept that allows TV viewers to see poker players' hole cards - was held in a succession of five such horror camps.
NEWS
October 16, 1996
Thanks to Rebecca Orenstein, the Maryland Department of Transportation changed the way it does business and the historic town of Westminster received needed road improvements with its historic character intact.When a road project threatened historic, tree-lined Main Street in 1989, Orenstein, a local photographer, decided something should be done. When she was told nothing could be done because the city would lose millions in state money for repairs, she founded Tree-Action.Orenstein, who later was elected to the Westminster City Council, and her allies persuaded teachers to tell their students about the history of Main Street.
NEWS
By Jill Hudson Neal and Jill Hudson Neal,SUN STAFF | April 4, 1999
Toby Orenstein bounds into the foyer of her theater, her gait purposeful, her gaze straightforward and friendly, and her trademark blond bowl-cut hairdo swinging easily.After 20 years and thousands of performances at Toby's Dinner Theatre in Columbia, Orenstein stands at the pinnacle of her long career as one of the region's most talked about and colorful theatrical talents.Thanks in part to her artistic sensibilities, energy and enthusiasm, the 61-year-old Orenstein and her theater company have received four Helen Hayes Award nominations for this season's productions of "West Side Story," "Hot Nostalgia II" and "Children of Eden."
ENTERTAINMENT
By JESSICA BRANDT and JESSICA BRANDT,SUN REPORTER | March 9, 2006
Tomorrow, Toby's Dinner Theatre, which has been in Columbia for the past 27 years, will open a second location, in Baltimore at the newly remodeled Best Western Hotel and Conference Center in Canton. Featuring a four-course buffet and live orchestra, Toby's Baltimore plans to inaugurate its state-of the art performance space with an 11-week run of Walt Disney's Beauty and The Beast, directed by owner Toby Orenstein. The production, which comes off a six-month engagement at the original Toby's, has been revamped to suit the 300-seat auditorium built in conjunction with the renovation of the hotel.
NEWS
By SANDY ALEXANDER and SANDY ALEXANDER,SUN REPORTER | January 27, 2006
Nine-year-old Jasmine Phillips stood up in front of her after-school program in Columbia and acted out the role of a single mother telling her sons she could not afford to buy candy. Standing nearby, Daniel McDonald, a professional actor and regular performer at Toby's Dinner Theatre, coaxed her to think about her performance, asking, "Does she feel good about telling her son that?" Jasmine thought that over for a moment in silence, and McDonald added, "I know its tough, but you're an actress now."
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