Olivia Lilley

Olivia Lilley

Olivia Lilley is an American director, writer, deviser, and producer. Her work runs the gamut from her radical devised reinventions of classic stories (Faust: Save me or I’ll die, Neverland) to dance theatre biographies (The Party House, In Sarah’s Shadow) to new plays that tackle contemporary intersectional issues (Mary Shelley Sees The Future, Expectations for Little Mixed Girls) Olivia is the founding...
Olivia Lilley is an American director, writer, deviser, and producer. Her work runs the gamut from her radical devised reinventions of classic stories (Faust: Save me or I’ll die, Neverland) to dance theatre biographies (The Party House, In Sarah’s Shadow) to new plays that tackle contemporary intersectional issues (Mary Shelley Sees The Future, Expectations for Little Mixed Girls) Olivia is the founding Artistic Director of The Runaways Lab Theatre (Voted Best New Theatre Company in The Chicago Reader’s Best Of 2014). Olivia is the head of Pop Magic Productions, an Artistic Associate with Pivot Arts, and the Artistic Director of The Prop Thtr. Olivia received her BFA in Directing from Carnegie Mellon School of Drama. She attended Interlochen Arts Academy for Music Composition.

Plays

  • The Winter & The Whiskey
    Rachel Adela has ruined her life in Chicago, so she does what all lost Chicagoans do: move to New Orleans. Little does she know, but her Airbnb is on every ghost tour route, the former home of The Carter Brothers, Vampires who ran loose in the French Quarter in the 30's. In her first 24 hours, not only does she reside in a haunted house, but she's found the haunted bar down the street with a tormented...
    Rachel Adela has ruined her life in Chicago, so she does what all lost Chicagoans do: move to New Orleans. Little does she know, but her Airbnb is on every ghost tour route, the former home of The Carter Brothers, Vampires who ran loose in the French Quarter in the 30's. In her first 24 hours, not only does she reside in a haunted house, but she's found the haunted bar down the street with a tormented movie star drinking away his troubles inside of it. As this new relationship grows, the entities of New Orleans have ideas of their own. "The Winter & The Whiskey" is a thriller and a spiritual awakening, a battle for home and a journey towards the full realization of one's self when you are not easily definable. An American mixed kid odyssey for the 21st century.
  • #dadawillsaveus
    After discovering Dada and running their very own DIY Cabaret Voltaire, Dahlia, an out of work canvasser, and Rita, a sketch artist, decide to bring Dada back and start a revolution. When they commit a great act of Dada upon Wrigleyfield, the 24 hours following put them to the test. The Internet, their neighbors, their enemies, and their chosen family all come out of the wood work to reckon with the...
    After discovering Dada and running their very own DIY Cabaret Voltaire, Dahlia, an out of work canvasser, and Rita, a sketch artist, decide to bring Dada back and start a revolution. When they commit a great act of Dada upon Wrigleyfield, the 24 hours following put them to the test. The Internet, their neighbors, their enemies, and their chosen family all come out of the wood work to reckon with the consequences of their actions, and the eternal question, "What does it mean to do something that matters?”
  • Mary Shelley Sees The Future
    In July 1822, Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein, learns that her husband, Percy Shelley has drowned at sea. In an effort to talk to his ghost, she makes a connection across space and time with Mya, 24 year old recent MFA grad, comatose with ennui and LSD in July 2016. In the heat of the moment, they make a wish to take a walk in each other's lives. When they open their eyes, they discover they've...
    In July 1822, Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein, learns that her husband, Percy Shelley has drowned at sea. In an effort to talk to his ghost, she makes a connection across space and time with Mya, 24 year old recent MFA grad, comatose with ennui and LSD in July 2016. In the heat of the moment, they make a wish to take a walk in each other's lives. When they open their eyes, they discover they've switched bodies and eras. In this Freaky Fridayesque fantasy, Mary Shelley and Mya wander brand new worlds in search of their purpose, their identities, and where they go from here.
  • Miss Young Hollywood Thing Gone Wrong
    In the year 2009, a twenty year old physics student at the University of Chicago, Sonia, joins her Internet boyfriend, Darren, for a weekend at his Malibu beachside penthouse. With no intention of ever returning to Chicago, Sonia desperately tries to get him to let her stay, but when his downstairs neighbor the mysterious, Lulu, has a personal, romantic crisis of her own, Sonia is presented with multiple future...
    In the year 2009, a twenty year old physics student at the University of Chicago, Sonia, joins her Internet boyfriend, Darren, for a weekend at his Malibu beachside penthouse. With no intention of ever returning to Chicago, Sonia desperately tries to get him to let her stay, but when his downstairs neighbor the mysterious, Lulu, has a personal, romantic crisis of her own, Sonia is presented with multiple future selves to aspire to. Who will Sonia choose to become? Will her dreams of Hollywood become a reality? A play about powerful women trying to own their power in a world built to commodify and crush them.
  • Expectations (for Little Mixed Girls), loosely inspired by Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
    A contemporary riff on Dickens’ classic, “Expectations (for little mixed girls)” tells the story of Aria, an orphan girl raised by a successful suburban real estate agent in Wheaton, Illinois. As she and her adoptive brother, varsity quarterback Tommy Jr., fall for one another, Thomas Sr. makes sure she becomes fully aware of all of the ways she is not a part of this community. In this saga spanning the years...
    A contemporary riff on Dickens’ classic, “Expectations (for little mixed girls)” tells the story of Aria, an orphan girl raised by a successful suburban real estate agent in Wheaton, Illinois. As she and her adoptive brother, varsity quarterback Tommy Jr., fall for one another, Thomas Sr. makes sure she becomes fully aware of all of the ways she is not a part of this community. In this saga spanning the years 2001 to 2012, Aria fights to build a life free of the white male gaze.
  • She <3's NY
    Like a mirage in the desert, Margeux and Odette are drawn to the big city with dreams of success, glamour, and romance. But at the height of the economic crash of ‘08, those dreams are hard to come by, let alone hold onto. Having just graduated from college, Margeux is not deterred. She’ll do whatever it takes to make her vision of her life a reality.

    A Dance Pop Drama about Sex, Love, the Self...
    Like a mirage in the desert, Margeux and Odette are drawn to the big city with dreams of success, glamour, and romance. But at the height of the economic crash of ‘08, those dreams are hard to come by, let alone hold onto. Having just graduated from college, Margeux is not deterred. She’ll do whatever it takes to make her vision of her life a reality.

    A Dance Pop Drama about Sex, Love, the Self, and New York City.
  • The Party House
    Chronicling the glorious adventures of 211 S. Neville, the house on the hill behind the Catholic boys’ school, “The Party House” is a re-enactment / re-imagining of a year, recorded by hand painstakingly by one house scribe. In our story, we call her Odette. Shirtless O’Clock, Beer Showers, and waking up in the morning feelin like P. Diddy are resurrected through the collaborative efforts of 13 actors, the...
    Chronicling the glorious adventures of 211 S. Neville, the house on the hill behind the Catholic boys’ school, “The Party House” is a re-enactment / re-imagining of a year, recorded by hand painstakingly by one house scribe. In our story, we call her Odette. Shirtless O’Clock, Beer Showers, and waking up in the morning feelin like P. Diddy are resurrected through the collaborative efforts of 13 actors, the ghost of 17 notebooks, and the scattered memories of 1 director.