Olivia Lilley

Olivia Lilley

Olivia Lilley is an Iranian-Irish 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, Miss Young Hollywood Thing Gone Wrong) Olivia is the...
Olivia Lilley is an Iranian-Irish 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, Miss Young Hollywood Thing Gone Wrong) 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

  • 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.
  • #dadawillsaveus
    In Chicago in January 2018, Rita, an activist, and Dahlia, an artist, mastermind an attack on Wrigley Field, an attack of Dada. #dadawillsaveus follows the aftermath as it goes down in Rita and Dahlia's DIY house in Humboldt Park. While the world watches, Internet side, Rita, Dahlia, their housemates, and neighbors all grapple with the consequences of making a statement that's not supposed to make...
    In Chicago in January 2018, Rita, an activist, and Dahlia, an artist, mastermind an attack on Wrigley Field, an attack of Dada. #dadawillsaveus follows the aftermath as it goes down in Rita and Dahlia's DIY house in Humboldt Park. While the world watches, Internet side, Rita, Dahlia, their housemates, and neighbors all grapple with the consequences of making a statement that's not supposed to make sense, arts role in society, and the purpose of activism.
  • 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 her otherness. In this saga spanning the years 2001 to 2012, Aria fights to build a...
    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 her otherness. 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.