Matthew Paul Olmos

Matthew Paul Olmos

Matthew Paul Olmos is a three-time Sundance Institute Fellowship/Residency recipient (2014 Lab, 2013 UCROSS, 2009 Time Warner Storytelling Fellow), New Dramatists Resident Playwright, Baryshnikov Arts Center Artists in Residence, Princess Grace Awardee in Playwriting and La MaMa e.t.c.'s Ellen Stewart Emerging Playwright Award as selected by Sam Shepard. Residencies/fellowships: New York Theatre Workshop...
Matthew Paul Olmos is a three-time Sundance Institute Fellowship/Residency recipient (2014 Lab, 2013 UCROSS, 2009 Time Warner Storytelling Fellow), New Dramatists Resident Playwright, Baryshnikov Arts Center Artists in Residence, Princess Grace Awardee in Playwriting and La MaMa e.t.c.'s Ellen Stewart Emerging Playwright Award as selected by Sam Shepard. Residencies/fellowships: New York Theatre Workshop's Emerging Artist Fellowship, the Dramatists Guild Fellowship, Primary Stages' Dorothy Strelsin New American Writer's Group; Brooklyn Arts Exchange Resident Artist Program, INTAR Theatre's H.P.R.L Playwright Group, Rising Circle Collective INKtank and Refinery programs, terraNOVA Collective's Groundbreakers Playwright program; he is also an Ensemble Studio Theater lifetime member. As a two-time Resident Artist at Mabou Mines/Suite, he spent two years being mentored by Ruth Maleczech and Terry O'Reilly while developing his play THE NATURE OF CAPTIVITY; the play was awarded the “Top Prize of the Americas” by the BBC 2011 International Playwriting Competition and published by Samuel French. He was awarded the Sundance Institute Time Warner Storytelling Fellowship for his play I PUT THE FEAR OF MÉXICO IN'EM, which world-premiered in Chicago at Theater with A View/Teatro Vista; it has also been developed and/or presented by INTAR Theatre, The Working Theatre, LaMicro, Lark Play Development Center, The Kennedy Center with The Inkwell, and the Gala Theatre in Washington D.C.. It was on the syllabus at a Rutger’s University course taught by Caridad Svich. It is published by both NoPassport Press and Samuel French. As part of his award, La MaMa e.t.c., produced his play SO GO THE GHOSTS OF MÉXICO, PART ONE, the first in his 3-play cycle about the U.S./México drug wars; directed by The Public Theater's Director of Devised Theater Initiative/Under the Radar co-director Meiyin Wang; the production played a sold-out run and was a New York Times Critic's Pick. The Spanish version of the play has premiered and continues to tour in México; it was also produced by Repertorio Espanol. He holds an M.F.A. in Playwriting from The Actor’s Studio Drama School (now New School for Drama), a B.A. in Playwriting from UC Santa Barbara, and was given UCLA’s GOP Award for Graduate Playwriting. He was the co-founder and former Artistic Director of woken’glacier theatre company (two-time New York Innovative Theatre Award nominee), a member of NoPassport with Caridad Svich, a National Endowment for the Arts New Play Development reader, a New York Innovative Awards judge, selection committee member for Lark Play Development Center's Playwrights’ Week and Playwrights of New York (PoNY) Fellowship. A regular essayist to The Brooklyn Rail's In Dialogue series, where he has written essays published on the work of Carla Ching, Kristoffer Diaz, Young Jean Lee, Dominique Morisseau, Tommy Smith, Saviana Stanescu, and Lloyd Suh. He is a regular essayist for New York Theatre Review, where he has written pieces ranging from the work of Belarus Free Theatre, Under the Radar, The TEAM, The Assembly, etc.. He is currently working on several new plays including: a new work about American nationalism; a still untitled piece based on the behavior of cancer cells and the third play in his 3-play cycle SO GO THE GHOSTS OF MEXICO.

Plays

  • the shooters of an american president
    On November 22nd, 1963, just after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, two shooters from Dealey Plaza meet in an undisclosed location while waiting for their handlers to give instruction. An exploration of how we as citizens both vilify and pedestal our presidents;how easily our belief or aversion of a president can turn to radicalism.
  • "i am a drop'dead gorgeous, fabulous, stylish, exotic'ass gem amongst thousands of rocks" by elliot rodger
    A re'framing of the school shooting in Isla Vista, just outside the University of California at Santa Barbara.
  • the living'life of the daughter mira
    In a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the premature baby Mira looks to her Labor/Delivery nurse as a mother figure while she tries to survive her challenging first weeks. Elsewhere in the hospital, her teenage mother and uncompromising family clash over who is fit to even raise a child. Meanwhile, Mira’s father struggles to keep a promise made to his daughter nine months earlier on a mysterious beach, in an aging...
    In a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the premature baby Mira looks to her Labor/Delivery nurse as a mother figure while she tries to survive her challenging first weeks. Elsewhere in the hospital, her teenage mother and uncompromising family clash over who is fit to even raise a child. Meanwhile, Mira’s father struggles to keep a promise made to his daughter nine months earlier on a mysterious beach, in an aging Chevy Blue Cassanova van.
  • so go the ghosts of mexico, part one
    The first of a three-play cycle exploring the U.S./Mexico drug wars. The first play is inspired by the "Bravest Woman in Mexico," follows a twenty-two year old woman who volunteers to replace a beheaded police chief when nobody else would accept the position; which sets a chain of reactions in her husband, the Narcos, and perhaps the entire country of Mexico.
  • so go the ghosts of mexico, part two
    Two warring drug cartels in which the reins of power shift, the method of delivery is ever'changing, and loyalty exists nowhere; this second play in a 3-play cycle about the U.S./Mexico drug wars explores the ridiculous machismo of narco culture as shown through a cast of all women, who break out into original song.
  • i put the fear of mexico in'em
    An American couple on holiday in Tijuana stumble off the beaten path, and are accosted by a Mexican couple in an alley. "What ensues is a complex encounter that challenges notions of boundary, safety, identity and what you would do for your family. It's a dissection of difference, of connection, of the borders and barriers we use to distance ourselves, and those dangerous moments when we cross over...
    An American couple on holiday in Tijuana stumble off the beaten path, and are accosted by a Mexican couple in an alley. "What ensues is a complex encounter that challenges notions of boundary, safety, identity and what you would do for your family. It's a dissection of difference, of connection, of the borders and barriers we use to distance ourselves, and those dangerous moments when we cross over those borders and barriers." -Philip Himberg, Artistic Director Sundance Theatre Program
  • The Nature of Captivity
    In part one, a put'upon family is run from their home by a settlement of people. In part two, a settlement of people get a surprise guest while simply trying to run a put'upon family from their home. Inspired by the Dog Catcher Riots.
  • Monkey
    A woman from Whitesville and her white butler. An inner-city youth. And an aged cholo with his estranged daughter with a mobile phone lodged in her throat. Inspired by the film Trading Places.
  • the death of the slow'dying scuba diver
    What if a scuba diver hung murdered in the center of the ocean? What if an Asexual Shrimp started to turn sexual? And what if the portal to this troubling ocean'world was beginning to widen through the ordinary toilet of an unsuspecting suburban couple. As the two worlds collide, the distance between science and human nature begins to collapse.
  • the Olmos Family play
    An extended Mexican-American family in Los Angeles over Christmas; invisible children screaming from a flickering hospital; and two mothers dead'set on protecting their sons split apart the family, no matter what the cost.