Matthew Paul Olmos

Matthew Paul Olmos

Matthew Paul Olmos is a Mexican-American playwright who focuses his work on the creation of space for marginalized and underrepresented communities. While his work is always personal, it is aimed at reaching across socio’political boundaries, showing the ridiculous of how separate our lives, and illuminating a potential hope for future generations.

He is a three-time Sundance Institute...
Matthew Paul Olmos is a Mexican-American playwright who focuses his work on the creation of space for marginalized and underrepresented communities. While his work is always personal, it is aimed at reaching across socio’political boundaries, showing the ridiculous of how separate our lives, and illuminating a potential hope for future generations.

He is a three-time Sundance Institute Fellowship/Residency recipient, Actors’ Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival Commissioned Playwright, New Dramatists Resident Playwright, Playwrights Center Core Writer, Center Theatre Group LA Playwright Workshop Writer, Geffen Playhouse Writers Room Playwright, Oregon Shakespeare Festival Black Swan Lab Playwright, inaugural Primary Stages Creative Development Grantee, Princess Grace Awardee in Playwriting, Arizona Theatre Company's National Latinx Playwriting Awardee, two-time Ojai Playwrights Conference playwright, Repertorio Español Miranda Family Nuestra Voces Playwriting Awardee, Cherry Lane Mentor Project playwright as chosen by Taylor Mac, and La MaMa e.t.c.'s Ellen Stewart Emerging Playwright Awardee as selected by Sam Shepard.

He spent two years as a Mabou Mines/SUITE Resident Artist being mentored by Ruth Maleczech and is a former New York Theatre Workshop's Emerging Artist Fellow, Baryshnikov Arts Center Artist in Residence, Dramatists Guild Fellow, Humanitas Play LA Workshop Playwright, Primary Stages' Dorothy Strelsin New American Writer, Brooklyn Arts Exchange Resident Artist, INTAR H.P.R.L Playwright, Rising Circle Collective Playwright, terraNOVA Collective's Groundbreakers Playwright; he is also an Echo Theater Company Resident Playwright, a proud Kilroys nominator, and an Ensemble Studio Theater lifetime member.

He received the Sundance Institute Time Warner Storytelling Fellowship for his play I PUT THE FEAR OF MÉXICO IN'EM, which world-premiered in Chicago at Teatro Vista; it has also been developed by INTAR Theatre, The Working Theatre, The Lark, The Kennedy Center with The Inkwell, and the Gala Theatre in Washington D.C.. It was taught at Rutger’s University 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 former Public Theater Director of Under the Radar Meiyin Wang. The production played a sold-out run and was a New York Times Critic's Pick. The Spanish version premiered in México and was also produced by Repertorio Español. The English version is published by Samuel French and had a regional premiere in 2016 at Undermain Theatre in Dallas, TX.
His work has been presented both nationally and internationally, taught in university, and is published by Samuel French and NoPassport Press. He is a proud three-time Kilroys nominator.

He is currently developing a play inspired by Samantha Power’s “The Education of An Idealist” for Geffen Playhouse’s Writers Room and Theatre For One's Solo Collective. As well a new play inspired by the Mendez v. Westminster case about the building of Mexican schools as part of segregation. He recently developed a feature with Andrew Lauren Productions and is currently developing a screenplay inspired by his play THAT DRIVE THRU MONTEREY.
www.matthewpaulolmos.com.

Plays

  • a home what howls (or the house what was ravine)
    After the Vargas Family is displaced from their home, the parents try to live off the land, but the fear of the outside is like a never-ending nightmare. Meanwhile, their daughter attempts to fight their fight legally, against the gears of progress.
  • that drive thru monterey
    Inspired by the life of my mother. The story of a Mexican-American woman in 1971 Los Angeles as she experiences a first, nerdy love. Throughout the courtship, she experiences mysterious premonitions of what lies ahead in her life and how the ever’present machismo will ultimately bring her heartbreak as it gets passed down from fathers to sons; generation to generation.
  • the broken'hearts of a corrupted white house
    This second ‘Presidential Play’ follows E. Howard Hunt and his wife Dorothy through their tumultuous marriage and struggles amidst a political cover-up designed to make any and all persons disposable in protection of the President. Dorothy Hunt, barely mentioned in history, was very early in her perception that The White House was forgoing morals for power and money; as well she refused to let the President...
    This second ‘Presidential Play’ follows E. Howard Hunt and his wife Dorothy through their tumultuous marriage and struggles amidst a political cover-up designed to make any and all persons disposable in protection of the President. Dorothy Hunt, barely mentioned in history, was very early in her perception that The White House was forgoing morals for power and money; as well she refused to let the President cast aside those, and families of those, who had broken the law by direct order their government.

    *Developed, in part, through The Lark, Echo Theater Company's Playwrights Lab and New Dramatists' Creativity Fund Workshop.
  • three girls never learnt the way home
    Three high school girls are bused into a neighboring affluent town as part of a controversial school integration program. However, a mysterious encounter sends a panic through both towns.

    *Developed, in part, by the Lark Play Development Center
    and Primary Stages’ Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group,
    High Desert Play Development at New Mexico University, WildWind...
    Three high school girls are bused into a neighboring affluent town as part of a controversial school integration program. However, a mysterious encounter sends a panic through both towns.

    *Developed, in part, by the Lark Play Development Center
    and Primary Stages’ Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group,
    High Desert Play Development at New Mexico University, WildWind Performance Lab,
    JAW @ Portland Center Stage, Dorset Theatre Festival’s Pipeline Series,
    and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Black Swan Lab.
    It was also developed through Cherry Lane Theatre’s Mentor Project; mentored by Taylor Mac.
  • 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 Chevy Blue Cassanova van.
  • so go the ghosts of mexico, a brave woman in mexico
    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.
  • we walk along the christmas bridge
    A play-with-music about two families in an undisclosed town in contemporary United States that is divided by race and class; both sides will do anything to protect themselves after a bridge connecting the affluent and poor sides of town is shut down due to escalating tensions.
    Featuring original music by April Dawn Guthrie.
  • so go the ghosts of mexico, the rise of azul
    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.
  • so go the ghosts of mexico, part three - a daughter sings the poet song
    This is the final installment in this three-play cycle exploring the U.S./México drug wars. A young Méxican couple get caught up in the web of the drug trade between the two countries, changing their lives forever. But is their ordeal what it seems or a mirage of disinformation created by unseen forces? Somewhere between truth and illusion a mother from México searches for her missing daughter.
  • 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.
  • 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.