Alan Olejniczak

Alan Olejniczak

Alan Olejniczak is a San Francisco-based playwright and opera librettist. Alan is on the board of Theatre Bay Area Board, a member of the Dramatist Guild and Opera America. He is also an Associate Artist with FaultLine Theater and co-founder of bicoastal At Last Theatre, which produced House/HOME last October for the O+ Festival in Kingston, New York. Alan produced and wrote Dominion, Five Honorable Mention...
Alan Olejniczak is a San Francisco-based playwright and opera librettist. Alan is on the board of Theatre Bay Area Board, a member of the Dramatist Guild and Opera America. He is also an Associate Artist with FaultLine Theater and co-founder of bicoastal At Last Theatre, which produced House/HOME last October for the O+ Festival in Kingston, New York. Alan produced and wrote Dominion, Five Honorable Mention Plays in 2016 and Present Tense in 2015. His one-act play Transgress was presented at the 36th Annual William Inge Festival in Independence, Kansas, The Bechdel Group in New York City, and The Road Theater Company's Summer Playwrights Festival in North Hollywood. This summer, Alan was in residency with The Arctic Circle, sailing around Svalbard in the high Arctic. There he completed the first draft of helt texas, a new play about climate disruption. This November, Alan is invited by Micro-Galleries. to participate in another artist's residency in Katmandu, Nepal.

Alan currently has three full-length chamber operas in development. He is working with Daniel Brown on their opera on the French mathematician, Évariste Galois and with John Young on the adaption of Tolstoy's "The Death of Ivan Ilyich." Alan is also working with Chris Pratorius-Gómez on El Sueño Americano (The American Dream) loosely based on Cyrano de Bergerac.

​Alan has also written for Portico Studios in San Rafael, formally a next level interactive storytelling experiences in virtual reality. He is also collaborating with Christopher Turner on PROGRESS blending fine art narrative photography with social and environmental activism.

Plays

  • Concerto
    Concerto is a play about the thirteen-year relationship between Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, his patron, Nadezhda Von Meck, the love affair with his protégé Iosif Kotek, and development of his First Violin Concerto. Tchaikovsky and Von Meck begin their friendship with a simple piano commission arranged by Kotek, her music master. Eventually, Von Meck begins to shape the fortunes of these two artists by controlling...
    Concerto is a play about the thirteen-year relationship between Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, his patron, Nadezhda Von Meck, the love affair with his protégé Iosif Kotek, and development of his First Violin Concerto. Tchaikovsky and Von Meck begin their friendship with a simple piano commission arranged by Kotek, her music master. Eventually, Von Meck begins to shape the fortunes of these two artists by controlling their personal and professional lives. She commissions Tchaikovsky’s greatest works, including the First Violin Concerto for Kotek. Relationships sour when Tchaikovsky chooses to marry and Kotek is unable to play the Concerto with the virtuosity required.
  • Dominion
    In a religious dystopia where questioning dogma is forbidden, three women learn the power of friendship, love, and the dangers of sacrifice.
    (Running time of 90 minutes with no intermission.)
  • Heaven and Earth
    Heaven and Earth is a drama and science play that explores the Galileo Affair, not as a struggle between science and religion, but more as a debate about the nature of truth. Is truth handed down by authority, or can it be determined objectively through experimentation?

    The oppression of authority is seen in two interwoven plots throughout the play. The first plot line follows Galileo. At the...
    Heaven and Earth is a drama and science play that explores the Galileo Affair, not as a struggle between science and religion, but more as a debate about the nature of truth. Is truth handed down by authority, or can it be determined objectively through experimentation?

    The oppression of authority is seen in two interwoven plots throughout the play. The first plot line follows Galileo. At the opening, he has developed a new, more powerful telescope, capable of looking at the heavens with greater detail than ever before. His observations through this telescope lead him to conclude that the Earth revolves around the Sun. Galileo is a devout Catholic, but cannot deny the evidence of his own senses. Despite his clear scientific arguments, however, many will not accept his claims. His ultimate failure to convince them, and his condemnation by the inquisition, are seen to be as much about personalities as they are about biblical interpretation.

    The second plot line follows Galileo’s two daughters, Livia and Virginia who lived most of their lives in a convent. While Virginia thrived, Livia become sickly and depressed after a thwarted love affair between Livia and Galileo’s protégé Castelli. As Galileo’s problems with the church become more serious, his downfall is mirrored by Livia, who goes mad in response to the oppressive life of a nun. In the final scenes, Galileo lies dying under house arrest, and must convince a young priest of his true repentance if he is to receive Last Rites and die in a state of grace. Abandoned and in despair, Galileo truly recants, not knowing that his work will live on to have the impact we see today.

  • Present Tense
    Present Tense is a play of five unrelated vignettes, tied together thematically. It is a drama, a theatrical poem about Middle America. It’s about our dilemmas, failed expectations, difficult choices, and our unwillingness to live in the present.
    (Running time of 85 minutes with no intermission.)
  • Transgress
    This short play is based on the true story of Dora Ratjen, a Nazi athlete in the 1936 Olympics and gold medal winner in the women’s high jump. She was later arrested for impersonating a man. This play surrounds her detainment and investigation, which reveals Dora is intersex. Dora must make a choice: Live as a woman and keep her fame or as a man and go to prison.
  • Last Laughs
    Last Laughs has been re-worked into a one-act comic reading. With humor, wit, and refreshing honesty, Everett Mattlin offers his reflections on the realities of aging. Adapted from Everett Mattlin's book, Last Laughs: A Pocket Full of Wry for the Aging.
    (Running time 24 minutes)