John Olive

John Olive

JOHN OLIVE's plays include STANDING ON MY KNEES, MINNESOTA MOON, THE VOICE OF THE PRAIRIE, EVELYN AND THE POLKA KING, KILLERS, GOD FIRE, WATER BABIES, and many others. Producing theaters include Manhattan Theatre Club, Old Globe, Steppenwolf, South Coast Rep, Wisdom Bridge, Actors Theater of Louisville, Guthrie, A Contemporary Theater, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble, many others...
JOHN OLIVE's plays include STANDING ON MY KNEES, MINNESOTA MOON, THE VOICE OF THE PRAIRIE, EVELYN AND THE POLKA KING, KILLERS, GOD FIRE, WATER BABIES, and many others. Producing theaters include Manhattan Theatre Club, Old Globe, Steppenwolf, South Coast Rep, Wisdom Bridge, Actors Theater of Louisville, Guthrie, A Contemporary Theater, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble, many others. THE VOICE OF THE PRAIRIE has received hundreds of productions, and ditto MINNESOTA MOON. John's THE SUMMER MOON was developed at Sundance, won a Kennedy Center Award For Drama, and went on to productions at ACT/Seattle and South Coast Rep. John's work has been published by Samuel French, Dramatists Play Service and Playscripts, Inc. Lately John has written a lot of Theatre For Young Audiences: a new play (THE MAGIC BICYCLE) recently premiered at First Stage Milwaukee. His adaptation of SIDEWAYS STORIES FROM WAYSIDE SCHOOL has received dozens of productions, at such theaters as Seattle Childrens, South Coast Rep, Oregon Childrens, Arden, etc. JASON & THE GOLDEN FLEECE played at Seattle Childrens, People's Lights & Theatre Co., Nashville Childrens, etc. Other TYA titles include: PHARAOH SERKET AND THE LOST STONE OF FIRE, THE TRUE CONFESSIONS OF CHARLOTTE DOYLE, JOHNNY TREMAIN, and others. Many of these plays are available through Plays For Young Audiences, a joint project of Minneapolis and Seattle Childrens Theaters. John writes young adult fiction (Smartass, Deep River). His book Tell Me A Story In The Dark (a guide to creating magical bedtime stories) will shortly by published by Familius, Inc. John writes theater criticism and essays for a well-regarded online site, HowWasTheShow.com. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife Mary and their son Michael. For more information, please visit johnolive.net.

Plays

  • THE ASPERN PAPERS
    An adaptation of the exquisite Henry James novella, a meditation on the present time resonance of the past. In 19th century Venice, the Lodger insinuates himself into the lives of the Bordereau women, hoping to obtain, by fair means or foul, the lush and mysterious Aspern Papers. He falls in love - or does he? A romantic melodrama.
  • THE FIERCE CLOCKWORK OF DESTINY
    A comedy adventure about the making of the American Myth. A highly successful dime novelist, Augustus C. Appler, comes to Northfield, Minnesota to "cover" the Great Northfield Bank Robbery. He gets swept up in the wild drama, focused always on his "destiny" to interview the great Jesse James. Augustus also meets and falls in love with a young shopkeeper, Eva -- with unexpected results.
  • INTO THE MOONWILD VALLEY
    A play about the redemptive power of storytelling. Daddy tells his son Henry a story in the dark. Later they are joined by Gretchen, Henry's birth mother.
  • IDDLE MINGLISH
    Man One encounters Tan Moo and Jeffiner. They have an odd way of speaking. A ten minute play.
  • THE MAGIC BICYCLE
    A fast-moving comedy/fantasy about time travel, geekery, respect for one's ancestors and fatherly love. Follow Willy as he jumps back and forth through time, looking for (and finding) his ne'er-do-well father. A play for young audiences.
  • WATER BABIES
    An adaptation of Water Babies, the 19th century novel by Charles Kingsley. Tom and Ellie fall into Harthover River and become water babies. They make their way to St. Brandan's Isle (the home of water babies), into the deep sea, to the Other End Of Nowhere, and then home. Their journey becomes more abstract, more theatrical as it progresses. They make allies, engage enemies, change. For young audiences.
  • GOD FIRE
    This world is hell for devils, a sty of decency, love and charity. GOD FIRE, an adventure/comedy, focuses on the bumbling efforts of two ambitious demons, Michael and Catherine, to tempt a young French girl, Jeannette, into their camp. In the end, Saint Joan becomes unswayable. GOD FIRE was presented as a Ruth Easton Reading by the Playwrights Center.
  • MINNESOTA MOON
    Two eighteen year olds, Alan and Larry, best friends, get together at a ramshackle farmhouse, to share beer, memories -- and a good-bye. The next day Alan leaves for college. It's 1968 and the Vietnam War looms in their futures. MOON has received hundreds of productions, at Circle Rep, London's KingsHead Theatre, the Edinburgh Festival, the Alley, and many others.