Ryan Oliveira

Ryan Oliveira

Ryan Oliveira is a Brazilian-American playwright, dramaturg, and performer, currently based in Chicago. Recent credits include productions of Desire in a Tinier House (Pride Films and Plays, 2019) and Soccer Player in the Closet (Nothing Without a Company, 2019). His work has been developed with Broken Nose Theatre, Prop Thtr, Intrinsic Theatre Company, Chicago Dramatists, and Commission Theatre Company. He has...
Ryan Oliveira is a Brazilian-American playwright, dramaturg, and performer, currently based in Chicago. Recent credits include productions of Desire in a Tinier House (Pride Films and Plays, 2019) and Soccer Player in the Closet (Nothing Without a Company, 2019). His work has been developed with Broken Nose Theatre, Prop Thtr, Intrinsic Theatre Company, Chicago Dramatists, and Commission Theatre Company. He has been a finalist for the 2016 Fetzer Foundation for Emerging Artists Grant and the 2017 Many Voices Fellowship at the Playwrights' Center in Minneapolis, as well as a 2016 Romulus Linney Scholar at the Sewanee Writers' Conference and a semi-finalist for the 2017 O'Neill Theatre Conference. He is a proud member of ALTA’s El Semillero in Chicago, and the Pop Magic Productions Songwriting Group. MFA: University of Iowa (2015), BA: Cornell University (2008). For more information about his work, please check him out at www.ryanoliveira.com.

Plays

  • Take Care
    An undocumented Brazilian woman, Selene, has taken Martinha, the daughter of a friend from Brazil, under her wing to take care of a widowed American billionairess. Selene teaches Martinha how to work and be a “perfect American”, much to Martinha’s resistance. But the pressure to survive throws their relationship in jeopardy as work grows more difficult and their widow grows more aware of their tenuous existence.
  • Mavericks
    In Brazil, Chisa is about to release her own video game adaptation to scores of die-hard fans. But a video game company in Japan threatens to shut it down for misuse of their copyright. What ensues is a game of hide-and-seek across Internet platforms and gay undergrounds, exposing two lonely, queer lives across the Pacific to a world that would rather see them killed...whether by Military Police or Serial Killer.
  • Distinguished Alumni of the Stanton School
    At the 25th annual benefit for the Stanton School, a former alumna threatens to disturb the continued success of the school's programming.
  • Jellyfish Queer
    After a drunk Brazilian-Bostonian country singer casts doubt on Ryan's heritage, Ryan explores moments from his past where he reconciles his Brazilian and American cultures. Complicated with his own sexuality and religious upbringing, will Ryan ever fit into what he has been born and raised into?
  • stray
    An accident separates Telma and her son, Caio, in a small Brazilian town. Caio is taken in by a stray dog, with no memory of his life beforehand. Telma takes in a stray cat to keep her company as she recovers. Both Telma and Caio move on from their accidents under new care, but are painfully drawn back to the hazy scene of the accident – and the dangerous conditions that precipitated it.
  • Desire in a Tinier House
    Trevin has chased his ex-boyfriend all the way to Colorado, only to fall madly in love with his ex’s friend Carlos. Trevin seduces Carlos into a trailer-bound life where they weather disasters and dystopia in their sexual island. But can their love-home outlast jealous intruders and time itself?
  • blue bottle
    Mariah confesses her love to Teresa, but Teresa still pines for her lover lost to an ocean. When her lost lover sends a message in a bottle, will Teresa leave Mariah for the ocean?
  • Let Go.
    A bedridden women is visited her best friend and her lost son - both struggling to get her to release the suffering she has taken on...and taken upon others.
    Inspired by Frank Shyong's Los Angeles Times article, "A dying mother's plan: Buy a gun. Rent a hotel room. Kill her son."
  • A Man Walks Into a Coffeeshop
    The owner of a coffee shop in Rogers Park administers her last coffee to a young woman searching for something deeper than Starbucks.
  • Here (three elegies for a gay club)
    Three people walk, dance, and meditate through their first time, umpteenth time, and last time at the same gay club before they are taken away by the lights and sound.
  • The Winking Man
    Three women have been accused of burning a fraternity's "party barn" in Iowa. But in the interrogation room, they struggle to unveil the true culprit of the arson: The Winking Man, a legendary Iowan they met that night...
  • Binary Care
    Set in the future, two scientists battle over what future their prized robot will have in the growing, yet controversial field of "compassionate care", but will that future matter if the robot cares to go "maverick” on them?
  • Chaos
    Terrorists have launched an attack on a city, simultaneously stranding and banding together strangers from different locations and walks of life. Moving forward, they struggle to survive the day. Moving backward in time, they become separate entities, but more focused in the struggle to make sense of the growing madness. Fight or fly, stay or go, the play ultimately asks: At what level do we fundamentally...
    Terrorists have launched an attack on a city, simultaneously stranding and banding together strangers from different locations and walks of life. Moving forward, they struggle to survive the day. Moving backward in time, they become separate entities, but more focused in the struggle to make sense of the growing madness. Fight or fly, stay or go, the play ultimately asks: At what level do we fundamentally make peace with the chaos around us? Or does such a thing even exist?
  • Passing Time in Animal Town
    In the virtual community of Animal Town, sheepish Mari struggles to fit in with her younger, more experienced, seemingly picture-perfect villagers. The longer she gets to know her neighbors, the more she discovers her value in creating a community that has long felt like a lonesome pass-time. But what will the neighbors think when they slowly discover Mari’s real-life descent infiltrating her actions in Animal Town?
  • Fall
    A skydiving excursion gone horribly wrong leaves Ariel to pick up the pieces of his own life without his close friend, Lucas. Moving on without him proves difficult with constant Lucas-laced reminders from students, ex-boyfriends, and strangers, forcing Ariel to look back at his entanglements with Lucas to unearth the core of his grief. Is he letting go of a Lucas he really loved? Or a Lucas that let him go?
  • The Sisters Campinas
    Three sisters - Olga, Maria, and Iara - have been spiritually shackled to their father's Brazilian estate for forty years. In the wake of their neighbor's death, however, Olga suddenly becomes inspired to paint, while Maria and Iara experience a rush to rekindle lost romances once again, all in an effort to escape the humdrums of age, place and their sister-in-law's obsessive "improvements...
    Three sisters - Olga, Maria, and Iara - have been spiritually shackled to their father's Brazilian estate for forty years. In the wake of their neighbor's death, however, Olga suddenly becomes inspired to paint, while Maria and Iara experience a rush to rekindle lost romances once again, all in an effort to escape the humdrums of age, place and their sister-in-law's obsessive "improvements". But in this adaptation of Chekhov's Three Sisters, can they finally escape their home that has been prison and workplace for so long?
  • Soccer Player in the Closet
    Cristiano is a top-ranked online soccer player. And for five years, he has never stepped out of the apartment he's lived in with his father. But when Cristiano finally departs his apartment, his friends and landlord can't seem to get his "stench" out. Little by little, they clean out his apartment, hoping to set his memory free, but what they uncover are painful secrets about themselves...
    Cristiano is a top-ranked online soccer player. And for five years, he has never stepped out of the apartment he's lived in with his father. But when Cristiano finally departs his apartment, his friends and landlord can't seem to get his "stench" out. Little by little, they clean out his apartment, hoping to set his memory free, but what they uncover are painful secrets about themselves and Cristiano – and how difficult it is to get someone to simply move on.
  • Darra and Siri in the Supermassive Black Hole
    Two women watch the Milky Way at a Dark Sky park in an attempt to enjoy the present, only to confront how small their futures seem in the grand scheme of the universe.
  • Below the Pacific
    After American Airlines Flight 13 mysteriously disappears in the Southern Pacific Ocean, everyone - human, god, or animal - is shocked into searching for their "missing peace".
    A man searches for his wife through karaoke and the Internet from their home in California.
    A crash investigator from New Zealand searches a wreck for answers to waiting families.
    A flight attendant...
    After American Airlines Flight 13 mysteriously disappears in the Southern Pacific Ocean, everyone - human, god, or animal - is shocked into searching for their "missing peace".
    A man searches for his wife through karaoke and the Internet from their home in California.
    A crash investigator from New Zealand searches a wreck for answers to waiting families.
    A flight attendant searches for an escape from a sea god's prison through a captive mermaid. And a jellyfish simply searches for a friend in the darkness.

    Below the Pacific focuses on these intertwining journeys of finding lost loves and love lost in the bottom of the ocean after tragedy - and whether these lives can find freedom from their solitary existences.
  • Sea of Trees
    Music by: Adam Phillips
    Book and Lyrics by: Ryan Oliveira

    In Aokigahara – also known as the Suicide Forest of Japan – a young woman named Aimi seeks to reunite with her lost lover, Kats…much to the chagrin of her stuffed calico cat, Neko. She learns from a priest that the only way to communicate with Kats is through a near-death experience, so she plays with suicide to meet him....
    Music by: Adam Phillips
    Book and Lyrics by: Ryan Oliveira

    In Aokigahara – also known as the Suicide Forest of Japan – a young woman named Aimi seeks to reunite with her lost lover, Kats…much to the chagrin of her stuffed calico cat, Neko. She learns from a priest that the only way to communicate with Kats is through a near-death experience, so she plays with suicide to meet him. Unknowingly, every close call with death brings her closer to total destruction at the hands of the malevolent spirits of the forest, including Moriko, who desires to devour her delectable soul. Aimi’s only hope of finally reuniting with Kats on the same side of life is a sacrifice – but how big of a sacrifice will she actually make?
  • Nothing Bad Happens to Her
    Lucy is in the hospital for the third time in her young life. Yet she falls in love for the first time with a fellow patient who is a fallen boy-bander. Both of them want to escape this hospital, but every step she falls in love with him makes her fall deeper into illness. Lucy's mother and doctor desperately rescue her from dangerous blood counts and other complications, but can they rescue her from...
    Lucy is in the hospital for the third time in her young life. Yet she falls in love for the first time with a fellow patient who is a fallen boy-bander. Both of them want to escape this hospital, but every step she falls in love with him makes her fall deeper into illness. Lucy's mother and doctor desperately rescue her from dangerous blood counts and other complications, but can they rescue her from the charming lilts of adolescent love that only she can hear?
  • A Taste of Rubies
    Inspired by Federico Garcia Lorca's "Two Lovers Murdered by a Partridge", a sailor and a musician meet in a small fishing village on the Atlantic coast, inspiring the ire of birds and people alike. And then they disappear. A woman seems clueless as to their whereabouts until she takes in an injured partridge several days later who is desperately looking for her son. Deeply nested prejudices...
    Inspired by Federico Garcia Lorca's "Two Lovers Murdered by a Partridge", a sailor and a musician meet in a small fishing village on the Atlantic coast, inspiring the ire of birds and people alike. And then they disappear. A woman seems clueless as to their whereabouts until she takes in an injured partridge several days later who is desperately looking for her son. Deeply nested prejudices are confronted as mothers struggle to move on and sons struggle to move out amidst the incoming flock of bloodthirst that seems to spread from person to partridge.
  • Swordplay
    Serah is a young computer science student suffering from depression, but finds inspiration and solace by playing Swords and Stones (an online role-playing game) with her boyfriend, Robert. When she surpasses his abilities, he tries to better himself by cheating…with a game store employee (and in-game guild member) and the misogynist hacker who twists Robert into kicking Serah out of the game and their home....
    Serah is a young computer science student suffering from depression, but finds inspiration and solace by playing Swords and Stones (an online role-playing game) with her boyfriend, Robert. When she surpasses his abilities, he tries to better himself by cheating…with a game store employee (and in-game guild member) and the misogynist hacker who twists Robert into kicking Serah out of the game and their home. In order to beat her depression on both sides of the screen, Serah must re-connect with herself and beat her broken reality on her own terms…with a little help from a jilted game store employee.
  • Dogs in the Debris
    After a tornado has struck a town, a mother searches for her lost dog in the rubble, while her prodigal daughter presses her to return to shelter before another storm strikes.
  • The Rigel Event
    A freak cosmic accident sends Rigel, a NASA explorer, aimlessly spinning in space while his friend, Tom, and fiancée, Cassie, gradually move on after the tragedy. When Rigel miraculously re-enters their atmosphere ten years later, he seeks to return to his old life and love with newfound perspective, even at the expense of the new family Tom and Cassie have created in his absence. All are forced to confront a...
    A freak cosmic accident sends Rigel, a NASA explorer, aimlessly spinning in space while his friend, Tom, and fiancée, Cassie, gradually move on after the tragedy. When Rigel miraculously re-enters their atmosphere ten years later, he seeks to return to his old life and love with newfound perspective, even at the expense of the new family Tom and Cassie have created in his absence. All are forced to confront a new, deeper disaster – that perhaps their search for life on Earth and beyond is a more complicated and unforgiving endeavor than they previously figured out.