Portfolio

(selected works)


Photography by Michelle Reid

If you or someone you know needs immediate help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741. Learn more about PTSD and mental health by visiting the National Institute of Mental Health at www.nimh.nih.gov/findhelp.

PLAYWRIGHT/DIRECTOR OF BREAKER

WORKSHOP PRODUCTION
Produced by Jamie Olah, Chicago 2018
Written and Directed by Jamie Olah
Presented with two public panel discussions on PTSD and mental health

DEVISING WORKSHOP
Hosted by Prop Thtr, Chicago 2018

Devised with the Acting Ensemble: Brian Boller, Jackie Bowes, RjW Mays, Errol McLendon, Priya Mohanty, and Kaileigh JaKirra Robinson

Simone Breaker was in control. As a Special Agent and Forensic Scientist with the FBI, she led teams around the world to process countless major crime scenes. She apprehended fugitives and investigated murders. She collected evidence on 9/11. Now, at age 57, Simone is retiring to a promising new chapter at home with her husband and daughter. But will the tranquility of her new life be haunted by memories from her past? Will she be strong enough to maintain control?

Inspired by true events, Breaker uses devised movement and visual spectacle to explore the invisible wounds of post-traumatic stress disorder. 

The workshop production of Breaker was partially supported by an Individual Artists Program Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, as well as a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency through federal funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.



You are not alone. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is available to help victims and survivors of domestic violence. Call 1-800-799-7233 or visit www.thehotline.org.

playwright of Eden in Silence

WORKSHOP PRODUCTION
Produced by Jamie Olah, Chicago 2017
By Jamie Olah
Directed by Kacie Smith
Presented with two public panel discussions on domestic violence

STAGED READING
Produced by The New Colony, Chicago 2016
By Jamie Olah
Directed by Kacie Smith

Using physical theatre and visual spectacle, Eden in Silence offers an intimate view of the aftermath of domestic violence. When Eden leaves her five-year abusive relationship she survives by denying her grief. She throws herself into work, puts on a pleasant face for friends, and ignores her family’s offers for help. She endures until the arrival of an unexpected letter and a call for help makes her realize that she is not alone. Featuring a diverse cast of ten women, Eden in Silence challenges the stigma of domestic abuse and champions the transformative power of human connection.

The workshop production of Eden in Silence was partially supported by an Individual Artists Program Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, as well as a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency through federal funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.


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Playwright of georgia & gertie

A 10-MINUTE COMEDY

Produced by Clock Productions, Chicago 2018
By Jamie Olah
Directed by Claire Bauman

Georgia is sick of bananas…and mashed potatoes…and oatmeal. Just beyond the kitchen door of the assisted living facility that she calls home lies a cornucopia of delicious delicacies, but first she’s got to get through nurse Janine. With the help of her gal Gertie, a banana peel, and a whole lot of gumption, Georgia might just end the day sinking her teeth into a nice juicy steak.


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Artwork by Ilse Hugo

co-playwright/Actor of NEWS

Produced by Olive Juice Theatre, Chicago 2017
By Jamie Olah and Amber Snyder
Developed with Kira Gaudynski and David Wiesenhahn

Using movement and found object puppetry, News tells the story of a newspaper whose pages have gone missing. Now only a shell of his former self, he goes on an epic journey to recover what he has lost. Only through his relationship with a disposable coffee cup can he accept change and build a new identity.


Photography by Dan Plehal Photography and Brandon Wardell Design

playwright/director of ANNA TO THE WEST

Presented at Adventure Stage Chicago and Physical Festival, Chicago 2015
Written and Directed by Jamie Olah
Devised with the Genessee Spridco and Acting Ensemble: Claire Bauman, John Cartwright, Danielle Gennaoui, Cindy Henkin, and Dan Plehal

Anna to the West is a devised dance theatre piece that follows twelve year old Anna Conway and her family as they travel the Oregon Trail in 1843. The performance utilizes physical storytelling, dance, music, and hand-held set pieces to tell the story without words. 



Actor in The Boxer

Produced by Pursuit Productions, Chicago 2014
By Matt Lyle
Directed by Kacie Smith
Choreography by Ahmad Simmons

The Boxer is a side-splitting, gut-busting, hour-long comedic romp without one single spoken word. It is a silent play onstage in the style of Charlie Chaplin and Laurel and Hardy featuring high-speed motor boat chases, dream ballets, Rocky-style training montages, sassy bar maids, gorillas and more.

"...athletic and energetic cast that clearly boasts a strong movement background and enjoys performing in the show...Pursuit Productions and Director Kacie Smith have created a multimedia production truly unique and enjoyable; see it before the boxing bell rings." - Keith Glab, Chicago Theatre Beat

"The magic of The Boxer is in its ability to wholly transform the tiny studio theatre at The Athenaeum into a silent movie house from the golden age. But in 3-D." - Laura Warnecke, SeeChicagoDance.com


Playwright/Actor in The Miracle Food 

Produced by Food & Performance, Chicago 2012
By Jamie Olah

The Miracle Food is an intimate, participatory performance piece for small audiences that utilizes red nose clown to shed light and humor on our relationships with "good" and "bad" foods. 


Actor/DEvisor in Feminists Who Lunch

Produced by Walkabout Theatre, Chicago 2012
By Dani Bryant

Feminists Who Lunch is a devised theatre piece exploring the complex relationships women have with food in public settings.


Actor/devisor with Dal Vivo Theatre

Produced by Dal Vivo, Chicago 2011 & 2012
By the Dal Vivo Acting Ensemble

Dal Vivo is a devised theatre company specializing in clown, mask, and physical theatre. Performances are evening length shows featuring short works developed by ensemble members.


Playwright/Director of MATE: Male Attraction Techniques Exposed

Produced by Grassroots Theatre Project, Chicago 2010
Conceived and Directed by Jamie Olah
Devised with the Acting Ensemble: Chris Delgado, Danielle Gennaoui, Deanna Myers, and Keland Scher.

MATE: Male Attraction Techniques Exposed is a site-specific comedy blended scientific jargon and physical humor to draw parallels between the animal mating displays observed in nature and the human courtship techniques employed at the local neighborhood bar.  


Playwright/Director of Frugal Love

Produced by The Moving Dock Theatre Co, Chicago 2009
Conceived and Directed by Jamie Olah
Devised with the Acting Ensemble: Morgan Cohen, Sarah Greywitt, Jill Olson, Cindy Rangel, Meghan Reardon, Helen Young, and Leanne Zahrt.
Musical Arrangement and Accompaniment by Paul Henning and Andrea Else

Frugal Love: An Evening of Poor Theatre for Poor Dates is a performance of comedic vignettes addressing the combined themes of dating, money, and food. 


Director of The Giver

Produced by Apple Tree Theater, Highland Park 2008
Directed by Jamie Olah

Adapted from the young adult novel by the same name, The Giver focused strongly on the use of non-verbal storytelling and physicality to distinguish the two worlds of the play: the present and the past. This production of The Giver was presented as part of Apple Tree Theatre's TYA season and was performed for both school and public audiences.


Playwright/Actor in All Numbers Add Up to Twenty

Produced by Red Tape Theatre, Chicago 2008
By Jamie Olah

All Numbers Add Up To Twenty is a roaming performance featuring Twenty, an eight-year-old girl obsessed with numbers and her arch nemesis, Tanya. Twenty interacts with audience members as she rolls around in her decked out office chair complete with a magic number box. She tells stories about Tanya and her annoying little brother, fends off her ever interrupting mother, and challenges individuals to timed math fact quizzes. 

Twenty was developed with the help of Lower Elementary students at Chiaravalle Montessori School in Evanston, IL.


Actor/devisor in The Quiltmaker's Gift 

Produced by The Moving Dock Theatre Co, Premier Theatre and Performance, and Clock Productions, Chicago 2007
Based on the book by Jeff Brumbeau and Gail De Marcken
Directed by Dawn Arnold and Patrizia Acerra

The Quiltmaker's Gift tells the story of a wise quiltmaker who transforms the heart of a greedy king, and celebrates the spirit of community, generosity and the great American quilting tradition.

Chicago Reader - Recommended "...Nicely stitching things together, the nine-member ensemble uses movement and props to create multiple effects, such as a giant quilt whose panels light up as each "chapter" gets acted out." - Lawrence Bommer

Windy City Times - Recommended "...It’s not hard to guess how everything turns out, but that journey is plenty of fun and has a refreshing simplicity. One notable feature is the inclusion of American sign-language..." - Scott C. Morgan, Windy City Times


Actor in Dorian

Produced by Bailiwick Theatre, Chicago 2006
Adapted by Ben Loprides and Tommy Rapley
Directed and Choreographed by Tommy Rapley

Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Grey is a timeless tale about the downfalls of excess as Dorian searches for a better "high." His descent into sexual danger, drug abuse, and vanity spirals into an endless search for physical perfection and acceptance.

Highly Recommended - Chicago Reader "Employing dance, mime, and stylized gesture, Dorian focuses on the relationships Dorian has with his decadent mentor Lord Harry Wotton and artist Basil Hallward. And in this homoerotic version, the painting comes to life, encouraging Dorian's wickedness. A talented 12-person cast and creative staging and design make this by far the creepiest version of Dorian Gray I've seen on stage or screen." - Albert Williams

Highly Recommended - Windy City Times, South Town Star

Recommended - Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, Time Out Chicago, Chicago Free Press, Gay Chicago Magazine