Jamie Olah
Chicago, IL
Jamie Olah is dedicated to creating new, experimental theatre that inspires positive social change. Her plays are athletic, visceral and visually striking.

Jamie Olah (she/her) is a dramatic writer and educator from the mighty Midwest. She is a scholar of comedy and is dedicated to creating new, experimental works that inspire positive social change. She uses her extensive background in physical theatre to craft pieces that are athletic, visceral, and visually striking.

While pursuing her MFA in Dramatic Writing at Carnegie Mellon University, Jamie won third place in the Alfred P. Sloan Script Competition and was awarded a Certificate of Merit from The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival National Playwriting Program. She is the recipient of a Frank-Ratchye Further Fund grant from The STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, a GuSH research grant from Carnegie Mellon University, and three artistic grants from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

Jamie is the founder of Chicago Playwrights Group, a writing workshop that has served over 60 theatre creators. She was the co-founder and artistic director of Grassroots Theatre Project, and she served as a company member with Dal Vivo and The Moving Dock Theatre Co. Her plays have been presented by New American Folk Theatre, Broken Nose Theatre, The New Coordinates, The Arc Theatre, Links Hall, Physical Theatre Festival Chicago, Adventure Stage Chicago, Clock Productions, Red Tape Theatre, Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre, Food & Performance, and others.

Jamie holds a BFA in Acting from Viterbo University. She has additional specialized training in red nose clown (Paola Coletto), bouffon (Nathaniel Justiniano), commedia dell’arte (Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre), the Michael Chekhov technique (Dawn Arnold), and Balinese mask performance (I Ketut Kantor). Jamie is also a devoted theatre educator with 17 years of experience empowering students of all ages to write and perform their own stories.

For more information, please visit www.jamieolah.com.


by Jamie Olah

Full-length drama

After nearly a decade of serving the needs of her country at the expense of her family, Reya Veil, an Operations Officer with the CIA, is called to action when her mother is murdered by an unknown assassin. But to find her mother’s killer, Reya must first confront evidence of her own misdeeds. In the end, she must sacrifice everything to atone for past wrongs and bring justice to her family.

3W | 2M
by Jamie Olah

One-act drama

Eden is leaving. After surviving five years of violence at the hands of her boyfriend Christopher, she packs up her belongings and steps out the door. But what should be a fresh new beginning is hardly an end to her struggle. Every success she has in building a new life is upended by Christopher’s sudden presence. Defeated, Eden retreats from the world and plunges into a deep depression. Will she rise to overcome her abuse or give into her despair?

Using physical theatre and visual spectacle, Eden in Silence challenges the stigma of domestic abuse and champions the transformative power of human connection.

by Jamie Olah

Full-length drama

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. 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 explores the invisible wounds of post-traumatic stress disorder and its effect on the family.

3W | 2M
by Jamie Olah

10-minute comedy for video call

On the eve of the Wisconsin State Cow Chip Throw, two friends frantically prepare for an important anniversary.

by Jamie Olah

10-minute movement-based drama

A man and a woman fall in love. A family is formed and torn apart. Life continues. A new family forms while the remnants of the broken family mend and grow. Attempts to reconcile are rejected. Children grow and form new families who wonder: will the light of the future help ease the pain of the past?

Using movement and tableaux, Descendants presents a sweeping narrative of love, infidelity, and the lasting effects of divorce.  

3W | 3M
by Jamie Olah

10-minute comedy

Georgia is sick of eating 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.

by Jamie Olah

Full-length satire for puppets

Reggie has donned his best swim trunks, slathered his nose with sunscreen, and is ready to throw back a piña colada. After seven years of taking orders from the Macho Honcho, he’s ready for a well-deserved vacation. Just as he’s about to jet-set off to paradise, Reggie learns that he has been called to be the Regent of the realm. But before he can claim the title, he has to finish preparing the land for settlement. He’ll have to write a textbook detailing his colony’s founding, build a platform to house the settlement’s capitol building, and invite the world’s best and brightest to join him in forming a new society. If that weren’t hard enough, he has to placate a ragtag collection of animal scavengers who will stop at nothing to hold Reggie to his word.

A minimum of seven puppeteers are required to stage this play. All puppeteers must be people of the Global Majority. At least two puppeteers must be Indigenous. Casting should represent a diverse range of ages, genders and body types.
by Jamie Olah

One-act satire for solo bouffon

Maxi, a creature from another planet, has been observing women and she thinks they are fascinating. She is mesmerized by their obsession with their bodies: how they mold them into different shapes, paint them assorted colors and put them on display. It all looks like a rollicking good time and she has arrived ready to play. What starts as fun and games soon leads Maxi to unearth something darker: a mysterious force threatening to destroy all of womanhood. Will she manifest this beast and welcome it into her world? Or will she clobber it with her red-bottomed pump?



Frank-Ratchye Further Fund Grant (Maybe She's Born With It), The STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, 2024

GuSH Research Grant (Textbook), Carnegie Mellon University, 2024

Winner, 3rd Place (Cloud Club), Alfred P. Sloan Script Competition, 2023

Finalist (Clandestine), Pittsburgh Public Theater New Play Contest, 2023

Certificate of Merit (Eden in Silence), Kennedy Center ACTF NPP, 2023

MFA Drama Fellowship, Carnegie Mellon University, 2022-2024

Steven Bochco Scholarship, Carnegie Mellon University, 2022-2024

Linkage Partnership (Breaker), Links Hall, 2018

Individual Artists Program Grant (Breaker), City of Chicago DCASE, 2018

Linkage Partnership (Eden in Silence), Links Hall, 2017

Individual Artists Program Grant (Eden in Silence), City of Chicago DCASE, 2017

Selectee, The Writers’ Room, The New Coordinates, 2015

Chicago Artist Assistance Program Grant, City of Chicago DCASE, 2009