jakub | March 4, 2024

AMERICAN THEATRE | The Subtext: Matthew Paul Olmos Finds Comfort in Chaos


Matthew Paul Olmos. (Photo by Joel Moorman)

Each month on The Subtext, Brian speaks with a playwright about life, writing, and whatever itches we are scratching.

On this month’s episode, Brian speaks with playwright Matthew Paul Olmos. They discuss his experience finding his voice as a writer while in undergrad at UC Santa Barbara and his decision to pursue an MFA in playwriting. Though he initially studied at UCLA, Matthew was ultimately asked to leave and moved to NYC to attend school at the Actor’s Studio Drama School (now New School of Drama). Olmos describes starting out as a playwright in NYC while working at The Lark, and the challenges that come with trying to launch a career while working for an organization that supports playwrights.

Olmos is a Mexican American playwright originally from Los Angeles and now living in Brooklyn. He is a three-time Sundance Institute Fellowship/Residency recipient, inaugural Dramatists Guild Foundation Catalyst Fellow, and Playwrights’ Center Core Writer, as well as a lifetime Ensemble Studio Theatre member and Sloan Commission recipient. His plays include the living’life of the daughter mira, the shooters of an american president, so go the ghosts of méxico, and the death of the slow’dying scuba diver, among others. He is a recipient of an Actors’ Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival Commission, Arizona Theatre Company’s National Latine Playwriting Award, Baryshnikov Arts Center residency, the Princess Grace Award in Playwriting, the Repertorio Español Miranda Family Nuestra Voces Playwriting Award, and more. Olmos spent two years as a Mabou Mines/SUITE Resident Artist being mentored by Ruth Maleczech, was mentored by Taylor Mac for Cherry Lane’s mentor project, and was La MaMa’s Ellen Stewart Emerging Playwright awardee, as selected by Sam Shepard.

This episode can also be found here.

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