Exciting News & New Directions: Stephen Schwartz Award and More

Hello friends!

I’m excited to share my first update. The past few months have been game-changing for me. My intention for 2019 was to create the year of flight, and so far it’s lived up to the title. 

oliver and stephen schwartz award.jpg

I was humbled and honored to receive the inaugural Stephen Schwartz Award last week, given to “a young musical theater writer that a private committee of composers and industry professionals believes to be important to the continued success of the craft.” Whoa. It is inspiring to know someone I deeply admire has faith in my path and is encouraging me to continue to follow my dreams. Here’s me getting the award. All I can think is “what is happening!?!?”

My newest musical, XY, had an exciting run at the National Alliance of Musical Theatre Conference (NAMT) last October, and it’s now receiving readings at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and another wonderful theatre (stay tuned) later this year! XY is an original musical about an intersex man navigating his first romantic relationship while he’s haunted by his past. I’ve been hard at work on this show for three years and am excited to take these next steps with such fabulous institutions, along with my amazing director/developer-in-crime, Hunter Bird. I can’t wait to share this show with the world and help bring exposure to the intersex community, which continues to battle stigmatization and harmful “corrective” medical practices. To learn more visit https://interactadvocates.org/

I am making a commitment to share more of myself, my process and my work with the world. I feel more connected than ever to my mission to use music and storytelling to inspire and heal. Earlier this year I started a daily song journal where I posted an improvised song to youtube or facebook live every day for thirty days. I finished the project last month and the results have been unbelievable. I feel more connected to creative flow, less perfectionistic and way more prepared to face my fears of being vulnerable and sharing my music with the world. Here’s the first day, to give you a taste.

Piano-banging in Nebraska

Piano-banging in Nebraska

On that note, I am excited to announce an upcoming show of brand new singer-songwriter material this Fall! It’s my first show since performing a set at the Kennedy Center in 2017. This is a huge creative edge for me and something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Stay tuned for more details.

I just wrapped an incredible six-week residency at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. I’m grateful to have crossed paths with the incredible staff and other artists with whom I shared this magical experience. Pro tip: when staying in Nebraska in the middle of the winter, listen to your (or my) mother and bring the long underwear.

And the creation continues! I just arrived at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts for another five weeks of residency bliss. I got here two nights ago and am already in love.

If you read this, thank you for your support. Let’s all keep creating, healing and inspiring together. Sign up for my mailing list on my homepage for more updates. I’m excited to share more music with you soon!