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OLIVIA SONGER

THEATRE DIRECTOR
Current Projects

CURRENT PROJECTS

Give Me Your Answers, Do

by Brian Friel

Thursday February 15, 7 pm

as a part of the Friel Project Reading Series

Irish Repertory Theatre, 132 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10011

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SO YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE

Olivia holds an MFA in Theatre Directing from the Lir Academy, Ireland's National Academy of Dramatic Art at Trinity College Dublin, and a BFA in Drama from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

 

Having worked all over the world, her strengths lie in creating across cultures with an ability to seek out and engage atypical audiences. Mashing up European visual theatre traditions with rigorous dramaturgy, her work takes on a highly integrated approach.

 

Olivia places the ensemble at the center of her work and cherishes close collaborations with playwrights throughout the various stages of new play development.

 

She served in the United States Peace Corps as a Primary Literacy Education Volunteer in Grenada, an island in the West Indies. She is fluent in Italian and a proud Ann Arbor, Michigan townie. 

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CV

DIRECTING

  • Made by God, by Ciara Ni Chuirc, World Premiere, Irish Repertory Theatre, developed with Origin Theatre

  • Venus in Fur, by David Ives, Rough Magic SEEDS Showcase Show, Project Arts Centre

  • We Are Not Well, by Trish Harnetiaux, The Clifford Odets Commission, The Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute, NYU Tisch School of the Arts

  • We Can't Have Monkeys in the House, by Ciara Elizabeth Smyth, Original Commission, The Abbey Young Curators Festival, The Peacock Stage, Abbey Theatre and The New Theatre

  • Anatomy of a Suicide, by Alice Birch, The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute

  • Beside the Sea, Original Devised theatre piece with original music for violin composed by Ian Wilson, Tour of Ireland and the UK including, Spitalfields Festival (UK), The Model (Sligo), Civic Theatre (Tallaght), and Riverbank Arts Centre (Kildare)

  • Disconnected, by Ali Hardiman, Developed at Scene and Heard Festival, Smock Alley Theatre, and Premiered at The New Theatre

  • Label WallOriginal Devised Commission, The National Gallery of Ireland (Modern Artist in Residence)

  • Reclamation, Original Devised Commission, The Wellcome Trust, London, UK

  • Each Day Dies with Sleep, by Jose Rivera, GradFest, Studio 2, The Lir Academy

  • Let Me Let Me Rot*, by kanishk pandey, Boomerang Theater Company

  • Daniel, by Catherine Higgins Moore, Origin Theatre Company, Mondays in May Fesival

  • Devices of Torture*By Caroline Bennett, Hot! Festival, Dixon Place

  • The Playboy of the Western World*, adapted by Bisi Adigun & Roddy Doyle, Irish Repertory Theatre

  • Parental Leave*, by Maggie Wilson, Playground-NY

  • Give or Take*by Dana Leslie Goldstein, Playground-NY

  • Athbrhreith [rebirth]*, by Kaela Mei-Shing GarvinPlayground-NY

  • The Elusive Budgie*, by Aisling O'Mara, Nadine Flynn, and Caitríona Daly, International Women's Day Make a Play, The New Theatre

  • Gravity*, by Emma Adler, The Lab, Dublin

  • My Father's Funeral*, by Aisha Josiah, GAP Production, NYU Tisch

  • Midsummer, One Trick Circus, Rubin Auditorium​​

*Denotes Reading

ASSISTING

  • tiny father, dir. Moritz von Stuelpnagel, Chautauqua Theater Company

  • Ironbound, dir. Tyne Rafaeli, The Geffen Playhouse, Los Angeles, California

  • Tribesdir. Oonagh Murphy, The Gate Theatre, Dublin, Ireland

  • Pride and Prejudice, dir. Jade King Carroll, Chautauqua Theater Company

  • A Midsummer Night's Dream, dir. Lynne Parker, Rough Magic Theatre Company and the Kilkenny Arts Festival, Ireland

  • Unwoman III, dir. Maeve Stone, Emma Valente and Kate Davis, The Rabble, Dublin Fringe Festival, Ireland

  • Proximity*, by Harrison David Rivers, Chautauqua Theatre Company

  • Cannabis Passover*, by Sofya Levitzky-Weitz, dir. Kiera Fromm, Chautauqua Theatre Company

  • The Light and the Dark*, by Kate Hamil, dir. Jade King Carroll, Chautauqua Theatre Company

  • Bleeding Class*, by Chisa Hutchinson, dir. Jade King Carroll, Chautauqua Theatre Company

  • Tales of Hoffman*, dir. Tom Creed, Irish National Opera, Dublin, Ireland

  • Much Ado About Nothing, dir. Ronan Phelan, The Lir Academy, Dublin, Ireland

  • The Place We Builtdir. Portia Kreiger, The Clifford Odetts Commission, New York City

  • R+J: Star-Cross'd Death Match, dir. Lori Wolter Hudson, Three Day Hangover, New York City

  • A Hatful of Rain, dir. Johanna McKeon, The Lee Strasberg Institute of Theater and Film, New York City

  • Spring Awakening, dir. Johanna McKeon, The Lee Strasberg Institute of Theater and Film, New York City

*Denotes Observership​

LEADERSHIP AND ARTISTIC ASSOCIATION

  • Directing Fellow, Chautauqua Theatre Company, 2023

  • SEEDS (Seek Out, Encourage, Enable, Develop and Stage) Resident Director, Rough Magic Theatre Company, 2018-2020

  • Contemporary Artist in Residence, The National Gallery of Ireland, 2019

  • Artistic Intern, Dublin Theatre Festival 2019

  • Observership Class Member, SDCF (Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation) 2019-2020

  • Visiting Artist, Prague Quadrennial (PQ), Prague, Czech Republic, 2019 

  • United States Peace Corps Volunteer, Corinth, St. David's, Grenada, West Indies, 2014-2016

  • Drama Teacher and Company Member, Conception Dance Theatre, Grenada, 2014-2016

  • Workshop Director and Company Member, La Boucan Creative Center, Grenada, 2015-2016

  • One Trick Circus, Founding Member and Resident Director, 2012-2014, New York City

  • Acoustic Sin, President, Music Director, and Founding Member, NYU A Cappella, 2010-2013

  • Dance Body, Company Member, and Choreographer, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 2005-2009

TRAINING

  • MFA Theatre Directing, The Lir Academy, National Academy of Dramatic Art at Trinity College Dublin (Minor in Dramaturgy)

  • BFA Drama with Honors, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University (Double Major in Anthropology)

  • The Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute, Kip Fagan, Lyle Kessler, Karen Allen, Geoffrey Horne, Lola Cohen, Tim Crouse, Robert Ellerman, Irma Sandrey, Hope Arthur

  • Theater Studies (West Africa Concentration), University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, 2011

  • International Theater Schools Festival, 2011, Warsaw, Poland

  • Musical Theater Intensives, Interlochen Arts Camp, Interlochen, Michigan 2007, 2008, 2009

Click Icon to Download CV as PDF 

Press

WHAT PEOPLE SAY

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"With sensitive direction by Olivia Songer...there is humor and anger and sadness as the characters pursue a kind of mystery... that achieves a harrowing power"

Ken Marks

The New Yorker

"Director Olivia Songer stealthily, almost imperceptibly draws us into the mystery of Ann's death and why Eva is so obsessed with it."

Zachary Stewart

Theater Mania

"Under Songer’s exquisite, delicate direction, “Made By God” presents a hypothetical picture of those confronting and confronted by the abortion debate...A play this compassionate is a godsend"

Kevin Pheonix 

The Irish Echo

 "A kind of wordless eulogy: it’s portable, thoughtful and quietly, hauntingly effective.”

Erica Jeal

The Guardian

"Economically and cleanly directed...Songer's youthful cast bravely jumps into the story without reservation or fear."

David Hurst

Talkin' Broadway

“Olivia Songer directs with a keen eye for movement… Performances use the big gestures of improv comedy."

"It’s clear in director Olivia Songer’s impressive production that she’s stepped into a traumatised house."

"Director Olivia Songer keeps the action moving at a fast pace; portions of the show become stylised and choreographed, others verge towards realism... This is a highly effective way of recreating the monstrous Mammy.”

"Director Olivia Songer keeps things moving along nicely...she certainly comes to grips with her first class cast who each turn in memorable performances."

Chris O'Rourke

The Arts Review

“Director Olivia Songer for ILA Productions steers the action adroitly, in particular enhancing the moments of humour.”

"The whole team at Rough Magic Seeds is to be congratulated for bringing this funny, sophisticated and topical play to Dublin audiences...It is to be celebrated and enjoyed"

Production Photos

PRODUCTION PHOTOS

MADE BY GOD

VENUS IN FUR

DISCONNECTED