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artist statement


Olivia gives alternate, transformational endings to female characters who are typically portrayed as tragic. 


Olivia creates stories in conversation with the times in which they are being made and shared. 

Olivia's work is focused on the local, and it's community driven in content, process, and distribution methods. 

Olivia is inspired in equal parts by the city of Chicago, music videos, Steven Spielberg, and Mira Nair. 

Photo by Nico Fernandez


Olivia Lilley is a screenwriter, director, theatremaker, and producer who came up in Chicago's DIY and Storefront Theatre scenes as well as Downtown NY's Avant Garde. Olivia is the Artistic Director of Prop Thtr and a Board Member at The National New Play Network. She was the founding Artistic Director of The Runaways Lab Theatre (Voted Best New Theatre Company in the Chicago Reader's Best of 2014). Olivia’s feature screenplay “The Snowpeople” was selected for Full Spectrum Features Producers’ Lab 2020. She was selected for Broadway for All's Theatre Producers of Color: Commercial Producing 101 Inaugural cohort. She has taught at DePaul's Theatre School & School of Cinematic Arts , The Playwright's Center, Chicago Dramatists, Phoenix Theatre, and School for the Blind in Indianapolis. Olivia attended Carnegie Mellon School of Drama for Directing and Interlochen Arts Academy for Music Composition. She has her MFA in Screenwriting from The University of Nebraska at Omaha. She'll start working on an MS in Cinematography from DePaul University in Fall 2023. 


Photo by Jacob Michael Hanania

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