Jamie Olah


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.





  • Textbook
    • Workshop, Self-Produced (dir. Tatiana Baccari), 2024
    • Reading, Carnegie Mellon University (dir. Tatiana Baccari), 2024
  • Clandestine
    • Workshop, Hypothetical Productions (dir. Dan Plehal), 2022
  • Breaker
    • Reading, Performing Arts Studio (dir. Kamille Dawkins), 2019
    • Workshop Production, Links Hall (self-directed), 2018
  • M.A.T.E. *
    • Production, Grassroots Theatre Project (self-directed), 2010
  • Frugal Love *
    • ​​​​​​​Production, The Moving Dock Theatre Co. (self-directed), 2009


  • Maybe She's Born With It
    • ​​​​​​​Workshop Production, Self-Produced (dir. Jasmine Roth), exp. 2024
    • Workshop, Self-Produced (dir. Jasmine Roth), 2023
  • Eden in Silence
    • ​​​​​​​Reading, Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival NPP (dir. Ben Fisler), 2023
    • Workshop Production, Links Hall (dir. Kacie Smith), 2017
    • Reading, The New Coordinates (dir. Kacie Smith), 2016
  • Fledge
    • ​​​​​​​Workshop Production, New American Folks Theatre (dir. Jamal Howard), 2023
    • Reading, New American Folk Theatre (dir. Jamal Howard), 2022

SHORT PLAYS (selected)

  • Cowabunga
    • ​​​​​​​Production, Broken Nose Theatre (dir. Lauren Katz), 2020
  • Descendants
    • ​​​​​​​Production, The Arc Theatre (dir. Anna Rachel Troy), 2019
  • Georgia & Gertie​​​​​​​
    • Production, Clock Productions (dir. Claire Bauman), 2018
  • Anna to the West *
    • ​​​​​​​Production, Physical Festival Chicago (self-directed), 2015 
    • Production, Adventure Stage Chicago (self-directed), 2015 
  • The Miracle Food
    • ​​​​​​​Production, Food and Performance (self-directed), 2012

HONORS  |  AWARDS  |  GRANTS  (selected)

  • 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
  • Selectee (Maybe She’s Born With It), Carnegie Mellon University Playground XXI, 2023
  • 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, renewable, 2022-2024
  • Steven Bochco Scholarship, Carnegie Mellon University, renewable, 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

*  Devised Production