Nicholas I.J. Olcott
Director of Acting; Lecturer, Scene Study - Maryland Opera Studio Voice/Opera Division
B.A., Yale University
Nick Olcott has been active in opera and theatre as an actor, writer, and director for more than twenty years. For the Maryland Opera Studio at the UMD School of Music, he has directed L’elisir d’amore, Serse, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Turn of the Screw, Il matrimonio segreto, Le nozze di Figaro, La finta giardiniera, and Die Zauberfloete. His opera credits elsewhere include Roméo et Juliette and The Turn of the Screw (Opera Cleveland), The Daughter of the Regiment (Boston Lyric Opera), Cosi fan tutte (Capital City Opera and the In Series), I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Bel Cantanti Opera) and The Impresario/ Viva la Mamma (Wolf Trap Opera). For this last production he was also commissioned to write a new libretto and provide translation for The Impresario, to unite the two pieces into one evening.
Mr. Olcott's theatre credits include The Miracle Worker at the Arena Stage, Sylvia at the Philadelphia Theatre Company, A Midsummer Night’s Dream at People’s Light and Theatre Company, and numerous productions at the Round House Theatre, where he is a member of the Artists’ Roundtable. He directs frequently for the Kennedy Center Family Theatre, including the world premiere and national tours of Judith Viorst's musical Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day and its sequel, Alexander Who is Not, Not, Not, Not, Not, Not Going to Move. He has also directed several productions at the Theatre J, Washington Jewish Theatre, Metrostage, and the Delaware Theatre Company. For radio he has directed All My Sons (starring Julie Harris and James Farentino), The Heiress (starring Amy Irving and Chris Noth) and Seven Days in May (starring Ed Asner). Other radio productions (all for the Voice of America and the Smithsonian Institution in partnership with LATheatreworks) include The Gin Game, A Lesson Before Dying, and The Diary of Anne Frank. For the UM Department of Theatre he has directed The Music Man and his own adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma. He was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Direction for his production of All in Timing at the Round House Theatre.
As a writer, Nick Olcott has received two Helen Hayes nominations for his adaptations of Henry James produced by the Washington Stage Guild (The Aspern Papers and The Turn of the Screw), and his musical play Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Purloined Patience received the 1998 Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play. Other writing projects include an adaptation of John Steinbeck's The Pearl, which premiered at the Kennedy Center and toured nationally, and a radio adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates' American Appetites, which received performances in front of live studio audiences in Los Angeles and Washington (both starring Keith Carradine). His English-language adaptation Cosi fan tutte Goes Hollywood has received numerous productions.
Mr. Olcott is a faculty member of the Maryland Opera Studio at the UMD School of Music and a board member of the Playwrights' Forum. A native of Red Lodge, Montana, he graduated from Yale University in 1978. He is a member of Actors' Equity Association, the Screen Actors' Guild, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, and the American Guild of Musical Artists.