Playwright Alan Olejniczak in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park.

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PLAYWRIGHT ALAN OLEJNICZAK IN HAWAI’I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK

San Francisco based playwright and opera librettist Alan Olejniczak talks with Big Blend Radio about his career and experience as the first National Parks Arts Foundation playwright-in-residence in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park.

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park showcases the results of at least 70 million years of volcanism, migration, and evolution in the Hawaiian Islands. Created to preserve the natural setting of Kīlauea and Mauna Loa, the park is also a refuge for the island’s native plants and animals and a link to its human past. Alan is working on an audio drama about the natural history and future of Hawai‘i Island. His operatic verses and performances usually center around human impacts on the environment, but his work from his residency in the park will incorporate active volcanoes and other natural forces beyond our control.

Alan is an Associate Artist with FaultLine Theater in San Francisco and co-founder of bicoastal At Last Theatre in Kingston, New York. Alan currently has two full-length chamber operas in development. An adaption of Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilyich with John Young with a workshop concert with Opera Orlando in May 2020 and the bilingual opera Sueños Americanos, loosely based on Cyrano de Bergerac with composer, Chris Pratorius-Gómez. His plays have been developed and produced across the country. They include: Transgress, Dominion, and Present Tense (available on New Play Exchange.)

Last summer, Alan was on an expeditionary artist residency with The Arctic Circle sailing the icy waters around Svalbard. There he completed the first draft of HELT TEXAS, a new play about climate change, sustainability and contemporary discourse. It was workshopped with FaultLine Theater and later presented to the sustainability team at Google in Mountain View, CA. HELT TEXAS is currently being developed as an on-line theatre production with Punch Presentations in Hong Kong. Last November, Alan was a member of the Micro-Galleries Artist Collective and participated in their residency in Patan, Nepal. There he facilitated a workshop on personal storytelling with The Blue Diamond Society, an LGBTQ+ advocacy group in Katmandu. Alan is on the board of Theatre Bay Area Board, a member of the Dramatist Guild and Opera America. More at: https://www.alanolejniczak.com

The Artist in Residence program is sponsored by the National Parks Arts Foundation. The National Parks Arts Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to the promotion of the National Parks of the U.S. through creating dynamic opportunities for artworks that are based in our natural and historic heritage. All NPAF programs are made possible through the philanthropic support of donors ranging from corporate sponsors, small business, art patrons and citizen supporters of the parks. Learn more at www.NationalParksArtsFoundation.org

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