Awards, Reviews, and Miscellaneous

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as director or choreographer

Outstanding Choreography, 2004
(shared with Liz Lerman)
The Mad Dancers

Outstanding Director, 2003
The Weir

Outstanding Director, 1995
All in the Timing

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a collaboration between the In Series
and the Washington Ballet Studio Company

“... Nick Olcott's astute direction ... Under his guidance, the choreography by Washington Ballet Artistic Director Septime Webre ....

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Giselle Alvarez and Ramos Fantinel Moon/Dance  (Melina Mara, photo, The Washington Post) 

built on the emotions in such popular songs as Van Morrison's "Moondance" and Cole Porter's "It's De-Lovely," as well as German lieder and French ballads.

Ballet and opera can feel artificial, beautiful but distant and self-involved. The masterstroke of this collaboration was its palpable humanity. "Moon/Dance" defied the pitfalls of its genre, taking the sugar out of love songs and putting something tart and true in its place.”

—Sarah Kaufman, The Washington Post, 2007

Uncle Vanya

Round House Theatre

“Nick Olcott in an extraordinarily funny production ... captures the humorous as well as tragic nuances of the adaptation and gives us a deeply moving and humane comedy of the damned ... From the minute the lights rise, Olcott puts as much focus on small but vital gestures and movements that let us know what is really happening inside these people. It's the wordless language of the tortured soul, and Olcott speaks it fluently.”

—William Triplett, The Washington Post, 1997

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Alexander & the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

The Kennedy Center

“Each theatrical vignette is so clearly wrought and cleverly directed (by that master of comedy Nick Olcott) that just about every kid and grownup in the audience seemed to be nodding and murmuring.”  

—Pamela Sommers, The Washington Post, 1998

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The Turn of the Screw

Opera Cleveland

The most successful production of Opera Cleveland's 2007 season was Benjamin Britten's The Turn of the Screw . . . . Director Nick Olcott found ways to make Britten's ghost figures — Peter Quint and Miss Jessel — more present than usual while retaining the ambiguity of who else in the opera sees or does not see the ghosts. Many gestures of the human characters were creepily mirrored by the ghosts. Olcott also found different readings of some lines, to very unsettling effect. The splendid, minimal production (devised by Olcott) consisted of four white chairs and a white mirror frame … The audience seemed to be totally mesmerized.”

--Alan Montgomery, Opera News. 2007

Così fan tutte

Capital City Opera

Nick Olcott's brilliant stage direction made this ‘Cosi,’ as promised, a new kind of operatic experience.”

—Joseph McLellan, The Washington Post, 2001

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A Year with Frog and Toad

Round House Theatre

“Fortunately the top-tier performers in this ... production fling themselves into their roles with such expressiveness and gusto -- supported by Nick Olcott's witty direction ... -- that even hardened cynics might start to feel like Dr. Dolittle.”

—Celia Wren, The Washington Post, 2005

Madame Butterfly

Ash Lawn Opera Festival

“Director Nick Olcott takes advantage of an intimate space ... to draw real acting with natural movement and realistic emotion from a young cast...This "Butterfly” a little gem, one of the best productions Ash Lawn has mounted in years.”

—Clarke Bustard, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 2005

Writing Credits

(all scripts available upon request)

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Sherlock Holmes and the Case
of the Purloined Patience

a new Sherlock Holmes play with
Gilbert & Sullivan music

Produced by the Interact Theatre Company
Folger Elizabethan Theatre, 1997

Recipient, Charles MacArthur Award
for Outstanding New Play
1998 Helen Hayes Awards


The Aspern Papers after Henry James

Nominee, Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play
1992 Helen Hayes Awards
Produced by The Washington Stage Guild

The Turn of the Screw after Henry James

Nominee, Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play
1991 Helen Hayes Awards
Produced by The Washington Stage Guild

American Appetites after Joyce Carol Oates

Radio adaptation for L.A. Theatre Works and Voice of America

The Pearl after John Steinbeck

Produced by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts


Outstanding Supporting Actor

1999 Helen Hayes Awards
Brian in Dead Funny (Johnson)
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Outstanding Supporting Actor

1993 Helen Hayes Awards
Teddy in Faith Healer (Friel)
Scena Theatre at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Yes, I act, too!

Stage credits from 1981 to 2021 include Arena Stage, the Folger Theatre, Woolly Mammoth, the Round House Theatre, the Delaware Theatre Company, and many more. 

Member: AEA, SAG, AFTRA. Resume on request.