Oli Allen

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Oli Allen (they/ them) is a non-binary theatre artist, based in Mississauga. Oli expresses themselves through passion and creativity. They are a graduate of the Humber College. Oli Allen is a professional stage manager and theatre artist who has been involved in theatre since childhood.

Education

Oli Allen is a graduate from the Theatre Production Program at Humber College. After graduating, Oli joined the Crane Creations team as a 2019 and 2020 Summer Ensemble member. 

Oli Allen: Summer Ensemble 2019

Oli Allen is a member of the 2019 and 2020 Crane Creations Summer Ensemble. Oli was one of the first Summer Ensemble members, from Crane Creations first Summer Ensemble in 2019. Meet their fellow Ensemble Members.

Summer Ensemble 2019
Summer Ensemble 2019

What is the Summer Ensemble?  

The Summer Ensemble is an 8 week training program for theatre artists. In this paid working opportunity, artists learn skills required to be a professional artist in Canada, and gain valuable insights into the theatre industry in Canada and abroad. To apply, artists must be between 18 and 30 years of age. 

Memorable Moments with Oli in Summer Ensemble

In the 2019 workshops of Romeo and Juliet. They also participated in many activities and projects with Crane Creations Theatre Company as a Summer Ensemble Member. These projects included reading plays and participating workshops of new work. Oli was part of important and lively discussion and debates about the Canadian theatre industry. They learned about the industry of theatre and what it looks like to be a professional full time artist. They learned about theatre in Mississauga. With their fellow Summer Ensemble members, they explored the arts outside of Canada as well, and conducted workshops and presentations of prominent International and Canadian artists and theatre companies.

As well as participating in workshops Oli was a part of discussions about the future of Canadian theatre in Mississauga. Their ability to think outside the box and provide a calm, pragmatic perspective made them a wonderful participant in these discussions.

In Summer Ensemble 2019, Oli was tasked with helping their fellow 2019 Crane Creations Summer Ensemble Member, Cayne Kitawaga, solve a Rubik’s cube. Cayne was playing the character of Mercutio for a workshopped production of Romeo and Juliet. During a scene for the workshopped production of Romeo and Juliet, the character Mercutio solves a Rubik’s cube. Cayne had never solved a Rubik’s cube before. With Oli’s help and expert guidance, Cayne was able to solve a Rubik’s cube in under five minutes.  

Oli also created two Dungeons and Dragon’s campaigns based off of the plot of Romeo and Juliet and a new play in development called Pandora’s Box. The actors played a campaign of dungeons and Dragon’s based off the plot, using characters, that they play in Pandora’s Box and Romeo and Juliet. Playing Dungeons and Dragons in rehearsals and workshops of plays is a fascinating, original and uniquely useful technique.  Oli was integral in helping facilitate scene and character work for actors, helping actors explore characters in depth, and improvise scenes for the new play.

 

 “The people were my favourite part of Summer Ensemble, honestly. It was great to feel connected to everyone. It was my first time doing theatre professionally. I felt so supported.” 

 

Oli Allen: Summer Ensemble 2020

We loved Oli so much that in 2020, Oli returned once again. Oli Allen is a 2020 Crane Creations Summer Ensemble Member. They are a stage manager for the 2020 workshop with Terror. They were one of the first summer ensemble members to join the team in October 2020, at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Due to lock down restrictions, a large portion of the program was conducted over Zoom. Oli as well as the rest of Crane Creations Summer Ensemble handled the transition beautifully, and Oli was quickly able to adapt their talents to a Zoom’s online platform. Oli Allen was part of the second group of Crane Creation Theatre Company’s 2020 Summer Ensemble along with: 

  • Devin Barnes
  • Emeka Agada
  • Alicia Plummer 
  • Jessica Rose 
  • Renee Wong 

How did Oli get involved in the Arts? 

In high school, Oli was president of the drama club and captain of the improv team. Oli participated in competitive improvisation games with their team. Unfortunately their team never won, but nevertheless, Oli always enjoyed playing and participating. 

Oli Allen is a Stage Manager

“I am a stage manager because I very much like puzzles and organization. I always like it when things look nice. Being a Stage Manager, I am able to combine my love for creativity and theatre the other things I love and am good at. It is the combination of arts, creation and organization.”  

What is a Stage Manager?

A Stage Manager supports and organizes all the different teams involved in the day-to-day running of a theatre production from rehearsals right through to performances and then post-show. They ensure the smooth running of a production. A Stage Manager is a Director’s right hand. 

What does a Stage Manager do?

  • Create and set up rehearsal schedules
  • Manage set and props
  • Create a prompt script compiled with notes on Actors’ cues and requirements for props, lighting and sound
  • Make alterations to the set and props between scene changes
  • Cue the lighting and Sound Technicians
  • Create a risk assessment to ensure the safety of the full company
  • Manage the backstage and onstage area during performances
  • Call Actors for rehearsals and performances

Who is Oli Allen? An Interview with Oli.

Q: You were in theatre in high school. How did you get into theatre in the first place? 

A: I was very shy as a kid and my parents put me in theatre because they thought that it would help me not be so shy. Of course, it did not work because I am still shy. I stuck with it because it’s a space to explore and create.

Q: What do you love to do in your spare time? 

A: I like to do pencil puzzles. An example of a pencil puzzle is sudoku. I enjoy playing sudoku because it makes sense. I like solving puzzles. There are so many different variations of puzzles that you can have. There are always unique and interesting ways to solve them, where you have to put the pieces together but not in ways you expected. 

 Q: How did you come up with the idea of using a game of Dungeons and Dragons to help develop the new play, Pandora’s Box. 

A: I remembered the Greek myth that the play is based on, Pandora’s box. I really liked the idea that that the only thing left in the box is hope. That idea is how I started. I knew I wanted to write a campaign based around this box. There was something trapped in a box and it turns into an enemy. I wanted to find a way to incorporate called into a story. I moved onto moved on to playing role play games other than Dungeons and Dragons since then.

Q: You still like to play RPGs (Role Player Games). What RPGs are you playing now that are not Dungeons and Dragons. 

A:  Troika! It’s an open world RPG. It has rules set around only using six sided dice. There’s also Betrayal at the House on the Hill. It’s a horror RPG game, based on a haunted house.

Q: What is your favourite play? 

A: I’m torn. I always have a soft spot for Romeo and Juliet, because it’s the play we worked on during Summer Ensemble. There is also a soft spot in my heart for Eugene Ionesco. I read two of his plays in high school, that I really enjoy. Les Chaises and Rhinoceros. Both of these plays are very fun and weird. 

Where to find Oli?

 

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