Olive-or-Oliver is a Toronto-based multidisciplinary artist whose work includes music, theatre, performance art, and video. They use the singular gender pronoun “they”, instead of “he” or “she”, as a gender-neutral alternative. Over the last 6 years, they’ve engaged audiences across Toronto and internationally at venues such as the Royal Ontario Museum, World Pride, the Bangalore Queer Film Festival, and the Seoul International NewMedia Festival. Highlights of their varied artistic practice include a successful burlesque career, writing and performing a one person show as part of an intensive at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, screening their short film in international festivals, and performing music in the Greater Toronto Area and the U.S.
They are a graduate of the Young Creators Unit at Buddies In Bad Times Theatre and the Summerworks Leadership Intensive Program, as well as numerous other workshops in storytelling, music, photography, and clown. They have received multiple awards for their circus- burlesque and four playwriting grants through the Ontario Arts Council. Olive is currently working on Flourish, a new musical monodrama being developed in consultation with director Ali Joy Richardson with support from Nightwood Theatre and Buddies In Bad Times Theatre through the OAC Theatre Creators Reserve. In light of Olive’s personal story of sexual assault and subsequent illness, the show will focus on their search for elders who might share wisdom about sustaining hope as we struggle to thrive in the aftermath of trauma.