About

1733313160_ae55f10873_bBorn and raised in SavannahGeorgia, Edgar Oliver has lived and worked in New York City since 1977.  He is a poet, playwright, actor, and storyteller, who has been active in New York‘s downtown theatre and performing arts community since the early 1980s.  Over the past thirty years, he has produced work that the New Yorker‘s  Hilton Als has called “emotionally grand.”*

He began performing in New York at the Pyramid Club in the mid-1980’s alongside artists including Hapi Phace, Kembra Pfahler, Samoa and playwright Kestutis Nakas.

As a playwright, many of Oliver’s plays have been staged at La MaMa and other downtown NYC theatres.  These plays include The Drowning PagesHands in WartimeThe Ghost of BrooklynThe Lost BedroomMotel Blue 19Mosquito SucculenceThe Poetry Killer, and The Seven Year Vacation.

As a stage actor, he has performed in countless plays including Edward II with Cliplight Theater, Marc Palmieri’s Carl the Second, and Lipsynka’s Dial M for Model

Many of Edgar’s performances have taken place most notably with the Axis Theatre Company under the direction of Randy Sharp, where he is a company member.  Among his numerous performances with Axis are Trinity 5:29; A Glance at New York (Edinburgh Festival Fringe & NYC); Julius Caesar; USS Frankenstein; the Hospital series and Seven in One Blow, or the Brave Little Kid

Among his most important achievements are four acclaimed one-man shows: East 10th Street: Self Portrait with Empty House (directed by Axis Theatre’s Randy Sharp); Helen & Edgar (directed by The Moth’s Catherine Burns); In the Park; and Attorney Street (both also directed by Randy Sharp).   In his review of East 10th Street, the New York Times‘ Ben Brantley called Edgar “a living work of theatre all by himself.”  Brantley subsequently described Helen & Edgar  as “utterly absorbing.”  After its initial New York run, East 10th Street traveled to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where it won a Fringe First Award, and to the Spoleto Festival in CharlestonSouth Carolina.

 

His most recent one-man show, directed by Randy Sharp and staged at LaMama, was titled London Paris.


Helen & Edgar 
has traveled to Dartmouth College; The Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa MesaCalifornia; New York‘s Public Theatre as part of the Under the Radar Festival; the Noorderzon Festival in Groningen, The Netherlands; and most recently, to The Cultch theatre festival in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Edgar is also one of the most beloved storytellers at The Moth.

His film roles include That’s Beautiful Frank, Henry May Long (directed by Axis’ Randy Sharp) and Gentlemen Broncos (directed by Jared Hess). His published works include A Portrait of New York by a Wanderer There and Summer (published by Oilcan press).

Edgar has produced four collections of poetry: The Brooklyn Public Library, A Portrait of New York by a Wanderer There, Summer, and most recently, The Puddle Boy, all published by Aaron Howard of Oilcan Press.  He has also written a novella titled The Man Who Loved Plants.  For information about acquiring it, please email nagold [@] yahoo.com

In 2011, Edgar began a performance collaboration with Brooklyn-based musical collective The Octave Doktors, led by Aaron Howard, the founder of Oilcan Press.  On April 28, 2014, Edgar and the Doktors performed a concert of poems and readings at Sideshows by the Seashore on Coney Island.  It was the latest in a long line of collaborations between Edgar and the Doktors.   The evening’s program brought together the music of the Doktors with a selection of Edgar’s poems and monologues from plays spanning the past twenty-five years, including Summer and Motel Blue 19, all focused on themes of longing and the sea.  The evening’s program represented a high point in the artistic collaboration between Edgar and the Doktors.

Edgar’s television work includes appearances on the Science Channel show Oddities, and hosting the Science Channel show Odd Folks Home.

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*Als, Hilton.  “Cruising: Edgar Oliver’s Park Storires.”  In The New Yorker June 2, 2014.  Available at http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/06/02/cruising

7 Responses to “About”

  1. […] Until then I will leave you to discover the fascinating Edgar Oliver. […]

  2. edgar, i truly love you. you are welcome into my odd world anytime. hope to meet you someday..
    deb jacobs
    portland

  3. Hello Edgar, my husband and I enjoy seeing you on the show “Oddities.” I too am a writer but too shy to perform like you do. Keep up the good work. The “crumbling” building you live in sounds fascinating. — Sara

  4. Hello Edgar, my introduction to you was via The Moth. Your Paul Bowles Tangiers story made me pull my car over so I could listen with the attention it deserved. There is a movie in that quirky, interesting, romantic, unique tale. Thank you for sharing it with style and fondness

  5. I enjoy seeing you on Oddities !! I love your little “labratory” with the frog !!!! I love your voice !!!! Look forward to seeing you on Oddities !!! Take care Edgar !!!!!!

  6. Ben Jarvis Says:

    Mr. Oliver,

    I wanted to drop you a note to tell you that what I’ve seen of you on “Oddities” and what I’ve read here (and elsewhere) has inspired me. I hope to give myself over to life and my art the way you do. Life is short and rare (in the geological sense), I want to spend it doing what I love and leave something of value. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Cheers,
    Ben Jarvis

  7. Edgar, I love your story telling. You are a delight! I love Savannah too!

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