The University of Iowa

Beau O’Reilly

Beau O’Reilly is co-curator of the Rhinoceros Theater Festival, a frequent contributor to This American Life, and a professor of playwriting at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is a founding member of the Curious Theater Branch (now in its 30th year), the Crooked Mouth band, and the humbly legendary Maestro Subgum & the Whole. The author of over 90 original plays, O’Reilly is also a working actor. In 2016, his play One Boppa: Two Acts was produced; he released a third album with the Crooked Mouth, loveloveloveloveSTOPlovelovelove on Uvulittle Records; and a short story was included in the compilation Chicagoese. A new play, Last Week, premiered in January 2017, and his play Tattered and Wincing was produced that year in May. O’Reilly has produced, curated, and directed work at the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Poetry Foundation, Steppenwolf Studio, and Links Hall, and he has been named one of Chicago theaters’ “most influential” a half-dozen times over the course of his career.

Instructor Events

Weeklong July 12 to July 17 2020
Instructor(s): 
Beau O’Reilly

A writer’s creative output is not strictly limited to novels, poems, plays, stories, and other traditional literary forms, but may also include texts historically viewed as private documents: diaries, letters, personal reflections. In this class, we will consider these latter forms as literature unto themselves, along with interviews and public performances of the creative self, small-scale and large. We will focus on interviews and conversations by authors including David Sedaris, Lorraine Hansberry, and Patti Smith.

Weeklong July 19 to July 24 2020
Instructor(s): 
Beau O’Reilly

In this workshop, we will begin by reading your play aloud. Using theater/performance techniques, we will put sections of your play on its feet as a way of discovering its flaws and strengths. We will work on editing, rewriting, and reimagining your play into a finished draft form. The instructor will bring his 30+ years of experience on stage and in radio to making your text sparkle and move.