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

Weekend July 20 to July 21 2019
Instructor(s): 
Beau O’Reilly

So you have your favorite story, poem, limerick, song, theater piece, and you keep getting close—so close—to completing it. Then the dog gets the measles, you worry that your mom will read it, you get divorced, married, a new job, you take up fantasy football or water polo, you give up smoking, you try to live without the internet and everything grinds to a halt. You never finish the thing. I will throw my not inconsiderable psychic bulk and creative moxie into helping you FINISH THE THING. We will do it. We really will.

Weeklong July 21 to July 26 2019
Instructor(s): 
Beau O’Reilly

Working from the premise that the two-character play is the most difficult contemporary dramatic form to complete, and the observation that two-character pieces, also, are one of the most expedient forms to stage and produce, we will make a number of short plays over the course of the week, each one working with dialogue, setting, and the restrictions and freedoms of the two-character format. We will write for the first four days in workshop from prompts designed to get us to create from surprising places.