Donald Olson

Donald Olson

Playwright in Manhattan, New York

About Donald

I am a playwright, novelist and travel writer. My plays have been produced in London, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, New York, and Portland, Oregon. I'm the author of seven published novels, some written as Donald Olson, others as Swan Adamson. My travel writing includes many guidebooks to England, London, Germany, Berlin, and other destinations in Western Europe, as well as the Pacific Northwest. My newest travel book, The Pacific Northwest Garden Tour--The 60 Best Gardens to Visit in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia was cited by Library Journal as one of the best travel guides of 2014. For a complete list of my produced and published work, check out my website,

I currently have two plays that I am trying to launch. "Domestic Manners of the Americans" is a historical comedy-drama based on the adventures of Fanny Trollope, an Englishwoman who came to U.S. in 1827 and wrote one of the first travel books about America. She was 47 and brought three of her five children with her when she made her journey to the New World, lured to what she thought was a utopian community in Tennessee. The play is about Fanny's observations and challenges as a woman stranded for three years in an America that was only 50 years old and didn't like Brits. She was the mother of the great English novelist, Anthony Trollope. "Domestic Manners" has had two professional readings and is ready for the stage.

The second play is two one-act comedy-dramas called "The Garden Plays". The first act is set in a garden in Rome in 408 A.D. just as the barbarians are about to invade. The second act is set in a garden in present-day Manhattan. The same four actors play both ancient and contemporary characters. This play deals with the idea of the garden as a place of refuge, but a refuge that is besieged by the world outside. The Garden Plays" was produced in Portland several years ago but the second act has now been rewritten to reflect changing technology and the challenges facing our entire planet.

Both of these plays have starring roles for actresses and actprs 45-50, and major roles for younger actors 18-30.

If you're a director, actor, or theater company looking for the challenge of a new play with great characters, big themes, unusual settings, and witty dialogue, I would love to hear from you!

Name: Donald Olson

Lives in: Manhattan, New York

Occupation: Playwright

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  • Since: December 2015
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