Niclas R. Olson is an actor, playwright, and director based in Tacoma, WA. A strong Shakespearean and dramatic actor, he is equally comfortable chewing the boards in anything from musical comedy to farce. He recently concluded a critically acclaimed run as Philo Farnsworth in the Northwest Premiere of Aaron Sorkin's The Farnsworth Invention at Lakewood Playhouse. Known for working in a wide range of genres, Olson has leaped between classical works including the title role in Shakespeare's Hamlet and Marlowe's Doctor Faustus, to contemporary roles as Adam in The Shape of Things, Father Flynn in Doubt, Tobias Ragg in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, and Hyde in Jeffrey Hatcher's adaptation of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Olson is known to family audiences for his performance as Flat Stanley in The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley, as well as performing in classic musicals such as Gypsy and South Pacific. Strongly committed to performing original works, Olson has originated leading roles in Max August Falkenberg's Red Noise, Alexander Peterson's To Be Frank, and his own Last Waltz on a Midnight Violin. Other notable performances from the recent past include Cain/Japheth in Stephen Schwartz's Children of Eden, Nick in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, The Lover in The Who's TOMMY, and special appearances as the Teen Angel in Grease and Johnny with the international touring company of Tony 'n' Tina's Wedding.
As the artistic director and founder of New Muses Theatre Company, Olson has helmed productions of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, Neil Labute's The Shape of Things, Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit, Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus, and William Shakespeare's Hamlet, along with readings of This is Our Youth, On the Verge, and Copenhagen. He made his Seattle directing debut with Wallace Shawn's The Fever (New Muses) and his Olympia debut with both parts of Tony Kushner's Angels in America for Olympia Little Theatre. His other credits include My Name is Rachel Corrie, The Library, and Of Mice and Men at Tacoma Little Theater, David Mamet's Oleanna, his own Last Waltz on a Midnight Violin, and Anthem: a Musical Theatre Cabaret in the foothills of Mount Rainier.
His plays Last Waltz on a Midnight Violin and Dirty Laundry have been staged at Pacific Lutheran University. His performance adaptation of Hamlet was hailed as "fast-paced and energetic," by the East Lewis County Journal. Current projects include a new version of Buchner's Woyzeck, Breaking Light: a new play freely adapted from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, an extensive rewrite of Lifting the Darkness to be entitled RoseDust, web-series Imaginary People, and a currently untitled romantic drama.
Olson is a graduate of Pacific Lutheran University's BFA acting and directing program. He has also spent time in London, England studying classical acting and playwriting.