Guest Artist Theatre Lab: Olivia

Event description

  • Arts and entertainment
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Free
  • Open to the public

Olivia by Claude Jackson, Jr.

ASU alumnus Claude Jackson, Jr. will present his new play, "Olivia," as a guest artist in the ASU Theatre Lab series. "Olivia" is a modern Native American western, exploring the strength of the women against the backdrop of a corrupt system that exploits the people, especially young girls. This reading will be directed by guest artist Randy Reinholz.


Theatre Labs, presented by the School of Music, Dance and Theatre, are original works that are minimally produced and presented as readings of works in development. In Theatre Labs, audiences see theatre original theatre works that are still in development and provide feedback to aid in the creative process.

This event is free and open to the public. No tickets or RSVP required. Theatre Labs are presented in Nelson Fine Arts Center, Room 133. Due to an ASU Gammage event this day, parking will be limited. We recommend arriving early. Parking is available in paid spaces at the ASU Art Museum, at the Myrtle Avenue structure and on the street.


Play Synopsis:

Someone is coming. Olivia Paul is on the front porch of her secluded ranch home on the Gila River Indian Reservation. Roella Maz is running from her captor, bringing Olivia’s past to her front door. Both women, mired in tragedy, must fight against the man who caused them such pain.

Growing up, Olivia Paul idolized her father, Police Chief Paul, hoping to follow in his footsteps into law enforcement. However, she didn’t know the criminal underbelly that her father fostered. As the police chief, he swore to protect and serve the people. Instead, he allowed for drugs and crime to flow through his jurisdiction. The assignment of his deputy, the evil John Brown, to the reservation is the harbinger of corruption that takes him from “small town, look the other way” to active crime lord.

Olivia chose seclusion from the corruption. When John Brown reappears, Olivia won’t miss her shot at redemption, retribution…and justice.

About the artists

Claude Jackson, Jr. is an ASU alumnus. With his brother Roberto, he wrote, produced and directed the feature film “In Circles” (2015). Recently, his play “Cashed Out” won the Native Voices at the Autry Short Play Festival (2019). The full-length version of the play premiered at the San Francisco Playhouse (Jan. 2023). His full-length play “The Last Holdouts” was a semi-finalist at the Bay Area Playwrights Festival (2020) and featured on Native Theatre Thursdays, a virtual reading series sponsored by the American Indian Community House of New York City, the First Nations Theatre Guild and the Eagle Project Performing Arts Company. Claude is also an attorney, serving as the director for his tribes Defense Services Office. He is honored that his alma mater, ASU, is featuring "Olivia" for its Theatre Lab Series.

Randy Reinholz, an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, is co-founder and producing artistic director, emeritus of Native Voices at the Autry. The award-winning producer, director, actor, activist, and playwright, has produced more than 35 scripts and directed over 75 plays in the United States, Australia, England, Mexico, and Canada. Off the Rails, his bawdy and irreverent adaptation of Shakespeare's Measure for Measure had its World Premiere and a sold-out run at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He is a tenured professor at San Diego State University, where he served as Head of Acting (1997–2007), Director of the School of Theatre, Television, and Film (2007–2012), and director of Community Engagement and Innovation for the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts (2012–2015). Reinholz has been honored with the Ellen Stewart Award for Career Achievement in Professional Theatre, Playwrights Arena’s Lee Melville Award, LA Drama Critics Circle Gordon Davidson Award, SDSU’s Outstanding Faculty Award, and the Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission and City of Los Angeles Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Los Angeles Community.


Additional information

Event contact

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Sunday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m.
Nelson Fine Arts Center Room 133

7:00 pm9:00 pm (MST)


Nelson Fine Arts Center, Room 133