100 Creatives: Actress Ann Marie Olson Makes the Stage an Enriching Destination

Olson (left) shows her focus onstage.
Olson (left) shows her focus onstage.
Courtesy of Ann Marie Olson

In honor of our "People" issue, which hit newsstands November 17, New Times proudly presents "100 Creatives," where we feature Miami's cultural superheroes. Have suggestions for future profiles? Let us know in the comments.

#84: Ann Marie Olson

There’s hardly a worthwhile production hitting a local stage that doesn’t have the talents of Ann Marie Olson at hand. A music theater graduate from New World School of the Arts, Olson is a Carbonell Award winner and two-time nominee. Miami New Times' sister paper New Times Broward/Palm Beach named her Best Actress of 2015, she was a recipient of a Silver Palm Award for Outstanding Contribution to South Florida Theater, and she has a voice described as “golden” by numerous critics of the stage.

From single-handedly bringing focus to Gypsy’s Mama Rose, to kicking down doors and embodying Patsy in Thinking Cap’s Always... Patsy Cline, to her role in the Slow Burn Theater production of Big Fish, Olson is one of the most versatile and centered actresses working today. Did we mention she also does voiceovers and dubbings as well as concert and cabaret singing?

Hard-working and immersed in her roles, Olson makes live theater more than just an engrossing experience; she makes it an enriching one.

As Patsy in Always... Patsy Cline.
As Patsy in Always... Patsy Cline.
Courtesy of Ann Marie Olson

List five things that inspire you.
1. The passionate voices of this country, new and old, who refuse to be silenced unless we're all given the same opportunities and same rights equally.
2. My parents: They are the best example of unconditional love and support, and I am so grateful for them.
3. Having a friendly and respectful connection with strangers. I feel hope when kindness is shown when we least expect it.
4. Music: It would take me a long time to name all the bands and different genres that inspire me, but, yes, I love and am inspired by music, music, music!
5. Fearlessness from brave people who take chances on their dreams and take control of their lives.

What was your last big project?
I'm currently working on a production of Avenue Q with Slow Burn Theatre Company at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.

What's your next big project?
After Avenue Q wraps in December, I'll be caroling with the Yuletide Carolers in the tri-county area until we go into rehearsal for Titanic, the Musical, which opens in January, also at the Broward Center.

What do you want Miami to know about you?
How grateful I am for having moved here on a whim back in 2001. I grew up in the Midwest, which I will always treasure, and Miami was quite the opposite of what I knew. Some of the most incredible people I have ever met and love are from Miami.

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Oh! I can also make homemade empanadas.

What don't you want Miami to know about you?
I prefer Maine lobster over Florida's, and I definitely prefer Hass avocados over Florida avocados.

What's one thing you want people to know about Miami?
There are some amazing people and stories here. It's not only horrible drivers, designer lifestyles, and entitled, stuck-up personas that the rest of the world may perceive. It's a city full of passion, love, creativity, artists, music, wonderful food, and heart too.


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