Nick A. Olivero left Chicago in 2003 feeling the city was super-saturated with theatre companies. Looking for an arts-centric environment with potential for growth, San Francisco became the clear choice. In summer of 2004, he met and performed alongside Peter Matthews. By the end of that year, after performing in a second show together, the two formed a prosperous working relationship. Boxcar Theatre was founded in January of 2005 and soon began production on its first ensemble generated show, 21/One: Twenty-One Shows in One Hour. Having played to sold-out houses at the San Francisco Fringe Festival their inaugural production was named “Best of the Fringe” and Boxcar Theatre awarded “Best New Company.” Boxcar quickly followed up its success with its first three-play season.
The company became known for its unusual performance locations: a beach, bus, office building, furniture store, living rooms, and museums across the Bay Area. In 2007, the company took over a 49-seat black box theatre, which is now known as the Boxcar Playhouse. In July of 2010, with funding from the San Francisco Mayor's Office of Economic and Workforce Development, the company opened the Boxcar Theatre Studios, which is offices for multiple arts organizations, a rehearsal and performance venue, as well as an artist gallery for local visual artists. Despite its grounded roots in SoMA and the Tenderloin, the company continues to produce site-specific performances.
About the interviewer:
RICHARD WOLINSKY hosts "Bookwaves on Cover to Cover" heard every Thursday at 3:00 pm on KPFA-FM in Berkeley. He also hosts occasional theatre interviews on "Open Book" on Fridays at 3 pm.