The Cranston playwright, 61, is married to Amy Olson, executive director of the University of Rhode Island Hillel since 2005. The couple have two grown children, Daniel and Shira.
Early years: Olson was born in Holland, Michigan, and grew up near New York City.
Occupation: Olson is an adjunct professor in the theater, dance and film department at Providence College; the theater and communications department at the University of Rhode Island; and the performing arts and English departments at the Community College of Rhode Island.
Olson has directed plays in a variety of settings, and in 2013 he established FirstHand Theatrical, which creates original theater productions using primary source material mainly drawn from diverse personal, cultural and social histories. Olson is co-playwright and director at FirstHand, where he’s created five original scripts for the company, including “How Many Bushels Am I Worth?” and “And Then What?”
Community engagement: Olson was the director of the Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Rhode Island in 2005-07 and director of the Jewish Community Center, in Providence, in 2007-2009.
– Larry Kessler