Todd Olson is the new Executive Director at The Joy School of Music. Before coming to Knoxville, he led organizations such as The Historic Palace Theatre (Crossville, TN), American Stage Theatre Company (St. Petersburg, FL), The Chattanooga Theatre Centre, and The Columbia Festival of the Arts (Columbia, MD). Todd received his B.F.A. in Musical Theatre from Tarkio College, his M.F.A. from The University of North Carolina, and is a graduate from the Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard.
Todd has worked in opera as a producer, director, and teacher. Directing credits include Carmen (Opera Southwest), Cosi Fan Tutte, Madama Butterfly, and Gianni Schicchi (St. Petersburg Opera), Seven Deadly Sins and Barber’s Hand of Bridge (Boston University Opera Institute), Elixir of Love (Harvard University), and Trouble in Tahiti (Elon University). He has presented Opera Delaware, DC Opera on Tap, and Hub Opera Ensemble’s Turn of the Screw. He was a Stage Director for the Des Moines Metro Opera’s Apprentice Artist Program where he Assistant Directed Vanessa (Robert Larson, conductor), and served as an observer for Seattle Opera’s Tristan Und Isolde with Ben Heppner and Jane Eaglen, directed by Francesca Zambello.
Todd was a Teaching Fellow at Harvard, and has taught classes at Vanderbilt, Boston University, Elon University, and the University of North Carolina. Todd has written and directed several musicals, including I Left My Heart (Milwaukee Rep), and My Way (Actor’s Theatre of Louisville). His Section 60 was selected for the Florida Festival of New Musicals, and his A Swingin’ Christmas (based on the catalogue of Tony Bennett) will receive its world premiere this year in Kalamazoo. His newest play Althea & Angela was written during quarantine and immediately received professional readings at the Playhouse in the Park in Connecticut and WordPlayers Theatre in Knoxville (who will, next February, produce it as their Black History Month tour of Tennessee). Todd and his wife Charlotte have three children, Jonas, Corinna, and May.