• Oliver Mayer
  • Oliver Mayer

Oliver Mayer

Professor in Dramatic Writing
Associate Dean of Faculty & Strategic Initiatives
Director of MFA Dramatic Writing Program


Oliver Mayer is a professor of dramatic writing, associate dean of strategic initiatives and associate dean of faculty at the USC School of Dramatic Arts.

Mayer is a playwright, poet and librettist, whose new opera 3 Paderewskis, composed by Jenni Brandon, received its world premiere at Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center in November 2019, after presentations this fall in Poznan, Poland and on the USC campus. He is the author of more than 30 plays, from his ground-breaking Blade to the Heat to its long-awaited sequel Members Only; he is currently at work on Ultimate Mix Tape, the third play in the Blade trilogy. Other produced plays include Blood Match and Yerma in the Desert, inspired by the plays of Federico Garcia Lorca; Fortune is a Woman, The Wallowa Project, Dias y Flores, Dark Matters, Conjunto, Young Valiant, Joy of the Desolate, The Sinner from Toledo, Laws of Sympathy and Ragged Time. His newest pieces include commissions from The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts and the Getty Villa. Mayer also wrote the libretto for the opera America Tropical, composed by David Conte, and the book for Blue House with music and lyrics by Perla Batalla and David Batteau. Along with assorted publications, Mayer wrote the children’s books Big Dog on Campus Learns to be a Trojan, and its follow-ups Big Dog on Campus Goes to the Library and Big Dog on Campus Goes on Patrol.

Mayer is also an published essayist and poet.

On campus, he has received several university honors, including the USC Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching and a Mellon Mentoring Award for mentoring undergraduates. His writing has received various awards, including The American Prize for new opera.