Meet Our 2014 Cast: Doreen Oliver

by elizabeth on April 2, 2014

I learn something new about our readers every time I read one of these. Please meet Doreen Oliver!


Doreen Oliver is a producer, writer, performer and mother of two, one of whom has autism. Film credits include The Woodsman and Shadowboxer and her writing has been published in the New York Times.  She’s currently working on a memoir. Follow her at @doreenoliver.

What is the natural talent you’d like to be gifted with?

The ability to smile in the face of craziness or stress. Unfortunately my “WTH” look is often more readily accessible. And I’ve seen a lot of crazy, having been a film producer and now as a mother of two school-aged boys. It would be so lovely to offer a carefree smile when your lead actor decides to go drinking instead of showing up to his film premiere and you must drive around the streets of Toronto to find him – while you are 7 months pregnant. Or when you witness your fellow class parent angrily call a 5-year-old girl a liar because she didn’t like what the girl said about her daughter. Nope. Was not able to smile sweetly at that. (Maybe motherhood is crazier than Hollywood?)

What is your favorite food and drink?

I. Love. Good. Food. Garlic roasted chicken with avocado, eel sushi and lamb kadai are all on the top of my list. I also like anything small or bite-sized so that I can eat more of it. And I actually love water, when I’m not drinking lemon drop martinis.

What are your favorite qualities in a person?

Candor and kindness. (They are not mutually exclusive!) The ability to find a way to laugh when you’re going through the muck of life. Not ignore the muck – we must acknowledge it – but just laugh through it.

What is your main fault?

Sometimes I focus too much on the muck and forget to laugh. Oh, and my husband will tell you that I steal from his sock drawer, but I say it’s not stealing when you’re married and have big feet.

What is your idea of happiness?

Having a drink and a delicious meal with the people I love — friends and family who’ve been with me through those crazy, trying moments — and laughing over the preposterousness of this wonderful journey we call life. And singing and dancing with them to great music!

What is your idea of misery?

Not having anyone with whom to share your happiest and darkest moments.

What is your motto?

I firmly believe in the give-and-take of life.  Sometimes there will be weeks, months or more where we desperately need to take or feed off the wisdom and offerings of others because it’s the only way to sustain ourselves after a life-altering event.  Other times we must give because there are others who need our strength, courage or kindness. But on average, at the end of our lives, we should be able to look back and say that we’ve given at least as much as we’ve taken (if not given more than we’ve taken) and the world is a better place for it.

Please join us on Sunday May 4th at 5pm to hear Doreen’s story.

Holly April 2, 2014 at 10:29 am

I am so happy you are in our show this year! You are a huge inspiration, Doreen.

Pamela Erens April 2, 2014 at 1:35 pm

Love this!

Linda Kuriloff April 3, 2014 at 7:06 pm

Ah yes, “stealing” from hubby’s sock drawer. I can relate! By the way, our husbands have little feet. 😉

Rotimi April 4, 2014 at 12:57 am

Doreen, we are so proud of you. You are a talented and great writer. But even better, you are a greater mom. Love you. Congrats.

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