Asylum Theatre


Our Story

The roads that led to Asylum...
           Asylum Theatre is the creation of three like-minded artists who found their roads of inspiration conjoining. Amber Lee Olivier followed her wanderlust gathering inspiration along the way through small and large towns, local and international, including meeting whom were to become her partners in creating Asylum Theatre: Danny Glass and Steve Cox.

           Through Danny’s early years he performed in high school productions as an actor, discovering he particularly loved tech rehearsals; long days spent with the cast and crew doing behind-the-scenes work, the magic that the audience would never see. When his high school stopped producing musicals a local college asked him to play in the orchestra pit for “Pippin” - a new perspective of the theatre creation process, matching choreographic hip bumps to percussion beats. A revelation came to him while singing with the MN All State Choir, the beauty and joy of the choir music got him thinking, “I just might be able to create such beauty and joy myself.” Danny studied at MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis, MN and went into music directing - one summer he worked with Amber...

            Meanwhile... Steve had finished his graduate studies in classical voice at Wichita State in Wichita, KS and had ventured towards musical theatre. A couple years after graduating he moved to Chicago where his first performing experience in the city was in a new musical with a small theatre company. Halloween night’s performance Amber attended the show. After the show Steve dressed as the White Rabbit. Without previous significant conversation, Amber approached Steve and asked, “So how would you like to be in a show I’m directing. I’m looking for a White Rabbit for this spin on Alice in Wonderland.” To which Steve replied, “sure, when are the auditions?” “Oh, this was it. Do you want the part?” Amber asked. Thus began Steve’s and Amber’s theatrical history...
Meanwhile... Amber sought international experiences, graduating from the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin, Ireland; moving to England then returning to MN to work on the crew for films, including: “Factotum” and “A Prairie Home Companion.” The wanderlust grew once again and she moved to Los Cabos, Mexico to be a dancer at a resort, then moved to Chicago. She got a job directing one summer up in northern Wisconsin where she met her music director, Danny. They found a mutual appreciation for each others’ work and an ease working together. A couple years later, still living in Chicago she saw a magnetic performer in a new musical. She found herself talking to this performer, dressed as the White Rabbit, trying to convince him to be in her next play. “But I’m not an actor,” Steve said. “Yes you are,” replied Amber.

After their initial meetings the three individually pursued their careers, Steve began working with a children’s education-based theatre, directing children’s theatre for the first time; Danny continuing music direction and collaborating with choreographers for the pure fun of creating new music to match movement; Amber continued to follow her wanderlust and went to Nicaragua to volunteer as a dance teacher at Esquela de la Commedia Y el Mimo and to Italy for the international commedia dell’arte training with Antonio Fava.

A couple years after their individual pursuits they united to create what they’ve all been looking for: Asylum Theatre. Inspired by their collective desire to create art, community, educate, explore, they also want to share their joy with the widest possible audience where no one is excluded - Minnesota's first publicly-funded theatre.

Thank you for your interest in Asylum Theatre and we hope to see you in our audience
time and time again!

The Asylum Partners
​Amber, Danny & Steve

Meet the Partners
  1. Managing Partner, Co-Founder
    Managing Partner, Co-Founder
    Amber Lee Olivier
    Amber is a graduate from the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin, Ireland; RYT200hr yoga teacher from Frog Lotus International in Cahuita, Costa Rica; completed 150hr Commedia Dell'Arte training with Antonio Fava in Reggio Emilia, Italy. She has performed internationally: Greece - tour; Italy - Teatro della Cavallerizza; England - The Old Vic; Ireland - The Gate Theatre, Project Arts Theatre; Northern Ireland - The Playhouse; Mexico - Hotel Royal Solaris; and various theatres in Chicago, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Amber designs and builds Venetian and Commedia masks, large scale (and small scale) puppets, paints, in addition to directing, acting, dancing, singing.
  2. Partner, Co-Founder
    Partner, Co-Founder
    Danny Glass
    Having studied at MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis, Danny is obsessed with music theory, and studied piano performance with Susan Floyd Germek. He has played in pit orchestras for national tours, and has music-directed for numerous regional theatres including Ogunquit Playhouse (ME), Granbury Opera House (TX), and Downstairs Cabaret Theatre (NY).
  3. Partner, Co-Founder
    Partner, Co-Founder
    Steve Cox
    A native to Detroit, MI, Steve received his BM in Vocal Performance from Western Michigan University and his MM in Opera Performance from Wichita State. Notable stage credits include Male Authority figure (Hairspray!), Gen. G. Kahn Schmitz/Wickersham 3/Yertle the Turtle (Suessical the Musical), Cecco the Pirate (Peter Pan), Leaf Coneybear (25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), Papageno (Die Zauberflöte), and Vicar (Albert Herring). Directing/Choreography credits: Pippin, Shrek the Musical JR, James and the Giant Peach JR, and Disney's Lion King JR.

special thanks to...

Asylum Theatre Advisory Board

Debbie DeLisi​

Stephanie Kimball