Awards and Reviews




McLaren Memorial Comedy Playwriting Competition



Best Stage Play

World Series of Screenwriting Competition



TRU New Voices Play Festival



Northern Writes Playwright Festival


 - Finalist, Ashland New Plays Festival, Ashland OR
- Finalist, Best Stage Play, Beverly Hills Screenplay Contest, Beverly Hills, CA
- 3rd Place out of 1,000 scripts: WriteMovies International Screenplay Competition, Beverly Hills, CA
- Semi-Finalist, HRC Showcase Theatre, Hudson NY
- Semi-Finalist (Top 10) Stanley Drama Award, Staten Island, NY
- Honorable Mention, Ohio State Newark New Play Contest, Newark OH
- Quarter Finals in The Happy Writers Contest. Out of 953 scripts, 200 were put in the Quarter Finals



Norwegian American Weekly

NoHo Arts

Theatre Spoken Here

Tolucan Times

North Hollywood/Toluca Lake Patch

Stage Happenings

Stage Scene L.A.

Accessibly Live

Observations Along the Road

  "If you love the comedy, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’ this modern variant by playwright Phil Olson is just for you!”  - Theatre Spoken Here


  “This is a MUST SEE to make your holiday complete!” - NoHo Arts


  “Time rarely moves so fast on stage as in ‘Mom’s Gift.’ The rapid-fire succession of uproarious one-liners and poignant family

  revelations brings the audience to the completely unexpected surprise ending in what seems like a flash!”

- Norwegian American Weekly


  “A rare treat! If it is indeed holiday entertainment you are looking for, Olson’s play will fill those emotional gaps and turn a routine holiday into an unforgettable journey towards forgiveness, love and self-transformation. It is a unique theatrical experience!”

- The Tolucan Patch


  “A humorously poignant and thought-provoking story... Touching and hysterical in turns...Heartwarming and compelling...

  This story is a heartfelt cross between family dynamics, the loss of a loved one, and the power of love.”  - Tolucan Times


  “An audience pleaser!...There is a surprise ending that will not be divulged here, but suffice it to say, the result is an always engaging, funny evening of love and laughter.” - Stage Happenings


  “This new play by playwright Phil Olson, creator of the ‘Don’t Hug Me’ series of comedies, composes a play that is charming,

  bittersweet (more sweet than bitter), and most of all, is rather comical in terms of one liners and plot situations...Captivating, witty,

  and most of all, tells a story that speaks about a bonding between mother and daughter, even though this bonding is far from the ordinary.” - Accessibly Live


  “A crowd pleaser!...’Mom’s Gift’ demonstrates playwright Olson’s gift at creating the kind of old-fashioned feel-good comedy that hardly gets written anymore, one that not only provides ample laughs but more than a few tears when things take a dramatic turn in its surprise-twisty last half-hour....The popularity of Olson’s Don’t Hug Me series and the upcoming Samuel French publication of his latest could easily make “Mom’s Gift” a community and dinner theater favorite. That it is family-friendly fare is icing on the cake!”

 - Stage Scene LA


  “Wonderful!...There were numerous laugh-out-loud moments. Even better, however, were the twists in the second act. The ultimate resolution of the story was quite touching, and even brought a little dampness to the eyes. It demonstrated (yet again) that a well-written story is the heart of great theatre.  If you can get tickets, it is well worth seeing!” - Observations Along the Road



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