“You have a marvelous voice; I am going to remember you.”
This was Tony award-winning songwriter Craig Carnelia’s reaction to seeing Peter Oyloe in the title role of the new musical Julian Po. It is, in fact, the reaction of most people when they see Oyloe perform. He has affected audiences around the world with an intensity not often exhibited in young actors.
Peter grew up amongst the greens and the blues of a Midwestern landscape. It is an experience he cites often in his musings on life and certainly within the context of his original compositions which often evoke the natural world in some way. “There is something magic in the land there, you just have to get down and look inside to see what it’s made of. My father showed me once how the light is different in Iowa. Now having been around the world, I know just what he means…” says Oyloe of his time growing up.
His travels have indeed sent him around the world. For a one time farm boy he most certainly gets around, having visited no less than 15 countries and counting. “I love to see the world”! When asked, on his journeys, where he is from he often says simply, “I fancy myself a citizen of the world. When I travel I would rather be identified by my character than by societal labels, most of which contain some negative preconceived notion. If I can make those labels just melt away and exist in the moment as my true self I find that the level of interaction is much more honest. My relationships with people are the cornerstone of my life and I think I find that when you give people permission to be their true selves as opposed to what they might think you want them to be, you open yourself to a world of wonder. I have had some pretty amazing interactions in my time. I really value sharing”.
It is from this place of honesty and self awareness that Oyloe creates his vision of the characters he plays and the music that he sings. He takes bold risks which often leave his audiences profoundly affected. Peter Oyloe is not your run of the mill performer.
For his hard work as troubled teen Alan Strang in the soul-stirring drama, Equus, Oyloe earned the prestigious Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Actor. He followed that role with a run as Harry Houdini in the vivacious Joseph Jefferson Award-winning musical, Ragtime, going straight from there into the tragic lead role in the musical, Phantom. He had the honor of performing the role for Phantom composer Maury Yeston, who reciprocated the honor graciously by saying, of Oyloe, “He is going to have a fine career”.
Peter has received the Joseph Jefferson award for Best Lead Actor for his work as Alan Strang in Equus and Best Actor in a Musical as Hank in Hank Williams: Lost Highway. He has received the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Michal in Pillowman, as well as LCT Award for Best Actor in a Musical for Hank Williams: Lost Highway at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. Also Mr. Oyloe has been nominated for Best Actor for his work in Elling and Best Score for his compositions for the play Equus.
Peter Oyloe is known around his now-home city of Chicago as the young man with the captivating eyes and the powerful voice, who prefers a tranquil, observational existence, and puts all of that observation to work in his ability to embody a wide range of characters with one tying bond: they all speak the truth. Reviewer Al Bresloff of the Epoch Times aptly advises, “If you have not yet witnessed the talent of young Peter Oyloe, you really should make it a point to see him perform. He is one of the most intense actors I have seen grace any Chicago stage”.