Cartoonist Will Eisnerat the Inkpt Awards cere...Will Eisner, image via Wikipedia

Lincoln Journal Star
March 5, 2010

Jennifer Olson adapts.

“I like finding interesting sources and adapting them to the stage,” she said. “I just stumble upon things.”

For her latest, Olson, a senior at UNL’s Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film, found great material in the world of comics.

She was spending a lot of time poking around in the comic book section of UNL’s Love Library when she came across Will Eisner’s “A Contract with God, and Other Tenement Stories,” a collection of four stories all set in a Bronx tenement in the 1930s. It’s regarded as the first graphic novel, and still one of the best.

Reading through the story “Street Singer,” Olson’s gears started turning. This would play great on the stage.

Thought evolved to resolve.

“I thought, if I want to do this, I should probably do this now,” she said. It was easier for her to get permission to adapt copyrighted work while she was still in an academic environment.

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If you go

What: “Will Eisner: Portrait of a Sequential Artist,” a feature-length documentary celebrating Will Eisner Week

When: 1 p.m. Saturday. Jennifer Olson’s stage adaptation of “A Contract with God” will follow the film at 2:30 p.m.

Where: Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center, 313 N. 13th St.

More: Read more about Eisner and Will Eisner Week at

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