William Downs

Playwright

William Missouri Downs has over 300 hundred productions of his comedies and musicals and won many writing awards, including 2 rolling premieres from the National New Play Network He's twice been a finalist at the Eugene O'Neill. His plays have been produced in Spain, Canada, South Africa, Russia, Singapore, Switzerland, Austria, Israel, India, UAE, Australia, South Korea, and the USA. He's directed 40 plays and published 12 with ConcordPlayscriptsHeuerTRW, and Next Stage Press. He was trained in playwriting by Lanford Wilson and Milan Stitt at the Circle Rep Theater in New York. He was a staff writer on several  NBC sitcoms.  He's also sold/optioned movies and a TV pilot. He's published four books, including The Art of Theatre, a textbook, now in its 4th edition, which has been used by more than 80,000 college students. His other books include Screenplay Writing The PictureNaked Playwriting, and Playwriting From Formula To Form. He has two MFAs, one in screenwriting from UCLA film school and one in acting from the University of Illinois. He's represented by Pat McLaughlin at the Beacon Artist Agency, New York. 

Highlights

PLAYS PUBLISHED 

2022   Asking Strangers The Meaning Of Life Published by TRW (Theatrical Rights Worldwide) 

2021     How To Steal A Picasso Published by TRW (Theatrical Rights Worldwide) 

2018     Seagulls In A Cherry Tree Published by Heuer Publishing

2016    Mad Gravity, Published by Playscripts, New York

2015    Mr. Perfect, Published by Playscripts, New York  

2015    Women Playing Hamlet, Published by Playscripts, New York

2012    The Exit Interview, Published by Concord, New York

2012    A Doll House  (adaptation), Published by Next Stage Press

2012    Headset, A view from the light booth, Published by Heuer Publishing  

2010    Innocent Thoughts, Published by Next Stage Press  

2009    Cockeyed, Published by Concord, New York

2009    Kosher Lutherans, Published by Samuel French, New York  

2005    Dead White Males, Published by Playscripts, New York

PLAYWRITING AWARDS & HONORS

2021     Semi-Finalist, Garry Marshall Theatre, New Works Festival, CA   (Karl The Magnificent)

2020     Semi-Finalist, Papatango New Writing Prize, London, UK  (You Can’t Say That)

2020     Semi-Finalist, Garry Marshall Theatre, New Works Festival, CA  (Mr. Rogers, American Terminator)

2020     Winner, Works Playwriting Competition, The Playhouse on the Square, Memphis, TN  (Ivanka vs. Reality)

2019     Finalist, Broad Horizon Theatre Company Playwriting Competition,  New York, NY  (You Can’t Say That!)

2019     Semi-finalist, B Street Theatre,  Sacramento,  CA, New Comedies Festival (Karl The Magnificent)

2019     Semi-finalist, Barrington Stage Company, MA, Burman New Play Award  (Ivanka Vs. Reality)

2019     Semi-finalist, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, CA (Karl The Magnificent)

2018     Finalist at the Nick Darke Award (Top 8 our of 1,160 play) London  (Karl The Magnificent)

2018     Semi-finalist, Bay Area Playwrights Festival  (Life On My Knees)

2016     Beverly Hills Theatre Guild’s Lilian Nesburn Award  (Below the Navel Above The Knees

2016     Top Three, Final Draft Television Writing Contest  (Life On My Knees)

2016     Semi-finalists at 6th Annual Neil Simon Festival New Play Contest (Jewish Sports Heroes and Texas Intellectuals)

2015     Finalist  @ The Eugene O’Neill   (How To Steal A Picasso)

2015     Rolling Premiere from The National New Play Network (Women Playing Hamlet)

2013     Finalist  @ The Eugene O’Neill (Mad Gravity)

2013     1st Place - The Reva Shiner Comedy Award @ Bloomington Playwrights Project  (Mad Gravity)

2013     1st Runner-up – McNerney National Playwriting Competition (Mad Gravity)

2013     Rolling Premiere from The National New Play Network (The Exit Interview)

2012     Winner – Reva Shiner Comedy Award  @ Bloomington Playwrights Project (Mad Gavity)

2012     1st Place – Festival of New Works  @ Long Beach Playhouse (The Polish Book Of Karma)

2011     National Showcase of New Plays  @ The National New Play Network (The Exit Interview)

2010     Semi-Finalist – Playwrights First Award  @ The National Arts Club (Books On Tape)

2010     1st Place – Millennium Playwriting Contest  @ SteppingStone Theatre Company, NY  (Forgiving John Lennon)

2009     1st Runner-up – The Pen Is A Mighty Sword International Contest   (Forgiving John Lennon)

2008     1st Place – The Greenhouse Festival Of New Plays @ HotCity Theatre, St. Louis (Cockeyed)

2007     Finalist – Ashland New Play Festival @ Oregon Shakespeare  (Cockeyed)

2005     1st Place – Larry Corse Prize For Playwriting  @ Columbus State University in Atlanta (Seagulls In A Cherry Tree)

1998     Semi-Finalist @ The Eugene O’Neill (Dead White Males)

1998     Semi-Finalist @ Mildred & Albert Panowski Playwriting Award (Chasing Pirandello)

1996     1st Place – National Playwrights Award @ The Unicorn Theatre in Kansas (Innocent Thoughts)

1995     1st Place –Experimental Theatre Company of San Antonio (Innocent Thoughts)

1994     1st Place – Norfolk Southern Festival of New Works  (Jewish Sports Heroes and Texas Intellectuals)

1985     Bay Area Critics Award  - For best production of the year in San Francisco   (Kabuki Medea)

MONOLOGUES PUBLISHED 

2020     100 Monologues From New Plays published by Applause Theatre & Cinema Books

2019     Expiration Date published by NorthNorthWest Anthology of 10 ten plays

2018     Contemporary Monologues For Twentysomethings, Applause Books

2018     Contemporary Scenes For Twentysomethings, Applause Books

2017    222 Comedy Monologues, published by Playscripts Inc.

 2016    The Best Women’s Stage Monologues of 2016, Published by Smith And Kraus

 2011    Exceptional Monologues, Published by Samuel French, New York

 2008    Actor’s Choice Monologue, Published by Playscripts, New York  

BOOKS PUBLISHED

2023 - Naked Playwriting 2nd Edition Published by Silman/James  

2017    The Art of Theatre (4th Edition), Published by Wadsworth  

2013    Screenplay: Writing The Picture (3nd Edition), Published by Silman/James  

2012    The Art of Theatre (3rd Edition), Published by Wadsworth  

2009    The Art of Theatre (2nd Edition), Published by Wadsworth

2006    The Art of Theatre (1st Edition), Published by Wadsworth  

2005    Naked Playwriting: The Art, Craft & Life Laid Bare, Published by Silman/James  

2004    Screenplay: Writing The Picture (2nd Edition), Published by Silman/James

2000    Screenplay: Writing The Picture (1st Edition), Published by Harcourt Brace  

1998    Playwriting, From Formula To Form, Published by Harcourt Brace

BOOKS PUBLISHED OUTSIDE USA

2004  Jak Napisac Scenariusz Filmowy  “Screenplay Writing The Picture” Translated into Polish by Wojciech Marzec. Published in Warsaw

PLAY PRODUCED OUTSIDE USA   (Author )

2021     The Exit Interview, Theatre Festival, Seoul, South Korea

2021     Cockeyed (Хороший парень) – Teatpanbhbi Kobyet, Russia

2021     Women Playing Hamlet - Iqaluit Community Theatre, Iqaluit, Canada

2021     Number Two - Short+Sweet Festival, Dubai, United Arb Emirates

2020     The Exit Interview - Daehakro Theatre Festival, Seoul, South Korea

2020     Cockeyed  (Хороший парень) - Fifth Theatre in Omsk, Siberia, Russia

2020     Women Playing Hamlet - Hartwell Players, Melbourne, Australia

2020     Women Playing Hamlet - Maris Stella School, Durban, South Africa

2019     Mad Gravity - Alliance Francaise de Bangalore, Bangalore, India

2018     Real Game – Theatre in Daehangno, Seoul, South Korea (2nd production)

2018     Women Playing Hamlet, Persistence Theatre, Newfoundland, Canada 

2017     Cockeyed (Хороший парень)The Serov Theatre Drama After Chekhov, Serov, Russia

2017     Real Game – Theatre in Daehangno, Seoul, South Korea

16/17    Fuera de órbita – La Jaula Teatro, Toured 15 theatres in Spain

2017     The Exit Interview - Alliance Francaise de Bangalore, Bangalore, India

2017     The Exit Interview  - Franklin University, Lugano, Switzerland 

2016     How To Steal A Picasso  (피카소를 훔치는 ) Daehakro Theatre, Seoul, South Korea

2011     Headset, a view from the light booth - stadt Theater walfischgasse, Vienna, Austria

1997     Headset, a view from the light booth - The Hexis Theatre, Singapore

2005     Seagulls In A Cherry Tree - North American Actors Association, Soho Theatre London

1994     Kabuki Medea - Durban Performing Arts Center, South Africa

1987     Kabuki Medea - The International Theatre Festival, Israel

 

PLAYS PRODUCED IN USA  (Author ) (Partial list)

The Exit Interview

2016     Reno Little Theatre, Reno NV

2016     Old Town Actor’s Studio

2015     BuzzWorks Theatre, L.A CA

2015     Central Washington University

2015     Western State Colorado University, CO

2014     Eldred Theatre Theatre, (Case Western Reserve) Cleveland, OH

2014     The Flying H Group Stage, Ventura, CA

2014     The Bards Theatre, Louisville, KY

2014     The Big Idea Theatre, Sacramento, CA

2014     Chagrin Valley Theatre, Cleveland, OH  

2014     Rowan University Lab Theatre

2014     Retrograde Works

2013     Salt Lake Acting Company

2013     Riverside Theatre, Iowa City, IA

2013     InterAct Theatre Comedy, PA

2013     Aurora Comedy, IL

2013     Charlotte Actors Theatre

2013     Graceland University, IA

2013     Theatre 42, Chicago

2012     Orlando Shakespeare Theatre

2011     National New Play Network New Play Festival

2011     Orlando Shakespeare Festival New Playfest

How To Steal A Picasso

 2016    Unicorn Theatre, Kansas City MO  

How To Survive Your Family At Christmas

2021     Bas Bleu Theatre, Fort Collins, CO

2019     The Black Box Theatre, Las Cruses, NM

2019     Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts, University of Wyoming

Women Playing Hamlet

2022     The Theatre of Western Springs, Western Springs, IL

2022     Caltech Playreaders, Pasadena CA

2022     New Hampshire Theatre Project, Portsmouth, NH

2021     Lasing Community College, MI

2021     Irion County High School, Mertzon, TX

2021     Trinity Preparatory School, Winter Park, IL

2021     Little Colonel Players , Pewee Valley, KY

2021     Angelina Community Theatre, Lufkin, TX

2021     Curtain Players, Galena OH

2021     The Snarks, Ltd. New York, NY

2021     Horton High School, Norton OH

2021     Curtain Players, Galena, OH

2021     Angelina Community Theatre, Lufkin, TX

2021     The Snarks, LTD, New York, NY

2021     Caltech Playreaders. Pasadena, CA

2020     The Majestic Theatre,  Corvallis, OR

2020     Alouette Academy of Arts, Miami, FL

2020     Ephemeral Theatre Company, Chicago

2019     Amelia Community Theatre, Fernandina Beach, FL

2019     Earlham College, Richman, IN

2019     Leduc Drama Society, Leduc, Canada

2019     Village Players, Fort Thomas, KY

2019     University of Wisconsin Green Bay, WI

2018     Scorpio Theatre Society, Calgary, Canada

2018     Black Hills State University,  Spearfish, SD

2018     Persistence Theatre, Newfoundland, Canada  

2017     Playhouse South, Kettering, OH

2017     Charlotte Art League, Charlotte Art League, NC

2017     State Fair Community College, Sedalia, MO

2017     Pegasus Theatre, Dallas, TX

2017     Juneau Douglas Little Theatre , Juneau, AK

2017     Playhouse South Kettering, OH

2017     Ojai Art Theater in Ojai, CA

2017     Finlandia University, MI

2017     Tallgrass Theatre Company, Iowa

2017     University of Wisconsin–Sheboygan

2016     Theatre 54 @ Shetler Studios, New York City

2016     Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts, University of Wyoming

2015     New Theatre, Miami, FL

2015     Harrisburg Shakespeare Company, PA

2015     South Wind Theatre Company, Orlando FL

2015     Unicorn Theatre, Kansas City MO

Asking Strangers About The Meaning Of Life

2022     Detroit Rep, MI

2020     The Abode Theatre, Albuquerque, NM

2020     Black Box Theatre, Las Cruses, NM

2020     The Elite Theatre Company, CA

2020     Buchanan Center, WY  

2020     The Actors Experiment, Memphis, TN

2020     Bellarmine University, Louisville, KY

Mr. Perfect

2018     Bas Bleu Theatre, Fort Collins, CO

2015     Salt Lake Acting Company

2011     New York City Fringe Festival

2011     Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts, University of Wyoming

2010     Vintage Theatre, Denver

2010     Theatre Southwest, Houston

Mad Gravity

2019     Spark Theatre, San Antonio, TX

2019     Incarnate Word High School, San Antonio, TX

2019     Quiver Productions, Bangalore, India

2018     Mesa Encore Theatre, Mesa AZ

2017     Old Church Theatre, Bradford, VT

2017     Riverfront Playhouse, Aurora IL

2015     The Bards Theatre, Louisville, KY

2015     The Flying H Group Stage

2015     The No Strings Theatre Company, NM

2015     Buchanan Center for the Performance Arts, WY

2014     College of Charleston, SC

2014     Bloomington Playwrights Project, IN

Angry Psycho Princesses

2020     Boston University Academy, MA

2017     Savannah School of Art and Design, GA

2016     Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts, WY

Forgiving John Lennon

2013     University at Buffalo, Buffalo NY

2011     The Detroit Rep, Detroit MI

2011     University of Wyoming

2011     Telluride Playwright’s Festival

Cockeyed

2018     Towle Performing Arts Company

2015     Last Frontier Playwriting Conference, AK

2015     Mid-Valley Theatre, Weslaco TX

2015     Stage Three, Casper WY

2014     Tower Theatre of Weslaco, TX

2014     University Interscholastic League

2013     The Playhouse, Danville KY

2012     Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX

2012     The Stage Coach Theatre, Boise ID

2011     Black Box Theatre Group, Houston TX

2011     The Schultz Theatre, New Market, VA

2010     The No Strings Theatre Company, Las Cruces, NM

2010     The Red Barn Theatre, Frankfort, IN

2009     HotCity Theatre, St. Louis

2009     Snowy Range Summer Theatre, WY

2009     The Cheyenne Little Theatre

Kosher Lutherans

2021     Rover Dramawerks, Piano, TX

2017     Actors Community Theater of Seymour, IN

2014     Arena Players Theatre Company

2014     Alton Little Theatre, Alton IL

2013     HotCity Theatre, St. Louis

2013     Our Town Players, South Haven, MI

2011     The Poke Street Theatre, Atlanta, GA

2011     The Red Barn Theatre, Frankfort, IN

2011     Monticello Theatre, MN

2011     The Playhouse, Danville KY

2011     Warburg College, Waverly, IA

2011     North Fort Playhouse, Watertown SD

2010     The Theatron Jewish Theatre, Toronto, Canada

2010     The Bas Bleu Theatre, Fort Collins, CO

2007     Snowy Range Summer Theatre, WY

Kabuki Medea

2000     Nile North Theatre, Chicago, IL

1994     Wisdom Bridge Theatre, Chicago IL

1994     University of South Dakota

1994     Memphis State University

1989     The University of Illinois

1986     The Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C.

1985     The Berkeley Rep, Berkeley, CA

1985     The Hanna Theatre, Cleveland, OH

1985     The Wisdom Bridge Theatre, Chicago, IL

1983     The University of Illinois

Kabuki Faust

1986     Civic Opera House, Chicago, IL

1984     The University of Illinois, Urbana, IL

Seagulls In A Cherry Tree

2017     The Black Box Theatre, Las Cruses, NM

2009     The University of Wyoming

2009     Casper College, Wyoming

2008     Twin Cities Chekhov Festival, Minneapolis

2006     Orlando Shakespeare Festival Playfest

2005     Columbus State University, Georgia

2004     The Denver Center For The Performing Arts (Reading)

Fascism! The Musical

2020     Bas Bleu Theatre, Fort Collins, CO

2019     Dirty Fish Theatre, Denver, CO

2017     Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts, University of Wyoming

Dead White Males

2012     West Virginia State University, WV

2010     Tongue In Cheek Theater, NYC

2010     The Sustainable Theatre Project, Austin TX

2008     The Rivers Community College, Norwich, CT

2008     The Interpreters Theatre, Cedar Falls, IA

2005     The Miners Alley Theatre, Golden CO

2005     The Theatre Co-operative, Boston

2003     The Independent Freeform Theatre, Emporia State University, KS

2002     Boise State University, Boise ID

2002     Chance Theatre, Anaheim Hills, CA

2001     The University of Wyoming, ACTF Regional Winner

2002     Clark College, Washington

2000     The Boxer Rebellion Theatre, Chicago, IL

1999     The Asylum Theatre,  Las Vegas

1999     The Alleyway Theatre, Buffalo, NY

1998     The Playwright’s Kitchen Ensemble, Los Angeles, CA

Jewish Sports Heroes & Texas Intellectuals

1997     The Overland Stage, Kansas City, KS

1994     Rivertree Theatre, Denver, CO

1994     Mill Mountain Theatre, Roanoke, VA (Workshop production)

1994     The University of Wyoming

1994     The San Francisco Playwrights Center, San Francisco, CA (Reading)

Innocent Thoughts

2010     The Shadow Theatre Company, Denver

2003     The Stella Adler Theatre, Hollywood

2002     The Side Project Theatre, Chicago

2001     The Soho Writer’s Festival, London

1999     Inglewood Playhouse, Inglewood, CA

1998     Performance Network, Ann Arbor

1998     The Asylum Theatre, Las Vegas

1998     Miranda Theatre, New York City

1997     The University of Wyoming

1997     The Shadow Theatre Company, Denver

1996     The Unicorn Theatre, Kansas City, MO

1996     Arena Players Rep, Long Island, NY

1996     Nebraska Rep,  Lincoln, NE (Staged reading)

1995     24th St. Experimental Theatre, San Antonio, TX

Nights At The Round Table

2010     Hesperia Thespian Society, Bradley, CA

2008     Stage By Stage, Canada

2006     Zodiac Theatre, Florence AL

1997     Stage Three, Casper WY

1991     The Firehouse Theatre, Omaha, NE

1985     Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA

Little Family Secrets

1998     The Willows Theatre Company, Concord, CA

1992     Actors Alley Theatre, Los Angeles, CA

1998     North Iowa University, Cedar Falls, IA

Headset – A View From The Light Booth

2017     The Black Box Theatre, Las Cruces, NM

2014     Shots in the Dark Theatre Company, Columbus OH

2014     The Barn Theatre, Porterville, CA

2011     The Gilbert Theatre, Fayetteville, NC

2006     The University of Wyoming

2004     Theatre in the park, Birmingham, AL

2003     The Pensacola Little Theatre, Pensacola, FL

2003     The Fishbowl Theatre, Toronto, Ontario

2001     The Cookeville Drama Center, Cookeville TN

1999     Garmisch Theatre, Germany

1998     Curtain Up!, Durham, NC

1997     The Gilbert Theatre, Fayettville, NC

1997     Playwright’s Forum, Memphis, TN

1991     The Richard Basehart Theatre, Los Angeles, CA

SHORT PLAYS PRODUCED  (Author Of The Following Plays) (Partial List)

2021     Expiration Date, Fresno City College, CA

2021     #2, Iowa State University, IA

2020     The New Abnormal, Middlesex County College, Edison, NJ

2020     The New Abnormal, The Shelter Plays, www.theshelterplays.com

2020     #2, Manhattan Community College, NY

2020     Expiration Date, Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte, NC

2020     #2, Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte, NC

2019     Expiration Date, Studio Theatre, Lexington, KY

2018     Expiration Date, The Tank Theatre, NYC

2016     The Shelf Life of Sushi, Dirty Fish Theatre Company, Denver

2013     The Shelf Life of Sushi, Northwest Playwrights Alliance, Toured through England

2013     Books on Tape (10 m)  Stage Left, Spokan

2013     What Do You Know, The Umbrella Theatre Company/Wordsmyth Theatre, Houston

2010     The Shelf Life of Sushi, (10 m) The Source Theatre, Washington DC

2009     Books On Tape (10 m) Northwest Playwrights Alliance, Toured through England