William Downs


William Missouri Downs has had over200 productions of his plays and won numerous national writing awards including two rolling premieres from the National New Play Network (Women Playing Hamlet and The Exit Interview). He has twice been a finalist at the Eugene O’Neill (Mad Gravity & How To Steal A Picasso). His plays have been produced by The Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, The InterAct Theatre in Philadelphia, The San Diego Rep, The Berkeley Repertory Theatre, the Salt Lake City Acting Company, the Actors Theatre of Charlotte, the Jewish Theatre of Toronto, The Bloomington Playwright’s Project, the Detroit Rep and the New York City Fringe Festival to name a few. His plays have also been produced in Spain, South Africa, Singapore, Switzerland, Austria, Israel, India, Russia and South Korea. Bill Missouri has had ten plays published: The Exit Interview, Kosher Lutherans and Cockeyed (Samuel French), Mad Gravity, Mr. Perfect, Women Playing Hamlet, Dead White Males (Playscripts), Headset (Heuer Publishing), and Innocent Thoughts and A Doll House (adaptation)(Next Stage Press). In Hollywood, Bill wrote for several NBC television shows including My Two Dads (Paul Reiser). Amen (Sherman Hemsley) and Fresh Prince Of Bel Air (Will Smith). In addition, he won UCLA’s Jack Nicholson Award for screenwriting, sold a movie to Ron Howard’s Imagine Films and optioned another to Filmways.  This year he optioned a TV pilot to Hollywood producer Meryl Poster. Bill has an extensive publication record. He has co-written four books, including the The Art Of Theatre (Wadsworth), which is now in its fourth edition and has been used by an estimated eighty thousand students across the United States. Screenplay: Writing the Picture (Silman James) is in its third edition and was recently translated and published in Poland (Scenariusz Filmowy).  His two books on the art of writing for the stage include Naked Playwriting (Silman James) and Playwriting: From Formula To Form (Harcourt Brace). In addition he has directed over 30 plays and acted in 30 more.  He has MFA in acting from University of Illinois and MFA in Screenwriting from UCLA.  He was trained in playwriting at the Circle Rep in New York. Bill loves to travel. He’s climbed the Great Wall of China, ducked into the Pyramid of Giza, stood where the Colossus of Rhodes and the Lighthouse of Alexandria once towered, trundled through the Taj Mahal, walked the streets of Pompeii, hiked the ruins of Delos, climbed to the top of the Duomo, spied into North Korea from the DMZ, touched the walls of Troy, drank Bacardi in Barbados, landed atop Columbia Glacier in Alaska, studied the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, lamented at Auschwitz and Birkenau, smiled at the Mona Lisa, and traveled to twenty-six ancient Greek and Roman Theatres.


PLAYWRITING AWARDS & HONORS 2016    2nd Place, Julie Harris Playwriting Award, Beverly Hills Theatre Guild (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 – Todd McNerney National Playwriting Competition (Mad Gravity)  2013    Rolling Premiere from The National New Play Network (The Exit Interview) 2012    Finalist – Reva Shiner Comedy Award  @ Bloomington Playwrights Project (The Exit Interview) 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) BOOKS PUBLISHED 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 PLAYS PUBLISHED 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 Samuel French, 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 Samuel French, New York 2009    Kosher Lutherans, Published by Samuel French, New York 2009    Books On Tape, Published by North West Theatre Review, Oregon State University 2005    Dead White Males, Published by Playscripts, New York MONOLOGUES PUBLISHED 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