Robert John Ford

Robert John Ford

Robert John Ford is an award-winning playwright, composer, lyricist, and theatre producer. Since 2005, his plays and musicals have been seen by more than 35,000 people in the United States as well as Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates.  His songs have been performed at Carnegie Hall and 54 Below in New York and at cabaret clubs from Chicago to Toronto.

Ford and his work...
Robert John Ford is an award-winning playwright, composer, lyricist, and theatre producer. Since 2005, his plays and musicals have been seen by more than 35,000 people in the United States as well as Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates.  His songs have been performed at Carnegie Hall and 54 Below in New York and at cabaret clubs from Chicago to Toronto.

Ford and his work first gained national attention in 2007 when the premiere production of CAUCUS! THE MUSICAL was featured in the New York Times, TIME Magazine, US News & World Report, and on NPR, ABC, and CBS News, among others.  Called “the hottest new musical in the country” by the Washington Post, the musical has since been produced numerous times throughout the country, most recently in 2016.

In 2012, Ford was selected to participate as a lyricist in the prestigious BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop in New York and continues his involvement today in the Advanced Workshop.  In June 2014, he was one of five artists selected to be an Iowa Arts Council Fellow in the inaugural year of the program.  He is the recipient of The Vittum Award, The Cloris Award, and more than $35,000 in grants from the Iowa Arts Council and The National Endowment for the Arts.  He is also the winner of several national new play competitions, including The Ashland New Play Festival, The Iowa Playwright's Workshop, and Cygnet Theatre's Playwrights in Process.  

A native of Iowa, Ford splits his time between New York and Des Moines, where he is the Founder & Operator of both Custom Songs & Scripts, a creative writing service, and RJFCreative, an arts management company.  He is a proud member of The Dramatists Guild of America, ASCAP, and the Off-Broadway Alliance, and a former successful contestant on "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire."  For more information, visit robertjohnford.com.

Plays

  • SLEEPING DOGS
    Two mothers are trying to uncover the facts surrounding a car accident that has left one woman's son dead and the other woman's son comatose.  Their investigation, which leads to surprising and disturbing revelations about the circumstances leading up to and immediately after the accident, ultimately forces the mothers to re-examine the identities of both themselves and the sons they thought they knew...
    Two mothers are trying to uncover the facts surrounding a car accident that has left one woman's son dead and the other woman's son comatose.  Their investigation, which leads to surprising and disturbing revelations about the circumstances leading up to and immediately after the accident, ultimately forces the mothers to re-examine the identities of both themselves and the sons they thought they knew so well after realizing there has been a misidentification and switch of the victims.  Loosely based on a true story, SLEEPING DOGS examines the complex and very personal reasons why some people are content to accept matters as they appear to be while others are compelled to seek the truth at any cost.
  • CAUCUS! THE MUSICAL
    CAUCUS! THE MUSICAL is an irreverent look at the first-in-the-nation Iowa Caucuses, offering audiences an entertaining opportunity to see how one undersized state plays such an oversized role in the presidential selection process.  When an Iowa farmer and his family are dubbed “the typical Iowa caucus-goers” by the media and political machines, the candidates plot to do anything to win their votes!
     ...
    CAUCUS! THE MUSICAL is an irreverent look at the first-in-the-nation Iowa Caucuses, offering audiences an entertaining opportunity to see how one undersized state plays such an oversized role in the presidential selection process.  When an Iowa farmer and his family are dubbed “the typical Iowa caucus-goers” by the media and political machines, the candidates plot to do anything to win their votes!
     
    Since 2004, CAUCUS! THE MUSICAL has been presented in Des Moines during each election year, attracting more than 10,000 audience members and extensive national and international media attention.  It was called “the hottest new musical in the country” by The Washington Post, and was the subject of feature stories in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, Time Magazine, and on CNN, NPR, ABC World News Tonight and the CBS Morning Show, to name just a few. 
     
    Once again, the eyes of the nation are focused on Iowa in anticipation of the 2020 Caucuses, and for the first time, CAUCUS! THE MUSICAL is available for community and regional theatre productions.  While the ideal time for such a production is in the November 2019 through February 2020 time frame (just before the Iowa Caucuses), it will remain timely and relevant throughout 2020 prior to the November election.

    CAUCUS! THE MUSICAL contains subject matter and language that may not be suitable for audiences under the age of 13.
  • MY DINNER WITH ANDREW
    In 1997, Andrew Cunanan became the subject of one of the largest manhunts in U.S. history when he went on a cross-country killing spree that began in Minneapolis and ended with the broad-daylight slaying of iconic fashion designer Gianni Versace.  For a period of eight months prior to the first murders, playwright Robert John Ford had nearly daily encounters with Cunanan at a San Diego dog park.  MY DINNER WITH...
    In 1997, Andrew Cunanan became the subject of one of the largest manhunts in U.S. history when he went on a cross-country killing spree that began in Minneapolis and ended with the broad-daylight slaying of iconic fashion designer Gianni Versace.  For a period of eight months prior to the first murders, playwright Robert John Ford had nearly daily encounters with Cunanan at a San Diego dog park.  MY DINNER WITH ANDREW chronicles their disturbing and foreshadowing conversations as well as how the playwright found himself in the middle of the FBI investigation and the national hysteria that followed.  A must-see for fans of the FX true crime television series American Crime Story - The Assassination of Gianni Versace.
  • SIX-ON-SIX: THE MUSICAL
    SIX-ON-SIX: THE MUSICAL celebrates the rich tradition of six-on-six girls' high school basketball in Iowa - its glorious history, unique rules, phenomenal popularity, colorful personalities, and the Title IX legal controversy that ultimately resulted in the game's demise.  Proponents of six-on-six are the fans of the game, including the athletic union members who govern the sport and the lawyer they...
    SIX-ON-SIX: THE MUSICAL celebrates the rich tradition of six-on-six girls' high school basketball in Iowa - its glorious history, unique rules, phenomenal popularity, colorful personalities, and the Title IX legal controversy that ultimately resulted in the game's demise.  Proponents of six-on-six are the fans of the game, including the athletic union members who govern the sport and the lawyer they hire to represent their case. Opposed to the game are the detractors, including an outspoken mother, her 16-year-old daughter, and the lawyer they hire to represent their case. Intertwined with the main story are several subplots, including: the media attention surrounding a high school standout and her opportunity to break a national scoring record; the tension that develops between the two lawyers who represent opposite sides of the controversy; the pressure the mother places on her daughter to succeed; and the simplicity and sweetness of young love.

    SIX-ON-SIX: THE MUSICAL has already been seen by more than 10,000 people and is now available for community and regional theatre productions. "A slam dunk!" - The Des Moines Register. 
  • THE WORLD'S LARGEST ALUMINUM FOIL BALL
    Business is slow at a roadside attraction run by a simple rural couple and their socially-challenged son...until mysterious strangers appear, eager to view the main novelty item - the world's largest aluminum foil ball.  When it is discovered that the ball has recently been included on the Department of Homeland Security's list of potential terrorist targets, they become suspicious of the "...
    Business is slow at a roadside attraction run by a simple rural couple and their socially-challenged son...until mysterious strangers appear, eager to view the main novelty item - the world's largest aluminum foil ball.  When it is discovered that the ball has recently been included on the Department of Homeland Security's list of potential terrorist targets, they become suspicious of the "tourists," their true motives, and the curious timing of their visit.  This dark comedy takes the audience on a road trip to a deep red state, where the main culture is the culture of fear.
  • UTOPIA - THE IOWA MUSICAL REVUE
    Featuring a wide variety of original sketches and parody songs that celebrate - and poke a little fun at the unique people, places, and traditions of the great state of Iowa.  The show is constantly changing - each version includes new songs and sketches focusing on current events, so there's something new to see each time.  UTOPIA is the perfect entertainment option for Iowans who like to laugh at...
    Featuring a wide variety of original sketches and parody songs that celebrate - and poke a little fun at the unique people, places, and traditions of the great state of Iowa.  The show is constantly changing - each version includes new songs and sketches focusing on current events, so there's something new to see each time.  UTOPIA is the perfect entertainment option for Iowans who like to laugh at themselves and visitors who want a little taste of the Hawkeye State.  UTOPIA is sure to bring a smile to your face and a warm feeling to your heartland.  
  • THE CASSEROLE BRIGADE
    Suddenly finding themselves single again in the unfamiliar era of online dating, four inventive widows develop a decidedly old-school method to meet potential new partners. One of the widows pays a visit to a man she had a crush on more than 60 years earlier, and as they begin to rekindle their friendship, their traditional views on relationships are turned upside down.  A series of revelations and unexpected...
    Suddenly finding themselves single again in the unfamiliar era of online dating, four inventive widows develop a decidedly old-school method to meet potential new partners. One of the widows pays a visit to a man she had a crush on more than 60 years earlier, and as they begin to rekindle their friendship, their traditional views on relationships are turned upside down.  A series of revelations and unexpected visitors help them look at life and love in a new light.
  • TRICE
    A new musical drama about the inspiring life and tragic death of college football legend Jack Trice - one of the first African-Americans to play the sport - and the efforts by a group of students and alums determined to have him properly honored. This musical is currently in development - stay tuned!
  • "ADORE US!" LINE - THE 2020 POLITICAL PARODY OF A CHORUS LINE
    Premiering in time for the 2020 presidential election, "ADORE US!" LINE is a song-by-song parody of the groundbreaking musical A CHORUS LINE, with each of the 2020 presidential candidates singing a song about why they should be the "one singular sensation!"  A workshop production will be presented in Des Moines, Iowa during the 2019 Iowa State Fair when caucus season really kicks in, and a...
    Premiering in time for the 2020 presidential election, "ADORE US!" LINE is a song-by-song parody of the groundbreaking musical A CHORUS LINE, with each of the 2020 presidential candidates singing a song about why they should be the "one singular sensation!"  A workshop production will be presented in Des Moines, Iowa during the 2019 Iowa State Fair when caucus season really kicks in, and a full production will be presented in 2020.  More information will be posted Spring 2019, as this show is currently in development.