J. Joseph Cox

J. Joseph Cox

J. Joseph Cox’s full-length plays include Koalas (16th Street Theater), St. Paulie’s Delight (Great Plains Theatre Conference, Dayton Playhouse FutureFest), and Thirst (Cold Basement Dramatics). His short-form plays have garnered numerous awards and have been produced across the globe. His work has been developed by the Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, The Blank Theatre, Palm Beach Dramaworks, Chicago...
J. Joseph Cox’s full-length plays include Koalas (16th Street Theater), St. Paulie’s Delight (Great Plains Theatre Conference, Dayton Playhouse FutureFest), and Thirst (Cold Basement Dramatics). His short-form plays have garnered numerous awards and have been produced across the globe. His work has been developed by the Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, The Blank Theatre, Palm Beach Dramaworks, Chicago Dramatists, Something Marvelous, and Portland Stage Company among others. He has been a finalist for the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, The Princess Grace Award, and the Playwrights First Award. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America and an alumnus of Lawrence University and the Second City Writing Program. He is originally from Iowa.

Plays

  • Locked In
    [Still in Development]
    From metal hooks, patients dangle in a purgatorial meat locker somewhere between the living and the dead. They wait for decisions to be made—for organs to be harvested and plugs pulled. It’s getting crowded in this locker. The bodies have been piling up ever since one patient at St. Anne’s Hospital became responsive hours before he was to undergo organ recovery and the hospital...
    [Still in Development]
    From metal hooks, patients dangle in a purgatorial meat locker somewhere between the living and the dead. They wait for decisions to be made—for organs to be harvested and plugs pulled. It’s getting crowded in this locker. The bodies have been piling up ever since one patient at St. Anne’s Hospital became responsive hours before he was to undergo organ recovery and the hospital ceased all brain death declarations pending a full system review.

    And so the undead wait.

    Dr. Adilene Reynolds waits as well. It was her Neurology Fellow, Parvati, who had the patient become responsive in her care. Now, Parvati’s shaken and afraid the hospital may be removing organs from donors who still feel pain. The two women draw their battle lines and hunker down as they make their arguments to the hospital board and each other.

    Meanwhile, on the city’s west side, Adilene’s mother, Cela, has watched her neighborhood crumble around her—to the point where she’s living out her days confined within the walls of her home. The only company she keeps is her daughter and a bird that sits at the window with her, voyeurs to the world. When Cela falls victim to a stroke, she becomes one of the many locked-in patients, dangling between this world and the next.

    Locked In is a play that explores the whys and the ways we lock ourselves in to belief systems and, ultimately, form our identities around them. Making the simple act of changing one’s mind, a form of death.
  • Home Brew
    When is a cup of tea more than just a cup of tea? When it reveals your simple secrets to the company you share it with.
  • Normal Now
    The rumors surrounding the new guy in charge are flying at this downtown office building. As nervousness around lay-offs and increased productivity requirements evolves into fearing for their very lives, the firm’s employees learn how dangerous ‘normalizing’ can be.
  • Hardened Targets
    Stuck together during another one of their school’s “drills,” three teenagers do their best to maintain the quaintness of the old world while experiencing the horror of the new.
  • The Good Wife
    When Barbara Baker decides to help her friend Audrey host a candle party, the salespitch turns into a therapy session and Barbara’s true feelings about her husband’s cross-dressing slowly emerge.
  • Don't Trust Tess!
    [A Work in Progress] When Tess Jackson’s spotty memory becomes something more than a minor inconvenience, her tiny trailer becomes a match box where her children’s dreams strike against the rough surface of reality. If they only knew what Tess truly had in store for them…. Don’t Trust Tess! is an adventure in unreliable narration and incorrect assumptions—one where past, present, and fiction all swirl together...
    [A Work in Progress] When Tess Jackson’s spotty memory becomes something more than a minor inconvenience, her tiny trailer becomes a match box where her children’s dreams strike against the rough surface of reality. If they only knew what Tess truly had in store for them…. Don’t Trust Tess! is an adventure in unreliable narration and incorrect assumptions—one where past, present, and fiction all swirl together. Just remember to keep telling yourself: witches are as real as the American dream.
  • Prime Real Estate
    Married couple, Arthur and Helen, go to the cemetery to put flowers on the graves of her loved ones. When Arthur discovers Helen has already purchased a plot and gravestone for herself next to her late first husband, his insecurities go into overdrive.
  • Koalas
    The only thing more territorial than the escaped koala living in Ray Slinger’s backyard is Ray himself. His sense of protectionism goes into overdrive when Natalie (Nate), his gender-nonconforming daughter, pops in for a stay and, John, his unemployed brother, shows up with a suitcase full of woe.

    When John discovers that Ray is about to lose his visitation rights, he teams up with Ray’s...
    The only thing more territorial than the escaped koala living in Ray Slinger’s backyard is Ray himself. His sense of protectionism goes into overdrive when Natalie (Nate), his gender-nonconforming daughter, pops in for a stay and, John, his unemployed brother, shows up with a suitcase full of woe.

    When John discovers that Ray is about to lose his visitation rights, he teams up with Ray’s neighbor, Gabby, and goes about trying to convince Natalie that Ray is worthy of her time. Their plan backfires when the duo stumbles onto something that hits Ray a little too close to his heart. Can this twentieth-century man survive the dawning of the twenty-first?

    Koalas is a full-length tragi-comic play that explores the changing definition of what it means to be a man. It has a unit set and a cast of 5-6 including one Andrew Lloyd Webber-loving koala.
  • St. Paulie's Delight
    Never one to let the opportunity for a gathering pass him by, Event Planner extraordinaire, Paul Blinker, throws a wake for an aunt he never knew existed. The fact that it works perfectly as a testing ground for his wedding reception’s design concept is a mere coincidence to no one, but himself. But as the wake inside his house devolves into a backyard bacchanal, Paul’s well-laid plans for his future fall apart...
    Never one to let the opportunity for a gathering pass him by, Event Planner extraordinaire, Paul Blinker, throws a wake for an aunt he never knew existed. The fact that it works perfectly as a testing ground for his wedding reception’s design concept is a mere coincidence to no one, but himself. But as the wake inside his house devolves into a backyard bacchanal, Paul’s well-laid plans for his future fall apart as well - forcing him to confront the possibility of burying his personal aspirations along with his mysterious aunt. Marriage, family, religion, and loneliness are explored with a queer eye in a two-act comedy that dares to ask the question: Snowflake? Or Ivory Passion?
  • Thirst
    Three coal miners in 1940s West Virginia fight for survival after a mine collapse leaves them trapped deep within the earth. As their hours of entombment turn to days, the need for the basic elements evolve into personal struggles for each man. A returning soldier copes with re-entering a mining industry unappreciative of his service. A seasoned miner fights to save the life of a dear friend’s son. A greenhorn...
    Three coal miners in 1940s West Virginia fight for survival after a mine collapse leaves them trapped deep within the earth. As their hours of entombment turn to days, the need for the basic elements evolve into personal struggles for each man. A returning soldier copes with re-entering a mining industry unappreciative of his service. A seasoned miner fights to save the life of a dear friend’s son. A greenhorn struggles to understand how a future so full of hope can collapse due to the simplest of life decisions.

    As the hunt for water dries up, the men are confronted with voices and shadows from the past intent on driving them against each other and themselves. Each man must search inside himself for the meaning and forgiveness needed to appease the monstrous shadows encroaching from the periphery of his own sanity.
  • Grindrd
    Two teenagers, bent on being treated as grown-ups, get a surprise that makes them second-guess adulthood.
  • The 800 Pound Gorilla
    While breaking into an abandoned pizza joint, two brothers stumble upon an animatronic gorilla that brings up disparate memories for the two of them.
  • A Very Busy Man
    When her boss goes missing, Sherry Pendleton is left dealing with the loose ends of his personal and professional life.