William Missouri Downs
PLAYWRITING: William has had over 200 productions of his plays and won numerous writing awards including two rolling premieres from the National New Play Network (Women Playing Hamlet and The Exit Interview). He's twice been a finalist at the Eugene O’Neill (Mad Gravity & How To Steal A Picasso). His plays have been produced by Orlando Shakes, The InterAct Theatre in Philadelphia, The San Diego Rep,...
PLAYWRITING: William has had over 200 productions of his plays and won numerous writing awards including two rolling premieres from the National New Play Network (Women Playing Hamlet and The Exit Interview). He's twice been a finalist at the Eugene O’Neill (Mad Gravity & How To Steal A Picasso). His plays have been produced by Orlando Shakes, The InterAct Theatre in Philadelphia, The San Diego Rep, The Berkeley Rep, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Salt Lake 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 been produced in Spain, Canada, USA, South Africa, Russia, Singapore, Switzerland, Austria, Israel, India, England, Australia and South Korea. He has published 11 plays: The Exit Interview , Kosher Lutherans & Cockeyed (Samuel French), Mad Gravity, Mr. Perfect, Women Playing Hamlet, Dead White Males (Playscripts), Headset & Seagulls In A Cherry Tree (Heuer Publishing), and Innocent Thoughts & A Doll House (adaptation) (Next Stage Press). William was recently honored at the Royal Court Theatre in London as a finalist for the Nick Darke Award. He is represented by Patricia McLaughlin at the Beacon Artists Agency, New York.
PRIZES: Rolling Premieres from The National New Play Network, Finalist @ The Eugene O’Neill, Final Draft Television Writing Contest, Beverly Hills Theatre Guild’s Lilian Nesburn Award, Finalist @ Nick Darke Award, Reva Shiner Comedy Award , NNPN National Showcase of New Plays, Winner @The Greenhouse Festival Of New Plays , Finalist @ Ashland New Play Festival, Winner @ Larry Corse Prize For Playwriting, Bay Area Critics Award (Best production), Finalist @ Broad Horizon Theatre Company Playwriting Competition, Winner @ Norfolk Southern Festival of New Works, Finalist @ Ashland New Play Festival
BOOKS: William has co-written four books, including "The Art Of Theatre" (Cengage), which is now in its fourth edition and has been used by over 60,000 college students. "Screenplay: Writing the Picture" (Silman James) which is in its third edition and is required reading at many film schools (Also published in Poland - Scenariusz Filmowy). His two books on the art of writing for the stage are "Naked Playwriting" (Silman James) and "Playwriting: From Formula To Form" (Harcourt Brace).
SCREEN & TELEVISION WRITING: William earned an MFA in screenwriting from UCLA. He started as a script secretary on NBC’s Moonlighting (Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd) and worked his way up to a staff writer on the NBC sitcom My Two Dads (Paul Reiser). He also wrote episodes for the NBC sitcoms 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. He recently optioned a TV pilot to Hollywood producer Meryl Poster.
DIRECTING & ACTING: William acted in 20 plays before a slight stammer brought on by a bout with viral encephalitis ended his acting career. He has directed 40 professional, amateur, and academic productions including Stupid F#%king Bird at the The Salt Lake Acting Company.
He lives in a log cabin 7,700 feet up in the mountains of Colorado.