Aaron Mays is an emerging playwright and an award-winning director in Chicago. His latest play BLACK SANTA was selected as a finalist for the 2015 Waukegan Theatre Festival, and it received high praise during a self-produced public reading at the Green Line Performing Arts Center in 2018. It was also produced as an audio drama for Possibilities Theatre Company's inaugural 12 Days of Holiday Festival....
Aaron Mays is an emerging playwright and an award-winning director in Chicago. His latest play BLACK SANTA was selected as a finalist for the 2015 Waukegan Theatre Festival, and it received high praise during a self-produced public reading at the Green Line Performing Arts Center in 2018. It was also produced as an audio drama for Possibilities Theatre Company's inaugural 12 Days of Holiday Festival. STICKS AND STONES, a coming-of-age story about faith, trauma and bullying, was named a semi-finalist for Stage Left Theatre’s 2012-2013 Downstage Left Playwright Residency. His other plays include HUSH HUSH, PASS ME OVER, GOODNIGHT and an adaptation of A CHRISTMAS CAROL, which was commissioned by South Bend Civic Theatre.
In March 2021, his first fictional audio series Deep Shadows, co-written with Collette Cullen, premiered as part of Eclectic Full Contact Theatre (EFCT)’s podcast network. The Hear Now Audio Fiction and Arts Festival awarded the series with a Silver Selection. Aaron also adapted his play HUSH HUSH into audio drama for EFCT.
His love for playwriting developed in high school under the guidance of his high school English teacher. However, it wasn’t until his college years at Northwestern University that he fully formed a passion for stage writing and theatre. While at Northwestern, Aaron penned several plays including THE SONS OF TENNESSEE, which was selected as a semi-finalist in the Agnes Nixon Playwriting Competition. His early work was widely recognized on campus, and he was commissioned to write a new play for the school’s African American Theatre Ensemble titled THE STREET CORNER.
He has worked as a teaching artist, serving as a playwright-in-residence for American Theater Company’s Bridge program. In 2013, he devised a play titled THE WATCHERS with high school students.
As a director, Aaron focuses on stories of the African diaspora and marginalized voices. Some of his directing credits include AMERICAN SON (Ujima Theatre Company), TWISTED TALES OF POE (AstonRep Theatre), GEM OF THE OCEAN (South Bend Civic Theatre), 2 X 2 (Haven), WAITING FOR GODOT (Tympanic Theatre) with an all-Latinx cast and TUG OF WAR (CIRCA Pintig), a series of short plays on war, trauma and immigration. In addition, he has worked with Chicago’s top directors, serving as the assistant director for such productions as SWEAT (Goodman Theatre), MOSQUE ALERT (Silk Road Rising), TWO TRAINS RUNNING (Goodman Theatre), WAITING FOR GODOT (Court Theatre), SEVEN GUITARS (Court Theatre) and Kristoffer Diaz’s PEACE/WAR (American Blues Theater’s Ripped Festival). In 2022, he won two Artie Awards, presented by Buffalo Toronto Public Media, for his direction of AMERICAN SON: outstanding production of a play and the Katharine Cornell Award for outstanding contribution by a visiting artist.
Aaron is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America.