Hayley St. James

Hayley St. James

Hayley St. James (they/them) is a Boston-born, New York and Boston-based early-career playwright, lyricist-in-training, dramaturg, and occasional performer and assistant director. A non-binary lesbian on the autism spectrum, they are deeply passionate about seeing themselves and their communities represented truthfully in all media, theatre first and foremost. In their theatrical work, they strive to marry...
Hayley St. James (they/them) is a Boston-born, New York and Boston-based early-career playwright, lyricist-in-training, dramaturg, and occasional performer and assistant director. A non-binary lesbian on the autism spectrum, they are deeply passionate about seeing themselves and their communities represented truthfully in all media, theatre first and foremost. In their theatrical work, they strive to marry authentic representation with hyper-theatrical, surreal, meta, and intimate twists; they also have a thing for imaginary friends, ghosts, aliens, and well-handled pop culture references.

St. James is a writer in Company One Theatre’s 2021 PlayLab Circuit Volt Lab.

Recently, their full-length "For Leonora, or, Companions" received a developmental industry reading in the 2020 Pride Plays festival co-sponsored by Playbill, and their full-length “A Godawful Small Affair” had a live-streamed developmental reading as Party Claw Productions’ inaugural piece in their Proto-Plays series. St. James also assistant directed Andy Boyd's "The Trade Federation: Or, Let's Explore Globalization Through the Star Wars Prequels" at Interboro Repertory Theatre in the fall of 2019.

Writing heroes and influences include John Cariani, Paula Vogel, Caryl Churchill, Samuel Beckett, William Shakespeare, and Neil Gaiman.

St. James is a graduate of Marymount Manhattan College, with a Magna Cum Laude Bachelor of Arts in Writing for the Stage.

For 10-minute play and monologue commissions, feel free to contact Hayley using the NPX contact form or DM Hayley on their Twitter!

Plays

  • For Leonora, or, Companions
    [featured developmental Zoom reading - Pride Plays, June 2020, co-produced by Playbill in association with Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre]

    After a depressive episode, autistic book collector Nora Kirkpatrick reconnects with her childhood imaginary friend and finds solace in her childhood fantasies. When Nora develops a crush on another unique young woman who has very much in common with herself...
    [featured developmental Zoom reading - Pride Plays, June 2020, co-produced by Playbill in association with Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre]

    After a depressive episode, autistic book collector Nora Kirkpatrick reconnects with her childhood imaginary friend and finds solace in her childhood fantasies. When Nora develops a crush on another unique young woman who has very much in common with herself, Nora must navigate the anxieties of the real world while learning just what letting go of her imaginary friend could mean for her blossoming relationship. A gentle, tender and imaginative full-length play with puppetry elements about life and love on the autism and LBGTQ+ spectrum, and what it means to find your ideal companion.
  • A Godawful Small Affair
    [inaugural Proto-Plays developmental Zoom reading, Party Claw Productions, October 2020]

    A lesbian couple are put in an unexpected U-haul situation and a touch-starved, non-binary stoner is visited by the alien angel ghost of David Bowie. A pandemic rages outside. A wall separates them, but they’re all about to be connected, sort of. Can a relationship become routine if there’s nothing else? Can...
    [inaugural Proto-Plays developmental Zoom reading, Party Claw Productions, October 2020]

    A lesbian couple are put in an unexpected U-haul situation and a touch-starved, non-binary stoner is visited by the alien angel ghost of David Bowie. A pandemic rages outside. A wall separates them, but they’re all about to be connected, sort of. Can a relationship become routine if there’s nothing else? Can life? And can a change in routine become a blessing? A messy, kind of sad, kind of hopeful, and deeply intimate play exploring touch, longing, time, and routine in the age of Corona, and what this pandemic has done to us. And also David Bowie.
  • It's Confusing, These Days (an election week companion)
    A follow-up play and a standalone work following the main characters from “A Godawful Small Affair” 5 months later. After a summer full of tumult, time passes more normally again for Jodie, Nessa, and Luca. When the pandemic hits close to home on the eve of the most important political week of the year, an unexpected road trip to maybe say goodbye is in order. Capturing the messiness of Election Week 2020, this...
    A follow-up play and a standalone work following the main characters from “A Godawful Small Affair” 5 months later. After a summer full of tumult, time passes more normally again for Jodie, Nessa, and Luca. When the pandemic hits close to home on the eve of the most important political week of the year, an unexpected road trip to maybe say goodbye is in order. Capturing the messiness of Election Week 2020, this short play explores anxiety, hope, fear, and the generation gap between millenials and their boomer parents during a politically-fraught week in a year unlike any other.
  • The Last Night of January
    It's the last night of January, 2021.
    Luca's on the roof, smoking a potent strain of weed.
    Nessa's on the roof, too, taking photos of the moon.
    Jodie's in bed a day's drive away, missing her partners.

    A ten-minute check-in with the trio from "A Godawful Small Affair" and "It's Confusing, These Days."
  • The Non-Canonical Adventures of Luca and Bowie
    Non-binary stoner Luca is accompanied by the ghost of David Bowie on a late night weed delivery.
    The ghost of Oscar Wilde comes along for the ride, and he definitely has a history with Bowie.
    An Author Avatar provides commentary.
    There is a flying liger made of electricity.
    The playwright knows it doesn't make a lick of sense, and is proud of that.

    A non-...
    Non-binary stoner Luca is accompanied by the ghost of David Bowie on a late night weed delivery.
    The ghost of Oscar Wilde comes along for the ride, and he definitely has a history with Bowie.
    An Author Avatar provides commentary.
    There is a flying liger made of electricity.
    The playwright knows it doesn't make a lick of sense, and is proud of that.

    A non-canonical one-shot spinoff of "A Godawful Small Affair" and its canon companion plays "It's Confusing, These Days" and "The Last Night of January", written as part of the 28 Plays Later challenge.

  • Shrike and Magpie
    Two renowned rival jewel thieves, Shrike and Magpie, find themselves face to face (and gunpoint to gunpoint) while going after the same bounty – the priceless Amberly Estate Amber – on the same day. Who will make off with the treasure?

    A feisty ten-minute two hander for two women with gadgets, fight scenes, and a surprise romance.
  • Too Hard A Knot - a short play
    [Spring 2019 Senior Playwriting Projects, Marymount Manhattan College]

    A darkly comedic, semi-Shakespearean, Twin Peaks-y twist on "a deal with the devil." Twentysomething Regan is a bit of a savant when it comes to Shakespeare, but her dead-end job as a graveyard shift diner waitress is getting her nowhere in life... until a mysterious, sunglasses-wearing man with a taste for...
    [Spring 2019 Senior Playwriting Projects, Marymount Manhattan College]

    A darkly comedic, semi-Shakespearean, Twin Peaks-y twist on "a deal with the devil." Twentysomething Regan is a bit of a savant when it comes to Shakespeare, but her dead-end job as a graveyard shift diner waitress is getting her nowhere in life... until a mysterious, sunglasses-wearing man with a taste for milkshakes shows up in the middle of the night. When both her avuncular boss and the mysterious stranger present her with choices that could alter her life... what choice does she have in this world? What choice does *anyone* have in this world?
  • Mina, Dina, Tina, and Bean’s Completely Average Pandemic Pod Powerpoint Party
    Four friends in a pandemic pod – goth Mina, cottagecore Dina, theatre geek Tina, and stoner Bean – have a Powerpoint party on Zoom.
    It goes completely fine.
    Nothing unspeakably disturbing happens.
    I promise.

    A ten minute Zoom play.
  • Glass of Water (a short play)
    Two social media influencers go to a fancy establishment to try some "enhanced" water that purportedly has different effects on anyone who drinks it.

    A ten-minute comedy riffing on trends and exorbitantly priced basic resources.

    (initially written for the 2019 48 Hour Play Festival at Marymount Manhattan College.)
  • What A Piece of Work is Ham (One-Act Edition)
    Ham, the Prince of Denmark, has just started university at Witt U. He misses his girlfriend Phelia, and his overbearing mother Gert smothers him with affection from afar. And then Ham's roommates, Ros and Guil, accidentally give him edibles the night before a big philosophy assignment is due... will Ham succeed in completing his assignment? How does his classmate Horace feel about him? And will sudden news...
    Ham, the Prince of Denmark, has just started university at Witt U. He misses his girlfriend Phelia, and his overbearing mother Gert smothers him with affection from afar. And then Ham's roommates, Ros and Guil, accidentally give him edibles the night before a big philosophy assignment is due... will Ham succeed in completing his assignment? How does his classmate Horace feel about him? And will sudden news from home derail his journey to getting a BA in philosophy?

    A big, broad, silly stoner comedy prequel to William Shakespeare’s Hamlet that dares to answer the questions everyone was too afraid to ask: is Horatio in love with Hamlet? would Hamlet have a Jewish mother? and can a play be too silly?

    NOTE: This one-act, shortened, and slightly less frisky version of the play is ideal for colleges and high schools. A two-act “expanded and unrated” version of the play for mature audiences is forthcoming.
  • Punxsutawney Phil is Sick of This Shit: a monologue for a pissed off deity
    It's Groundhog Day eve, and world-famous groundhog Punxsutawney Phil doesn't want to come out of his burrow.

    A monologue.
  • Pep Talk - a monologue
    Sapphic yearning in the time of Corona, as sexually frustrated and hopelessly lonely Lauren tries to decide on an outfit to wear on a Zoom date with a girl she's matched with on Tinder. Commissioned for the 24 Hour Plays' 24 Hour Viral Monologues on Instagram for Pride Month 2020.
  • White People Shouldn’t Be Writing About This: a monologue about the Lunar New Year
    The Writer gets a writing prompt about a subject they feel unequipped to write about.

    A monologue.
  • Five Bears - a very short play
    Bradley and Ted's favorite place in Central Park is the statue of bears by the museum. Is their relationship as sturdy as the statue?

    A very short play.
  • Hayley St. James' "28 Plays Later"
    An entire February's-worth of plays, monologues, and vaguely theatrical things.

    In February 2021, playwright Hayley St. James took the 28 Plays Later Challenge.
    28 plays in 28 days based on 28 prompts emailed to them every day.
    What follows is unfiltered venting, genuine explorations of themes and forms they enjoy, vague attempts at fulfilling prompts that fail to strike...
    An entire February's-worth of plays, monologues, and vaguely theatrical things.

    In February 2021, playwright Hayley St. James took the 28 Plays Later Challenge.
    28 plays in 28 days based on 28 prompts emailed to them every day.
    What follows is unfiltered venting, genuine explorations of themes and forms they enjoy, vague attempts at fulfilling prompts that fail to strike their muse, and general insanity. Within these pages you will find monologues, one-minute plays, ten-minute plays, misguided attempts at theatrical forms and devices, drivel that amounts to writing exercises more than fully fleshed out scripts, brain farts, word vomit, absolute trash, unrefined genius, utter chaos, and at least three separate monologues about cultural appropriation and representation.

    Does any of this work? Who knows? But maybe you’ll like it.

    Contains the following 28 pieces (asterisks next to some mean they are already on New Play Exchange for your enjoyment but are collected here anyway for chronological accuracy):
    The Last Night of January (ten-minute)*
    Punxsutawney Phil is Sick of This Shit (monologue)*
    Punxsutawney Phil is Having a Good Day, Actually (one-minute)
    Mina, Dina, Tina, and Bean’s Completely Average Pandemic Pod Powerpoint Party (ten-minute)*
    Petrified (monologue)
    The Short, Lamentable Tragedy of the Person Writing This Tragic Attempt at a Tragedy (ten-minute?)
    Toby Goes to the Supermarket to Buy Cheese (ten-minute)
    One Minute Fix (one-minute)
    Be Gay, Do Crimes (one-minute)
    Ferkle Strudel Weewaw (ten-minute)
    A Monologue About Audra McDonald (monologue)
    White People Shouldn’t Be Writing About This (monologue)*
    The Non-Canonical Adventures of Luca and Bowie! (ten-minute)*
    Solo (monologue)
    Bodega Cat (five-minute)
    One Night on Bourbon Street (one-minute)
    Screw the Critics! (ten-minute)
    Baby’s First Kombucha (ten-minute)
    Almost, Almost (one-minute/five-minute)
    Breaking the Rules (monologue)
    Got Your Mother In A Whirl (monologue)
    Shrike and Magpie (ten-minute)*
    Cruel Cruel (Mid)Summer (ten-minute?)
    A Stand-up Routine (monologue)
    Greetings from the Moon! Love, Mom (five-minute)
    A Message to All The Goyim Trying to Write a Purim Spiel (monologue)
    One Time at Cool Papa Luigi’s (ten-minute)
    G is For… (one-minute)