John J King

John J King

John J King is part Texan and part Tyrannosaur, and lives in Boston where he makes plays. He has a B.A. in Theatre & English from SUNY Boondocks, and an accent from his mama.

Plays include: FROM DENMARK WITH LOVE (IRNE nomination: Best New Play); BEAR PATROL; and an adapted libretto for the German Gothic opera DER VAMPYR. His work has been produced locally by Vaquero Playground, SpeakEasy...
John J King is part Texan and part Tyrannosaur, and lives in Boston where he makes plays. He has a B.A. in Theatre & English from SUNY Boondocks, and an accent from his mama.

Plays include: FROM DENMARK WITH LOVE (IRNE nomination: Best New Play); BEAR PATROL; and an adapted libretto for the German Gothic opera DER VAMPYR. His work has been produced locally by Vaquero Playground, SpeakEasy Stage, New Exhibition Room, and Company One Theatre. He is a proud member of the 2014-16 cohort of the Huntington Playwriting Fellows.

What the Press Says
"King’s libretto is the crowning achievement [...] Not only is his rhyming dexterously hilarious[...], but it always serves the story and the score." – Terry Byrne, The Boston Globe

"[King's] libretto brims over with clever and often anachronistic or off-color rhymes [...] and puns." – Lloyd Schwartz, New York Arts

“Unabashed, R-rated fun.” – Mara Littman, The Boston Herald

What Audiences Say
“Gothic meets Looney Tunes. Comedic, anachronistic, epic.”
"sexy evil genius"
"adult innocence at its best"

Plays

  • Thesis
    Two young women, feeling lost and un-empowered, call upon the powers of the Goddess Thesis to open up their world.
  • M. Riverside
    A first-time drag queen and a hard core Sox fan meet late one night on the last train out to Riverside.
  • Roundabout
    An assassin from the future arrives suddenly in the living room of the woman who is about to invent time travel.
  • BlueShift
    Damon bought a house, and Martha is moving in with him. But she has trouble finding a room of her own in the new place. Meanwhile the house has spiders, raccoons, sad paint, and a neighbor who seems a bit too excited that a mixed-race couple has moved in. Turns out this may not be the best place for Martha to fight off her past demons. And speaking of demons: what is that coming out of the trunk in the attic?...
    Damon bought a house, and Martha is moving in with him. But she has trouble finding a room of her own in the new place. Meanwhile the house has spiders, raccoons, sad paint, and a neighbor who seems a bit too excited that a mixed-race couple has moved in. Turns out this may not be the best place for Martha to fight off her past demons. And speaking of demons: what is that coming out of the trunk in the attic?

    A ghost story about depression and time travel.
  • Bear Patrol
    Somewhere, over the Zakim...
    Huggy Bear wants to be a rock star. But when the world gets nuked, all she has left are some rock star ruby booties, her best friends, and a post-apocalyptic Boston full of mutants and malice. Will she find her audience? Or will she just find home?

    She finds the answer somewhere over the Zakim in this romping adaptation of the Wizard of Oz, chock full of pop culture, gags, and mutants.
  • Der Vampyr
    A new English-language adaptation of Heinrich Marschner's DER VAMPYR, updated for a contemporary audience.

    Lord Collins, a vampire new to London, joins a coven and is ordered to bring in 29 new vampire brides over the coming lunar cycle. He wreaks havoc on the young women of London, until he meets his ultimate match: Muffy the Vampire Nay-Sayer.

    An operatic vampire tale with a...
    A new English-language adaptation of Heinrich Marschner's DER VAMPYR, updated for a contemporary audience.

    Lord Collins, a vampire new to London, joins a coven and is ordered to bring in 29 new vampire brides over the coming lunar cycle. He wreaks havoc on the young women of London, until he meets his ultimate match: Muffy the Vampire Nay-Sayer.

    An operatic vampire tale with a helping a parody and a dash of social critique, DER VAMPYR mashes up horror tropes and gender norms into a biting and delighting theatrical event.

    Press have said:

    “OperaHub’s stellar production of Der Vampyr stands out as one of the most rewarding theatrical events of the season. The company’s heady brew of Heinrich Marschner’s lush, Romantic score with an updated libretto with the insouciant humor of Boston playwright John J King [...] makes this rarely performed opera wonderfully accessible and enjoyable to opera lovers and Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Twilight fans alike."

    "King’s libretto is the crowning achievement of this Der Vampyr. Not only is his rhyming dexterously hilarious (‘I’ll seduce her, then I’ll juice her’), but it always serves the story and the score."
    - Terry Byrne, The Boston Globe

    The libretto brims over with clever and often anachronistic or off-color rhymes (“This is foolish, don’t be mulish”; “You wimp, don’t be so limp!”) and puns (“I have a little trick,” Collins tells Della as he sucks on her punctured finger, “when you have a little prick”; Muffy announces that Collins “thinks he’s taking me out for ‘steak.’ He’s right!”). “Carfax Abbey,” we are told, is “just across from Downton.” Someone even exclaims “Oy vey!”
    - Lloyd Schwartz, New York Arts

    “Der Vampyr is a decadently feminist adaptation of Marschner’s original. This new arrangement…tackles the difficult truths of male entitlement, victim blaming and rape culture that all women face on a daily basis… [it] is relatable, singable, and very entertaining."
    - Kitty Drexel, New England Theatre Geek
  • From Denmark With Love
    Shaken or Stirred...that is the question in this mash-up of Shakespeare's HAMLET and James Bond.

    Hamlet's father has died suddenly, and his uncle Claudius has married Hamlet's mother Gertrude. As Hamlet investigates to find the truth behind his father's death, he finds a terrifying plot to destroy the world. But who's behind it all? Claudius? Or...The Norwegians?!...
    Shaken or Stirred...that is the question in this mash-up of Shakespeare's HAMLET and James Bond.

    Hamlet's father has died suddenly, and his uncle Claudius has married Hamlet's mother Gertrude. As Hamlet investigates to find the truth behind his father's death, he finds a terrifying plot to destroy the world. But who's behind it all? Claudius? Or...The Norwegians?!

    His girlfriend Ophelia Balzac and best buddy Horatio (who sidelines in gadget manufacturing) help 00Syv track down just what is rotten in the state of Denmark!

    Received a workshop production in Boston, MA in 2013, which was called:
    “Unabashed, R-rated fun.” - The Boston Herald
    "a madcap, multimedia caper with non-stop zany antics." - The Theater Mirror
    "a low-tech comedy that spoofed every Bond cliché imaginable while staying true to the essential framework of Shakespeare’s tragedy.” - The ArtsFuse