Jason Odell Williams

Jason Odell Williams

Jason Odell Williams is an Emmy-nominated writer and producer as well as an award-winning playwright and novelist. Hailed as a “postmodern Clifford Odets” by the L.A. Times and “this country’s newest Eugene O’Neill” by the Santa Monica Daily Press, his latest play, Church & State, was recently nominated for BEST NEW PLAY by the Off-Broadway Theatre Alliance as well as three L.A. Ovation Awards (Best...
Jason Odell Williams is an Emmy-nominated writer and producer as well as an award-winning playwright and novelist. Hailed as a “postmodern Clifford Odets” by the L.A. Times and “this country’s newest Eugene O’Neill” by the Santa Monica Daily Press, his latest play, Church & State, was recently nominated for BEST NEW PLAY by the Off-Broadway Theatre Alliance as well as three L.A. Ovation Awards (Best Playwriting for an Original Play, Best Production of a Play (Intimate Theatre), and Lead Actor in a Play). After being selected as an NNPN Rolling World Premiere with productions in Los Angeles and Rochester, the play ran for over 100 performances Off-Broadway at New World Stages from March 3 - June 4, 2017. His play Handle With Care was a New York Times Critics’ Pick, ran for over 100 performances Off-Broadway starring Carol Lawrence, has been produced 21 times in the last five years in the U.S. and Canada, and recently won three Theatre Bay Area Awards (Outstanding Production, Best Ensemble, and Best Actor). Both Church & State and Handle With Care are published by DPS. Other plays: Baltimore in Black & White (the cell theatre); Someone Else (NC Stage); The Science of Guilt (DR2); Going Offline (Fells Point Corner Theatre); The Jungle Gym (American Globe Theatre). Readings: Primary Stages, The Blank, The Lark, EST, as well as developmental readings starring Norbert Leo Butz, Matthew Lillard and Tovah Feldshuh. Jason was a winner of the 2012 Hudson Valley Writers Workshop contest and the winner of the 2011 Fixitsolife Theatre playwriting contest. His first novel, Personal Statement, was optioned for a three-picture deal by former Miramax executive Steve Hutensky (The Fighter, Limitless). Jason is currently adapting his novel for the screen with his wife and collaborator Charlotte Cohn. Their original pilot “Birdland” was a Top Ten Finalist in the 2015 Tracking Board pilot competition. They live in New York City with their daughter. More at jasonodellwilliams.com PRESS "Mr. Williams has achieved something special: He has written a hilarious and heartwarming romantic comedy...which exudes gobs of comic energy and insight." —The New York Times (Critics' Pick) “Playwright Jason Odell Williams is a postmodern Clifford Odets. His conservative Southerners are winning, strikingly intelligent, and above all, sincere in their beliefs. The moral struggle that follows fuels a sophisticated dialectic that presents both sides of the gun debate. It’s surprisingly subtle and gripping entertainment… Simply superb!” – L.A. Times “A powerful, often humorous, and highly contemporary piece [with] several surprises, four fascinating characters, and so many lines that resonate.” – Huffington Post "Williams has written a crackling script! Powerful, humorous and so resonant. I wish every member of Congress would see it!" - NPR “Keep your eye on playwright Jason Odell Williams. If he keeps writing plays as extraordinary and impassioned as his latest play, ‘Church & State,’ he may in time be hailed as this country’s newest Eugene O’Neill.” – Santa Monica Daily Press “A captivating, thought-provoking new play sure to only advance the career of a promising new dramatist. [A] brightly intelligent and often hilariously on-target script, it is deserving of high praise! Brilliant… furiously funny and disarmingly real. Takes our breath away!” – Arts in L.A.

Plays

  • CHURCH & STATE
    Three days before his bid for re-election in North Carolina, a Republican U.S. senator makes an off-the-cuff comment to a blogger that calls into question his belief in God. As his devoutly Christian wife and liberal Jewish campaign manager try to contain the damage, this look at how religion, guns, and social media influence our political system is simultaneously funny, heartbreaking, and uplifting. www....
    Three days before his bid for re-election in North Carolina, a Republican U.S. senator makes an off-the-cuff comment to a blogger that calls into question his belief in God. As his devoutly Christian wife and liberal Jewish campaign manager try to contain the damage, this look at how religion, guns, and social media influence our political system is simultaneously funny, heartbreaking, and uplifting. www.ChurchAndStateThePlay.com “Gripping entertainment! Simply superb!” – Los Angeles Times "Powerful, humorous, and so many lines that resonate." - Huffington Post "A crackling script! I wish every member of Congress would see it!" - NPR “Words that need to be said and heard!” – Time Out NY "One of the best plays of the year!" - Times Square Chronicles “Extraordinary and impassioned” – Santa Monica Daily Press “Speaks to the lunacy of modern politics” – L.A. Theatre Bites BEST NEW PLAY NOMINEE (Off Broadway Alliance) BEST NEW PLAY NOMINEE (L.A. Ovation Awards) TOP TEN PRODUCTIONS OF 2016 (The Huffington Post)
  • HANDLE WITH CARE
    “A hilarious and heartwarming romantic comedy... which exudes gobs of comic energy and insight. Mr. Williams has achieved something special: He has written a Jewish Christmas story.” —The New York Times (Critics’ Pick) In this bi-lingual romantic comedy, circumstances both hilarious and tragic bring together a young Israeli woman, who has little command of English, and a young American man, who has little...
    “A hilarious and heartwarming romantic comedy... which exudes gobs of comic energy and insight. Mr. Williams has achieved something special: He has written a Jewish Christmas story.” —The New York Times (Critics’ Pick) In this bi-lingual romantic comedy, circumstances both hilarious and tragic bring together a young Israeli woman, who has little command of English, and a young American man, who has little command of romance. Is their inevitable love an accident ... or is it destiny, generations in the making? “Miraculous ... the story of the beauty in tragedy, the rekindling of faith, and realizing that you’re found in translation ... leaves the audience delighted.” —The Jewish Week “Thrilling ... a delightful, bilingual comedy ... this is the perfect non- Christmas “Christmas” show, a celebration of friendship and life that is big on the small things that matter in life.” —Los Angeles Daily News HANDLE WITH CARE ran for 112 performances Off-Broadway and has had 17 regional productions since premiering in 2011.
  • SOMEONE ELSE
    SOMEONE ELSE (1M, 1W) is an award-winning comedy about love, fidelity and Ukrainian escorts. As his wife of 10 years ratchets up the pressure to have a baby, Dave feels the spark being sucked out of their sex life and begins to fantasize about a rendezvous with a beautiful and droll Ukrainian prostitute who offers him surprisingly sage advice about his marriage. Meanwhile, Dave’s sexy co-worker has escalated...
    SOMEONE ELSE (1M, 1W) is an award-winning comedy about love, fidelity and Ukrainian escorts. As his wife of 10 years ratchets up the pressure to have a baby, Dave feels the spark being sucked out of their sex life and begins to fantasize about a rendezvous with a beautiful and droll Ukrainian prostitute who offers him surprisingly sage advice about his marriage. Meanwhile, Dave’s sexy co-worker has escalated their usual playful banter into a full-on flirtation… or is it simply a ploy to steal a promotion? While Dave navigates the complex waters of family, career and fidelity, he finds himself in a motel room with a curt New York escort who may or may not be the answer to his problems. A winner of The Hudson Valley Writers’ Workshop new play competition, SOMEONE ELSE is a hilarious and candid glimpse at a lost and confused man searching to answer the eternal question: can we find everything we need… in just one person? World Premiere at NC STAGE in Asheville, NC, Nov. 2015. Winner of The Hudson Valley Writers Workshop 2012 New Play Contest. PRESS FROM WORLD PREMIERE: "Someone Else sizzles with sensuousness and sexy dialogue! A witty and wise romp examining the travails of a young husband and his sexual journey… represents everywoman and everyman's struggle - the human condition made manifest. No one turns out to be despicable, all are understandable and forgivable and acceptable. There's great depth and substance in this racy script, fit for long discussion and thoughtful consideration." - Citizen-Times “This wickedly funny and enchanting, charming and piquant world premiere with blistering frankness, big laughs, and range of emotional dichotomies (love or sex, freely single or hitched with children, success or happiness) will resonate with audiences.” - Carolina Curtain Call “Someone Else is human, relatable and very funny. This show is all about exposing inner fears and demons and debating them in often-unsettling ways. The writing is sharp, insightful and gives every audience member something they can relate to in their own lives.” - Mountain Xpress
  • BALTIMORE IN BLACK & WHITE
    A young woman is about to marry an old friend of the family. The only problem: she's white and Jewish; he's black... and not. This laugh-out-loud ensemble comedy looks at how far we've come (and how far we haven't) by exploring two Baltimore family's relationships over the past two decades. “Terrific characters, sharp dialogue, and bang-on insights.” - Neil LaBute “A stunning...
    A young woman is about to marry an old friend of the family. The only problem: she's white and Jewish; he's black... and not. This laugh-out-loud ensemble comedy looks at how far we've come (and how far we haven't) by exploring two Baltimore family's relationships over the past two decades. “Terrific characters, sharp dialogue, and bang-on insights.” - Neil LaBute “A stunning and evocative story… with humor, grace, and a huge heart. This show will make you smile and exit the theatre with a lightness to your step.” - Urban Excavations
  • GIVE ME SHELTER
    After a female college student's gang-rape accusation is published in a prominent magazine then quickly retracted, the truth becomes more and more elusive as the girl and two of the accused boys tell the University three different versions of what happened on that fateful night. Inspired by true events, GIVE ME SHELTER is a fast-paced, gut-wrenching drama that asks the loaded question: when it comes to...
    After a female college student's gang-rape accusation is published in a prominent magazine then quickly retracted, the truth becomes more and more elusive as the girl and two of the accused boys tell the University three different versions of what happened on that fateful night. Inspired by true events, GIVE ME SHELTER is a fast-paced, gut-wrenching drama that asks the loaded question: when it comes to seeking justice for sexual violence on our nation's campuses, who can we really trust? (3M, 2W)