Bio

joeljones-2

I was born in Appleton, Wisconsin and grew up in Laurens, South Carolina and Charlottesville, Virginia. I studied the social sciences and Classics at the College of Charleston, including a wonderful year abroad in Greece. After dropping out of graduate school in Anthropology I drove limousines in Daytona Beach, Florida, worked construction in New York and back in Charlottesville, and worked in a school. While working at a job answering letters in a mail-order stereo company, I taught myself to type and started writing sketches and plays for Charlottesville growing theater scene in the 1990s. Eventually I learned to produce and direct and worked in leadership positions for local theater companies Offstage Theatre and Live Arts as well as working as a critic and essayist for the local arts paper, Cville Review.

I’ve written more than two dozen short plays that have seen more than fifty productions in Charlottesville, New York, Boston, and beyond. My most popular short works are my ‘Barhoppers’ plays–short comedies set in bars and written to be performed in bars, taverns, pubs, and restaurants. I’ve been Playwright-In-Residence of Third Man Productions in New York. Third Man produced my Barhoppers plays every month at 55 Bar in the West Village for two years, and staged my full-length verse comedy, Shrug Like You Mean It, at the Kraine Theater. My short plays Tragic Hero, Big Fish Little Fish, and Answer Man appeared to rave reviews as part of the United Kingdom’s Bite-Size Plays productions in the Brighton Fringe and Edinburgh Fringe.

My full-length play productions include Shrug Like You Mean It, Fortune In Antarctica, Floating Girl, and The Election. Plus I’ve had readings of full-length plays Floating Girl, The Amazing Bruno, Snake Girl, and the Memory Palace of Coney Island, and the unfinished Miraculous.

From 2005 till 2011 I lived in New York City where I performed regularly as an actor, storyteller and improviser at such venues as the Bowery Poetry Club, Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, People’s Improv Theater, and especially the Magnet Theater. I was a founding member of the storytelling group Campfire Stories, co-producer of Black Valentines (inspired by an annual holiday party in Staunton), and member of improv groups Easy Going Folks, Mono-piece Theatre, Hell Buffalo, King Canute, LL Cool JJ, and the Kicks.

In 2011 I wrote and performed a critically-acclaimed solo show Life Insurance in the New York Fringe and Washington DC’s Capital Fringe Festival.

With my lovely wife Jennifer and our brand new daughter Ellie, I returned to Charlottesville in 2012  in order to launch Big Blue Door. Through Big Blue Door I teach writing, storytelling, and longform improv at Charlottesville’s McGuffey Art Center.

My publishing history has been spotty. I had a novel, House of One, that was formerly published by Hypocrite Press. A collection of my bar plays was e-published by Indie Theatre Now till they went out of business.

But now I’m happy to report by sci-fi novella, Death Songs of Saturn, is being published in the collection Vintage Worlds!

Contact:

joeljones@joeljones.net

photo by martyn kyle

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