Photo by Bill Wadman, 2019
Jason Odell Williams is an award-winning playwright and Emmy-nominated television producer. His plays have been performed Off-Broadway at New World Stages and The Westside Theatre as well as in theatres across the country.
His play Church & State was a 2016 NNPN Rolling World Premiere, nominated for a BEST NEW PLAY AWARD by the Off-Broadway Alliance, three L.A. Ovation Awards including Best Playwriting for an Original Play, and named one of Huffington Post's TOP TEN Theatre Productions of 2016. Published by DPS, Church & State is scheduled to have 47 regional productions across 27 states by the end of 2019.
Church & State was recently optioned by Gigi Films (The Art of Getting By, The Winning Season). Jason was hired to adapt it into a screenplay with his wife and collaborator Charlotte Cohn. Their original pilot “Birdland” was a Top Ten Finalist in the 2015 Tracking Board pilot competition. They were also hired to adapt Jason's YA novel, Personal Statement, into a screenplay by producers Tim Schmidt & Steve Hutensky.
Jason’s first play Handle With Care (also published by DPS) was a New York Times Critics’ Pick when it ran Off-Broadway starring Carol Lawrence. The play has been produced 27 times in the last five years in the U.S. and Canada, and won three Theatre Bay Area Awards including Outstanding Production.
Other plays include: Someone Else (World Premiere, NC Stage); Baltimore in Black & White (the cell theatre) and The Science of Guilt (the Daryl Roth 2). Readings: Primary Stages, The Blank, The Lark, EST, as well as developmental readings starring Tony winner Norbert Leo Butz, Tony nominee Tovah Feldshuh, Tony nominee Alan Campbell, and film and TV star Matthew Lillard.
His newest play The Whole Shebang was recently named a Semi-Finalist for the 2019 National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. The play was also named a Finalist for the 2018 InterAct Theatre Company's New Play Development Award and was one of three plays selected for a workshop reading in Florida Studio Theatre's 2018 New Play Reading Series.
Jason was a winner of the 2012 Hudson Valley Writers Workshop contest (Someone Else) and the winner of the 2011 Fixitsolife Theatre playwriting contest (The Science of Guilt).
In his other life, Jason works as a writer and producer on such TV shows as “Brain Games” on Nat Geo, "60 Days In" on A&E, "Homicide Hunter" on Discovery ID (seasons 2 and 9), and the new hit Netflix Original Series "Brainchild."
Jason lives in Manhattan with his wife, their daughter (a budding actress-singer-graphic novelist), and their rescued dog who loves chasing squirrels.
For more about Jason's work visit The New Play Exchange.