Jonathan Josephson
he, him, his
Pasadena, CA
Select productions include Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Humana Festival, Milwaukee Rep’s REPLAB, San Jose Rep, and Unbound Productions. BA: Playwriting, USCD.
Biography

Forty-five of Jonathan's plays have been produced at site-specific locations, schools, and theatres around the world including Actors Theatre of Louisville (Humana Festival), Milwaukee Rep (RepLab), the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Play Festival (Festival Winner), Alternative Theatre Company (Altered Minds, Off-Broadway), San Jose Rep (SJREAL), Warner Theatre (International Play Festival), Chance Theater, Short+Sweet Dublin (Best Playwright Award), and Short+Sweet: Hollywood (Judges’ Choice Award).

Jonathan is the Artistic Director of Unbound Productions in Los Angeles and is one of the creators of the multi-award-winning immersive theatre events Wicked Lit, History Lit, and Mystery Lit which have welcomed over 30,000 patrons to site-specific locations throughout Southern California. Plays written for Unbound include The New Catacomb, Las Lloronas, The Grove of Rashomon, Anansi and the Demons (Mountain View Mausoleum and Cemetery); The Garden Party, The Girl Who Owned a Bear (Pasadena Museum History); and Holmes, Sherlock, and The Consulting Detective (Los Angeles County Arboretum). Jonathan has received two Individual Artist Awards from the Pasadena Arts Council, is a five-time Finalist for Actors Theatre of Louisville's Heideman Award, and has been named a Finalist for both the O'Neill National Playwrights Conference and the City Theatre National Short Play Award. His work has been named a Semi-Finalist by the CTG/Humanitas Prize, NuVoices at Actors Theatre of Charlotte, and Wordsmyth Theatre Company. His work has also been recognized by the William Inge Theatre Festival (Short Play Lab), Great Plains Theatre Conference (Short Play Lab), Smith and Kraus (Best 10-Minute Plays and Best Monologues for Women), Heartland New Play Festival (Festival Winner), Force of Nature Productions (Best of Rush), Playground-LA (Best of Playground-LA), and Stage It! 10-Minute Play Festival (three-time Finalist).

Twenty-two of Jonathan’s plays are published by Steele Spring Stage Rights, Original Works Publishing,  Concord Theatricals, YouthPLAYS, PlayScripts, Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, and Stage It! He is a proud member of the Antaeus Playwrights Lab, the Dramatists Guild of American and a Lifetime Member of the Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights. B.A. in Theatre: Playwriting from UCSD. [jonathanjosephson.com]

Agent Information

Seeking representation.

Plays

by Jonathan Josephson, adapted from the stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

A mash-up of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s delightful “A Scandal in Bohemia,” “The Red-Headed League,” and “The Adventure of the Copper Beeches, this play will appeal to young audiences, theatre lovers and Sherlock super-fans alike.

Follow three different versions of Doyle’s iconic Baker Street detective through a literary labyrinth of clues and misdirection! "Holmes, Sherlock and The Consulting Detective" features Sherlockian mainstays, new characters, and a host of theatrical surprises.

Cast:
Adapted from “A Scandal in Bohemia” SHERLOCK - hawk-faced detective; sporting a deer-stalker hat & cloak WATSON - Sherlock Holmes' loyal right-hand-man COUNT VON KRAMM - a disguised courier KING WILHELM - an enormous Bohemian aristocrat IRENE ADLER - a captivating American opera singer GODFREY NORTON - a handsome London lawyer INSPECTOR LESTRADE - the bulldog of Scotland Yard ROB, THE RUFFIAN BURT, THE BRUTE BEN, THE BOBBY PETE, THE POLICEMAN Adapted from “The Red-headed League” HOLMES - a slightly older, pudgier version of the super sleuth DARREN, THE DOCTOR - resembles Dr. John Watson; academic and timid JABEZ WILSON - red-headed older gentleman; simple & straight forward ALISTAIR MERRYWEATHER - an even older gentleman; a bank president VINCENT SPAULDING - a sharp young man with big ideas JOHN CLAY - a dangerous criminal Adapted from “The Adventure of the Copper Beeches” THE CONSULTING DETECTIVE - a slightly more dramatic version of the iconic detective CLARA HUGGINS - a middle aged lady's maid VIOLET HUNTER - a lovely young woman with chestnut hair JEPHRO RUCASTLE - a prodigiously stout, wild-looking man with a mustache
by Jonathan Josephson

Chris Maple Jr. is a fighter - MMA. When a tragedy gives her the chance to turn this pastime into a career - will she become a champion, or self-destruct?

Cast:
THE FIGHTER :: Chris Maple, Jr. (F, late 20s), MOTHER :: Elizabeth Maple (F, 40s/50s), BROTHER :: Jimmy Maple (M, mid 20s), TRAINER :: David Jackson (M, 40s), TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR:: Pierce Johansson (M, 40s), RABBI :: Rabbi Marvin Gold (M, 60s), THE FAVORITE :: Nicky “Iron Fist” Gutierrez (F, late 20s), THE UPSTART :: Melinda “Lady” Blackwell (F, 20s), THE FORMER CHAMP :: Jan “The Heat” Clearbourne (F, 30s), PLAY-BY-PLAY MAN, COMMENTATOR, OFFICIAL, PA ANNOUNCER, THE CROWD
by Jonathan Josephson

A pixie. A salesman. A magician. A janitor…not your typical shopping mall.

The Giant and the Pixie is a contemporary fairy tale set simultaneously in a magical realm and a shopping mall. The story centers on Arthur – a conscientious Giant who works by day as a janitor – trying to win the heart of Cipriana, a Pixie who also works in the mall. Sebastian – the hotheaded Knight – is not happy with this and wants to get rid of Arthur, but Arthur’s homeless buddy Gregory (the “Troll with a soul”) won’t have anything of it. All the while Cipriana’s father, the Magician, watches from a distance with an agenda of his own.

Cast:
Arthur (30s/40s): a janitor. Sweet, gentle, secretive. Cipriana (20s/30s): a store manager. Fiery, enthusiastic. The Boss (50s/60s): the head of the store. Calm, wise. Gregory (30s/40s): a homeless man. Entertaining, sly. Sebastian (30s): works in the store. Smooth, intense.
by Jonathan Josephson, adapted from "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving

The story of Ichabod Crane is well known - the schoolteacher falls for the blooming lass Katrina Van Tassel, and he would have won her heart too, had he not been run out of town by the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow. But what really happened on the faithful night in the woods, and what is the true story behind Brom Bones' knowing looks? This new adaptation of the classic ghost story tells Washington Irving's tale as it is widely known in act one, but then follows up with the REAL story of Ichabod and the Horseman as retold by Gunpowder, Ichabod Crane's faithful horse.

Cast:
Ichabod Crane (M) - a Connecticut Schoolmaster, Katrina Van Tassel (F) - a fair damsel, a bit of a coquette, Baltrus Van Tassel (M) - Katrina’s father, a wealthy farmer Brom Bones (M) - the self-proclaimed hero of the country round, School Boy (M) - a kid with a secret, Servant (M/F) - a wise and loyal bodyguard, Messenger (M/F) - a cranky deliverer of news, Gunpowder (M/F) - Ichabod Crane’s horse
by Jonathan Josephson

One of Jonathan's favorite actors is sitting right over there. Just sitting there. He'd love to speak to him, but will he be able to build up the nerve? This "hilarious" uber-theatrical comedy was called a "2013 Humana Festival Hit."

Cast:
Laurence Fishburne - late 40s, should at least vaguely resemble the actual Laurence Fishburne, JONATHAN JOSEPHSON (a.k.a. “I” and “Me”) - early 20s, should at least vaguely resemble the actual Jonathan Josephson. Or not.
by Jonathan Josephson, adapted from “In A Grove” by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa

Masago, a maiden, is missing and her samurai, Takehiko, is dead. As her mother investigates the brutal crime, she encounters numerous versions of what happened on that fateful night in a haunting cedar grove. Set in 12th Century Japan and written as a highly theatrical piece with mask work, dance, and Noh-inspired movement, "The Grove of Rashomon" is a reimagining of the iconic short story that inspired the Akira Kurosawa film "Rashomon.

Cast:
Chiyoko, a Mother (F, 50s-60s), Isamu, a Woodcutter (M, 20s-50s), Himiko, a Shaman Priestess (F, 20s-40s), Shokini, a Bounty Hunter (M, 30s-50s), Tajomaru, a Cutthroat (M, 30s-50s), Masago, a Maiden (F, 19), Takehiko, a Samurai (M, 26)
by Jonathan Josephson

The Mexican legend "La Llorona" tells the story of a scorned woman who drowns her children and then haunts the earth searching for their souls. The play "Las Lloronas" examines this myth as it has evolved through the ages - from the days of La Malinche and the conquest of Mexico through present day events. El Diablo guides us through five unique stories - some literal, some theatrical, some abstract - that reflect the horror and regret embodied by this timeless tale.

Cast:
El Diablo, Doña Marina: 20s/30s, a Nahua woman from the Mexican Gulf Coast, mid-16th Century. Inspired by La Malinche -interpreter, adviser, lover, and intermediary for Spanish Conquistador Hernán Cortés; Araceli Gonzales: 20s, a Mexican flower-shop girl, early 19th Century. Inspired by the iconic representations of the “La Llorona” folkloric protagonist; Lady Amélie: 30s, European royalty living in mid-19th Century Mexico. Inspired by Carlota of Mexico, empress consort of Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico, the former Archduke of Austria; Leigh Wilson: 20s, mother of two living in 1990s New Mexico. Inspired by Susan Smith who was found guilty of murder in the drowning deaths of her two sons by strapping them in their car seats and rolling the car into a lake; Pia Faye Thomas: 30s, mother of four living in present day Los Angeles. Loosely inspired by Andrea Yates, a convicted murderer who drowned her five children, ages 6 months to 7 years, in the bathtub of her suburban home; The Men: ensemble characters who plays many parts throughout the play of varying ages and time periods.
by Jonathan Josephson

Four Jewish brothers find out that one of them is adopted, but they don't know which one. Inspired by the Passover story of the "Father and his Four Sons," this uplifting comedy shows that not even ten plagues can break the ties the bind.

Cast:
MIRIAM (late 40s)..................the mama NEI (late 40s)....................the papa GRANDPA Sam (late 60s).............Neil’s father DAVID (25)...................the over-achiever LENNY (23)...................the con man MITCH (21)...................the wanderer ADAM (19)....................the wallflower

Successes

My book "Seven Deadly Tens: A collection of sinful short plays" is now available from Original Works Publishing. The collection includes internationally-produced, award-winning plays (and personal favorites) that debuted from 2010-2019. Avialble for pre-order here: https://www.originalworksonline.com/sevendeadlytens

Grandpa and the Gay Rabbi is one of the six winners of the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival! Of 1500 submissions, 30 were selected for production, of those 30, six were selected by festival judges and Samuel French staff as winners. Thanks again PWC for making me aware of this opportunity!

My short play "Grandpa and the Gay Rabbi" will make its world premiere as a part of the The Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival. I've had 27 plays produced in 11 states and five countries and this will be my first in NYC. Thank you Playwrights Center for putting the OOB on my radar!

The Grove of Rashomon, adpated from "In A Grove" by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, is in the final weeks of  Unbound Productions' Wicked Lit 2015 at Mountain View Mausoluem and Cemetery. Over 3,300 patrons have seen the play along side adaptations of The Ebony Frame and The Fall of the House of Usher!

Jonathan Josephson's adaptation of the Mexican legend "La Llorona" entitled Las Lloronas is currently receiving it's world premiere as a part of Unbound Productions' newest immersive theatre event Wicked Lit 2014. The production is running Wednesday-Sundays at Mountain View Mausoleum and Cemetery through November 8 (many performances are sold out!). Details at WickedLit.org.