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John Patrick Bray

Blurred image of the arch used as background for stylistic purposes.
Associate Professor
Graduate Coordinator
Area Head, Undergraduate Dramatic Writing

John Patrick Bray has written plays under grants from The National Endowment for the Arts and the Acadiana Center for the Arts in Louisiana, and has earned commissions from theatre companies and arts agencies around the country. He has been a Semifinalist for the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, the Ashland New Play Festival, and for the Princess Grace Foundation Playwriting Award; a Finalist for the Kernodle Playwright Prize, the Ingram New Works Lab at Nashville Rep, and a residency at Hangar Theatre; and Winner of the Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights. His plays and monologues are published with Next Stage Press, Original Works Publishing, Heartland Plays, Off the Wall Plays; in anthologies published by Applause Theatre and Cinema Books, and Smith and Kraus; and in The Coachella Review, For Stage and Screen, Fleas on the Dog, Masque and Spectacle, Tilted House, among others. A collection of his shorts, Cart Before the Horse, has been published by Polychoron Press. As a screenwriter, Bray co-wrote the BEA Award-Winning indie feature Liner Notes (based on his stage play) which was an official selection of the Woodstock Film Festival and Hoboken International Film Festival (finalist, Audience Choice Award). Liner Notes is  available on Amazon (dot) com. He also wrote the horror short Barflies, which premiered at the 2021 Horror Realm Convention in Pittsburgh. His recent short, Escapism, is currently being screened in festivals. Two more shorts are in pre-production.  

Bray's scholarship focuses on new play development, playwrights, and Geek Theatre. His essays have been published with Theatre Topics, New England Theatre Journal, Performing Arts Resources, Texas Theatre Journal, Theatre Symposium, Platform: Journal of Performing Arts, and Theatre, Dance and Performance Training. He has contributed a co-written chapter to Mapping Smallville, and a chapters to The Composer on Screen, The Routledge Companion to Absurdist Literature, and Embodied Playwriting: Improv and Acting Exercises for Writing and Devising. Bray’s textbook, Inciting Incidents: Creating Your Own Theatre from Page to Performance, is published with Kendall Hunt Publishing (now in its second edition). Bray co-edited The Best American Short Plays 2015-2016 with William Demastes, and edited The Best Plays from American Theatre Festivals 2015,The Best American Short Plays 2018-2019, and Stage It and Stream It: Plays for Virtual Theatre for Applause Theatre and Cinema Books. For his editorial work, Bray is represented by June Clark of FinePrint Literary Management. Bray is a member of The Dramatists Guild of America, Inc., and served as Atlanta Regional Ambassador in 2019. 

At UGA, Bray serves as the Graduate Coordinator for the Department of Theatre and Film Studies and head of the undergraduate dramatic writing area. He also serves on the Graduate Council as the Fine Arts Chair. He has earned a Sandy Beaver Award for Teaching Excellence, and has also been an Online Learning Fellow and a Teaching Academy Fellow. 


PhD, Theatre Studies, Louisiana State University

MFA, Playwriting, The Actors Studio Drama School/The New School for Drama


Research Areas:
Research Interests:

New Play Development/New Play Dramaturgy



Geek Theatre

Contemporary US Playwrights 


The National Endowment for the Arts The Big Read Acadiana (for Trickster at the Gate), 2008.

Selected Publications:

Book (authored)

Inciting Incidents: Creating Your Own Theatre from Page to Performance (Playwriting Textbook). Kendall Hunt Publishing, 2015. (Second Edition, 2018)

Books (edited)

The Best American Short Plays 2018-2019. Edited with an introduction by John Patrick Bray. New York: Applause Theatre and Cinema Books, 2021.

The Best American Short Plays 2015-2016. Ed. William Demastes and John Patrick Bray. Introduction by John Bray. New York: Applause Theatre and Cinema Books, 2017.

The Best Plays from American Theatre Festivals. Ed. with an introduction by John Patrick Bray. New York: Applause Theatre and Cinema Books, 2016.

Essays and Book Chapters

“Picturing the Cradle: Blitzstein as Memory, Blitzstein as Comedy.” Composers on Screen. Ed. Paul Fryer. McFarland Press, 2018.

"'Can You Picture That?' Using Visual Media to Inspire Playwrights." Theatre, Dance, and Performance Training. (Vol. 7.1): 32-43, 2016.

“Finding Clark Kent: Sites of Nostalgia and Affect” (Co Authors Gregory Bray and John Patrick Bray). Mapping Smallville: Critical Essays on the Series and its Characters. McFarland Press, 2014.

“‘There’s Too Many of Them!’ Off-Off Broadway’s Performance of Geek Culture.” Theatre Symposium. (Vol. 22): 121-133, 2014. 

“Playing Together! How The New York Writers’ Bloc Created Camaraderie, Community and Great Stories.” Theatre Topics. (24.1): 1-10, 2014.

“Process as Product; The Early Years of the U.S. Playwriting Workshop.” Texas Theatre Journal. (Vol. 10): 71-85, 2014.

“Playwright as Auteur, Playwright as Producer: The Economics and Aesthetics of the Twenty-First Century American Playwright.” New England Theatre Journal. (21.1): 57-78, 2012.

“’What’s Wrong With This Play?’: Workshops, Audiences, and Horizons of Expectations.” Platform. (6.1, Special issue on “Spectatorship and Participation”): 44-57, 2011.

Plays (Selected) :

“Ashes of the Revolution,” The Best Ten-Minute Plays of 2020, Smith and Kraus, 2021.

Friendly’s Fire. Denver, CO: Next Stage Press, May 2021.

Dead Movement. Denver, CO: Next Stage Press, September 2020.

Capstone. SmithScripts, UK, June 2020. 

Dead Movement monologue, The Best Women’s Monologues from New Plays, 2019. Ed. Laurence Harbison. New York: Applause. December 2019.

Dead Movement monologue, The Best Women’s Monologues from New Plays, 2019. Ed. Laurence Harbison. New York: Applause. December 2019.

“Troubles that Bind,” Masque and Spectacle (an online arts and literary journal), 2019.

“Fix.” The Coachella Review, Winter 2018 issue.

Christmas in the Airwaves. Denver: Next Stage Press, 2017.

Cart Before the Horse: The Short Plays of John Patrick Bray. St. Louis: Polychoron Press, 2016.

“Goodnight Lovin’ Trail.” Los Angeles Original Works Publishing, Inc., 2015.

(See CV for full list of publications)

Courses Regularly Taught:
Of note:


UGA Online Learning Fellow

UGA Mentor Program 

UGA Teaching Academy Fellow (2012-2013)

Sandy Beaver Award for Teaching Excellence Recipient (2018)

Founding member and moderator of Athens Playwrights Workshop (2011-Present)



Short: ESCAPISM, written by JP Bray (adapted from his stage play Friendly’s Fire), produced by The Bray Brothers, Dir. Gregory Bray        SAG/AFTRA Microbudget. 

           Winner: Faculty Award of Excellence, Film and Video Competition, Broadcast Education Association (BEA) On-Location.                     Event, 2023. 

            Official Selection: MMM (Music, Movie, Mic Drop) Festival, NYC, September 2023. 

            Official Selection: Talking It Out Film Festival in Support of Mental Health Awareness (NYC/Virtual), May 5, 2023; 

           Talking It Out Festival Awards - Nominated: Best Picture, Best Screenplay; Winner Best Actor (Joseph Davis), Best Sound 

            Design (Brett Barry and Joseph Vlacos)

            Official Selection Milan Shorts Film Festival (Milan, Italy) July 28, 2023.

            Official Selection: Lift-Off Filmmaker Sessions - hosted by Lift-Off Global Network (London, England), June 2023.

            Official Selection: Sugar Loaf Film Festival, Chester, NY, September 2023.

            Official Selection:  Wicked Realm Film Festival Horseheads, NY), October 2023.

Independent Full-Length Feature: Liner Notes, written by JP Bray and Gregory Bray (from the stage plays Liner Notes and Watery Grave by JP Bray). A Bray Brothers Film. 

    Winner: First Place Faculty Feature Film, Broadcast Education Association Super-Regional Conference, with a screening in           South Carolina (2016). 

    Official Selection: 2016 Woodstock Film Festival 

    Official Selection: 2016 Hoboken International Film Festival (Finalist, Audience Choice) 

    Finalist: Best Screenplay – Chandler Film Festival, July 2016. Available to stream (rent or purchase) on 



Playwright-in-Residence with The Wallace Theatre April 2023 as part of their Page to Stage Program: development of Tracks with a public reading, April 16-April 29 at the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts (LHUCA). Reading: April 29, 2023. I developed the play further with Artistic Director Anna Hogan and Co-Directors Sarah Mayhew and Alan Winning. 

Semifinalist for the full-length play Tracks, Ashland New Play Festival, 2022. 

Finalist, Tracks, for the Studio Tenn. New Play Reading Series (SPT-contract), Tennessee (October 2022). 

Finalist, St. John of Suburbia for the UTC61 David Einhorn Award for Outstanding Absurdist Drama. Fall 2022. 

Semifinalist, B Street Theatre’s New Comedy Festival, 2020, for Dead Movement.

Official Selection, Tracks, aboutFACE Ireland’s NEWvember Encore Festival, Dublin May 2021. 

Official Selection, Rolling My Own, as part of Heartland Theatre’s 2020 Ten-minute play competition (production delayed due to COVID).

Semifinalist, New Voices Theatre Festival, Landing Theatre Co (for Tracks), 2020.

Semifinalist, O’Neill National Playwrights’ Center (for Tracks), 2019

Semifinalist, Ingram New Works Lab at Nashville Repertory Theatre, 2019. 

Friendly’s Fire, Official Selection LABA, produced at 14th St. Y with Rising Sun Performance Co., May 2019

Finalist, Franklin College at UGA’s Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award, 2018

Semi-Finalist, Princess Grace Playwriting Foundation Award, 2017 (Full-length play Friendly’s Fire)

Finalist, Kernodle Playwriting Award, 2016 (Full-length play Friendly’s Fire)


My Graduate Students

Sloan Elle Garner

PhD Theatre & Performance Studies

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