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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 and a residency at Hangar Theatre, and Winner of the Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights. His plays and monologues are published with Applause Theatre and Cinema Books, Smith and Kraus, Next Stage Press, Original Works Publishing, Heartland Plays, Off the Wall Plays; and in The Coachella Review, For Stage and Screen, and Masque and Spectacle. 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. 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. Bray has also been an Online Learning Fellow, and a Teaching Academy Fellow. His essays have been published with Theatre Topics, New England Theatre Journal, 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 chapter to The Composer on Screen. 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. 


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)

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