William Missouri Downs

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William Missouri Downs

William Missouri Downs

Bay City Michigan

William Missouri Downs, originally from Bay City, Michigan, is an American playwright, director and author.

William Missouri Downs[1] has won two rolling premieres from the National New Play Network National New Play Network.[2] and twice been a finalist at the Eugene O'Neill His plays have been produced by the Orlando Shakespeare Theatre,[3] the Wisdom Bridge Theatre in Chicago, the New York City Fringe Festival, The InterAct Theatre in Philadelphia,[4] The San Diego Rep,[5] the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (as part of the AT&T Performing Arts Festival), The Berkeley Repertory Theatre, the Salt Lake City Acting Company, the Actors Theatre of Charlotte, the International Theatre Festival in Israel, the Stadt Theater Walfischgasse in Austria, the Detroit Rep, the Durban Performing Arts Center in South Africa, and over 150 other theatres worldwide.

He holds an M.F.A. in acting from the University of Illinois and an M.F.A. in screenwriting from U.C.L.A. He was trained in playwriting by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lanford Wilson (5 July, Talley's Folly), in screenwriting by Oscar-winning screenwriter Stirling Silliphant (In the Heat of the Night, The Poseidon Adventure) and in directing by Oscar-nominated director Jerzy Antczak (Nights and Days). Bill also spent several years studying playwriting with Milan Stitt (Yale School of Drama) at The Circle Rep Theatre in New York City.

In Hollywood, Bill started as a script secretary on NBC's Moonlighting (Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd), and his acceptance into the prestigious Warner Brothers Sitcom Writing Workshop paved his way as a staff writer on NBC's My Two Dads (Paul Reiser). He also wrote episodes for the NBC shows Amen (Sherman Hemsley) and Fresh Prince Of Bel Air (Will Smith). In addition he sold a movie to Ron Howard's Imagine Films and optioned another to Filmways. While a student at UCLA film school, Bill won numerous screenwriting awards, including the Jack Nicholson prize.


Finalist at the Eugene O'Neill [6]

Beverly Hills Theatre Guild Julie Harris Award [7]

Rolling World Premieres from the National New Play Network [8]


  • Downs, William Missouri.; Wright, Lou Anne.; Ramsey, Erik. (2011). THE ART OF THEATRE : Then and Now. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth. ISBN 0-15-506325-1. 
  • Downs, William Missouri.; Wright, Lou Anne.; Ramsey, Erik. (2007). THE ART OF THEATRE : a Concise Introduction. Belmont, CA: Thompson Wadsworth. ISBN 0-495-00180-5. 
  • Downs, William Missouri; Russin, Robin U. (28 January 2005). NAKED PLAYWRITING: The Art, The Craft, And The Life Laid Bare. Silman-James Press. ISBN 1-879505-76-2. 
  • Russin, Robin U.; Downs, William Missouri (July 2003). SCREENPLAY: Writing the Picture. Silman-James Press. ISBN 1-879505-70-3. 
    • Russin, Robin U.; Downs, William Missouri (14 September 2005). Jak napisać scenariusz filmowy (in Polish). Wojciech Marzec. ISBN 83-922604-0-6. 
  • Downs, William Missouri; Wright, Lou Anne (14 August 1997). PLAYWRITING: From Formula to Form. Wadsworth Publishing. ISBN 0-15-503861-3. 



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