STRAIGHT FACED LIES
Winner of the 2013 Planet Connections Theatre Festivity Award for Outstanding Playwriting
A gripping, fiercely funny drama about a no-holds-barred family Thanksgiving, in which a manipulative mother fights for control, a son tries to hide a secret, a daughter wrestles with an unexpected pregnancy, and surprises pour out like stuffing. Straight Faced Lies made its world premiere in June 2013 in New York City as a featured production in the Planet Connections Theater Festivity.
"This work is extremely well written: one of those vivid, larger-than-life, tragicomedies where our emotions turn on a dime as the characters battle each other and, more fundamentally, themselves. This is definitely a piece you'll want to check out for yourself, especially if you're interested in tracing the great American Family Drama from the days of another Williams (Tennessee) through the world of Inge and Albee right up to the more contemporary incarnations of Tracey Letts and Richard Greenberg. This Williams (Mark Jason) spins his tale of archetypal mother, son, daughter, sister, and long-lost father with equal parts compassion, wit, and danger." --nytheatre.com
"A smart, well-written, humorous, and intricate script, Straight Faced Lies left me wanting more. The twists and turns in this hilarious drama is a testament to the strong writing of playwright Mark Jason Williams."
"A triumph...secrets and delusions explode in clusters of drama and hilarity. Witty repartee leads to character development and audience investment. Snappy dialogue and superior plotting make Straight Faced Lies a delight."
Recovery is an authentic, funny and compelling drama whose characters confront love, regret, life and death. Recovery’s characters are connected by their confrontation with leukemia--a catalyst that brings to the fore the ultimate questions about the essential meaning of existence, the challenges of facing death, and the will to continue and forge new, meaningful connections. Recovery is a play about maintaining one’s sense of self, sense of humor and dignity.
Recovery has been produced by the Barrow Group Theatre Company, an award-winning Off-Broadway company as part of its 2014 TGB Staged Reading Series. The show has been performed as an official selection of the 2013 Capital Fringe Festival, 15th Annual New York International Fringe Festival, 2011 Minnesota Fringe Festival, and the 2010 Planet Connections Theatre Festivity.
Scenes from Recovery were also part of a special event at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center earlier this year featuring stars of Broadway and television performing select works created by current and former patients involved in the hospital's Visible Ink writing program. I'm a survivor of childhood leukemia, which lends a certain authenticity to Recovery, though the play is not about me, but rather the story of the courageous patients, doctors, and nurses I met while in the hospital.
"Stands out strongly as an authentic piece of theater clearly written from the heart, armed with courage and a contagious sense of humor to confront even the most challenging situations." -- ShowBusiness Magazine
"Quirky, edgy material with unflinching honesty and the right light touch." -- Backstage
"Recovery strikes a balance between humor and truth. Patients, all facing love and loss differently, tell stories of anger, denial and sadness, but also of hope and strength and support. There are plenty of witty comebacks, charm and comedy. Recovery is a reminder of the strength of human connections." -- Washington City Paper
"Recovery has authenticity. Very funny. Poignant. Compelling. Will truly move you." -- Curtain Up
"It's a shared belief that hope triumphs, even in the face of death, and that belief comes across strongly in Williams' work. Recovery uncovers the human desire to connect despite the uncertainty of our fate. It is funny, bittersweet, and delivered with great naturalism." -- We Love DC
"Williams doesn't portray his characters as victims, but reminds us that they are all very much like us, despite having leukemia. We totally relate to [their] yearning for love which makes us root for these characters, not pity them. Overall, Recovery has a great raw emotional, universal quality." --nytheatre.com
"A powerful exploration feeling at times like an interwoven fabric of memory [that] allows us to see two people falling in love, forgetting for brief moments that they're patients, in an ongoing search for normalcy and control...within a Brechtian cycle of waiting rooms and relapses. The structure is smart and defies expectations." -- DC Theatre Scene
"Bright, heartfelt, moving...Recovery leaves you feeling grateful. It gives you the sense of many different worlds of experience and expands your horizons. FOUR stars"
-- DC Metro Theater Arts
"Beautifully written and at times funny, Recovery is a poignant and thoughtful exploration of life and death, relationships, and hope" -- cherryandspoon.com
The Other Day
The Other Day is a play about the complexities of intimate relationships that follows the story of Mark and Santo, contrapuntal characters involved in a loving, yet tumultuous romance, and Dina, their outspoken friend who is dealing with the frustrations and unhappiness of her fragile marriage. Together, these characters embark on an emotional journey through insecurities, addiction, betrayal, love, loss and redemption that will lead to important discoveries and redefine their relationships with surprising results.
An official selection of the 2013 Fresh Fruit Festival, 2011 Chicago Fringe Festival, and the 2011 Planet Connections Theatre Festivity
Winner of the 2011 Planet Connections Award for Outstanding Playwriting of a New Script
"From the moment the show started, I could tell this play was written from the heart and soul of a talented playwright. Smart and humorous, Mark's writing was so raw and honest that it made me constantly think about how much of this story was autobiographical and how much of it was loosely based upon truth. Either way, "The Other Day" had me enthralled from beginning to end. As compelling and emotional as this play was, it also had it's fair share of humor and very relatable moments, especially in the world of dating and each of the characters trying to find themselves." -- CallMeAdam.com
"An authentic, funny, and powerful drama."
-- Gay City News
All information is copyright protected by Mark Jason Williams. Script samples, additional reviews and purchase options are available at INDIE THEATER NOW.