JOEL JONES was born in Appleton, Wisconsin and grew up in Laurens, South Carolina and Charlottesville, Virginia. After studying Anthropology and Classics at the College of Charleston, and an unsuccessful attempt at a graduate school career in the social sciences, and an even more unsuccessful attempt at a musical career in New York, Jones found himself back in Charlottesville as a nascent art and theater scene was growing in the 1990s. There Jones learned to write plays and comedy sketches as part of the newly-founded Offstage Theatre and Live Arts Theater.
Since then Jones has written more than two dozen short plays that have seen more than fifty productions in Charlottesville, New York, Boston, and beyond. His most popular short works are his ‘Barhoppers’ plays (including Answer Man, Perfect Guy, Tragic Hero, Big Fish Little Fish, Regatta Club Freud, and Haven’t We Met Someplace Before), short comedies set in bars and written to be performed in bars, taverns, pubs, and restaurants. Jones was Playwright-In-Residence of New York’s Third Man Productions, which staged his Barhoppers plays monthly in the West Village for two years, and staged his full-length verse comedy, Shrug Like You Mean It, at the Kraine Theater. Jones’ short plays Tragic Hero, Big Fish Little Fish, and Answer Man appeared to rave reviews as part of the United Kingdom’s Bite-Size Plays productions in the Brighton Fringe and Edinburgh Fringe.
In 2011 Jones wrote and performed his critically-acclaimed solo show Life Insurance in the New York International Fringe Festival and Washington DC’s Capital Fringe Festival.
Jones’ full-length play productions include his works Shrug Like You Mean It, Fortune In Antarctica, Floating Girl, and The Election. Other full-lengths (that have received staged readings) include Floating Girl, The Amazing Bruno, Snake Girl, and the Memory Palace of Coney Island, and the unfinished Miraculous.
Jones returned to his hometown of Charlottesville in 2012 with his lovely wife Jennifer and their brand new daughter Ellie, in order to launch Big Blue Door. Through Big Blue Door Jones teaches writing, storytelling, and longform improv.