Kenneth Jones is a New York City-based playwright, lyricist, librettist and freelance theatre journalist. ByKennethJones.com is the official website about his creative work, but it also serves as a news site about new plays and musicals, dramatists, theatre people, creative expression and events, and as an archive of some of his past reporting.
His works for the stage include the play Alabama Story, which was a finalist in the 2014 National Playwrights Conference of the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. It received its world premiere in January 2015 in a production by Pioneer Theatre Company. Karen Azenberg directed. In 2016, it will have three separate Equity productions, in Florida, Wisconsin and Massachusetts, as well as its university premiere in Detroit.
Alabama Story was a nominee for the 2016 Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award.
His play, Two Henrys, a three-character drama about grief, family, forgiveness and Midwestern temperaments in the age of AIDS, was a 2015 semi-finalist in the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference and (in a revised version) was a semi-finalist in the NPC in 2016. It was one of three plays that received development in Pioneer Theatre’s 2016 Play-By-Play Reading Series in Salt Lake City.
His new play Hollywood, Nebraska, got a June 2016 reading the NewTACTics Festival of New Plays by Off-Broadway’s TACT/The Actors Company Theatre.
Some of his dramatic writing can be found at NewPlayExchange.com.
Jones also penned book and lyrics for the musicals Voice of the City (music by Elaine Chelton) and Naughty/Nice (music by Gerald Stockstill); as well as songs with composers Roger Anderson, Marek Norman, Brad Ross and others.
For their theatre songs, Stockstill and Jones are the recipients of the 2010 Dottie Burman Songwriting Award from the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs (MAC). Naughty/Nice was a finalist in the National Alliance for Musical Theatre Festival. It was published in fall 2015 by Steele Spring Stage Rights.
Voice of the City was seen in the Developmental Reading Series of York Theatre Company and in a workshop by Human Race Theatre Company (both presentations directed and choreographed by Karen Azenberg).
His songs have been heard at 54 Below, Ars Nova, Joe’s Pub, the Zipper Theatre, the Laurie Beechman Theatre, the Metropolitan Room and elsewhere. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild, BMI and the advanced BMI-Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop.
His work as a journalist includes 15 years as a leading writer and editor at Playbill.com and 10 years as a theatre reporter and critic for The Detroit News, including four seasons as chief theatre critic. His writing has also appeared in TDF Stages, SDC Journal, Back Stage, A&E Magazine, Playbill magazine, The Detroit Jewish News, The Oakland Press and elsewhere. He has also written liner notes for DRG Records. His songs have been heard on “A New York City Christmas” (Ghostlight/Sh-K-Boom) and on singer Maxine Linehan’s album of Petula Clark songs, “What Would Petula Do?,” for which he and Stockstill penned the title track.