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    TOM WAITS FOR NO MAN: the ballad of bobby ace

    Tom Waits For No Man

    Bobby Ace; semi-professional third-rate road musician half-way between last call and last chance, playing the songs of Tom Waits in seedy saloons and half-empty roadhouses.



    A play about love, deception, the hardships and joys of the jazz existence and the fabulous, always-changing life of the music itself. Winner, BroadwayWorld Orlando Best Lead Actress in a Play.


    A Little Crazy

    A contemporary play about two men — Avram, an 84-year-old Russian immigrant, and his great-nephew, Harry and their sometimes turbulent relationship. Winner, United Arts of Central Florida Artist Development Grant.


    If I Had My Way

    The illogical logic of relationships and the threat of war in a small Florida citrus town. Winner, FDCA Individual Artist Fellowship; United Arts of Central Florida Professional Development Grant; Galati Research Grant.


    A Slow Ride

    Three generations of women take a Sunday ride, with all the tension, humor, affection and near-demented discord that arises when family is in close proximity for more than ten minutes.


    West Farms

    A worn man reminisces about an almost mythical drinking establishment from his childhood near the West Farms bus depot in the Bronx. Telly Award Winner.

  • the short plays


    Checking into a swank hotel, Mr. Thompson finds more than your typical amenities, including individual climate control, on-site fitness center, Internet access ... and Ethel, the Pest Elimination Companion. The Beast Festival Triangle Theatre NYC


    Ancient Lovecraftian gods or the Federal Goverment ... who is scarier?


    The end of Swing. The birth of Cool. The Old World meets the Jazz Age.


    Ray loves Carly. Carly loves Darryl, but can't remember why. Sandi loves Bill. Bill loves the waitress. James loves his son. Sam hates everyone. Staged reading and workshop, Lake County Repertory Theatre, Lower Lake CA 2004: Brian Williams; Norman Winckler; Frank Perry: Hank Porter; Moira Harris; Frances Leuck; Max Oken Finalist, "Playing by the Lake" Script Writing Festival 2003


    They're young, wild and talented, hard-drinking, hard-living rock stars of their age ... Russia, in 1859.


  • "Joseph Hayes is one of the new voices that can bring the theater to new audiences. His sense of dialogue and structure, his wit and awareness of the foibles of our society and the humanism that fill the pages of his work make him a true dramatist."

    David Amram

  • "It takes a particular mindset to be a Renaissance man, someone willing to wear the hats of playwright, music producer, freelance writer, radio personality, spoken-word performer, photographer and self-promoter. All those descriptions would fit Orlando arts advocate Joseph Hayes."

    Jim Abbott Orlando Sentinel

  • "A play by Joseph Reed Hayes is a welcome oasis of cultured smarts."

    Orlando Weekly

  • "Writer Joseph Reed Hayes has two nuggets of gold in A Little Crazy, a quiet little two-man comedy inspired by memories of his Russian Jewish grandfather."

    Orlando Sentinel

  • "The briskness of Hayes' comedy belies the title — it's certainly not slow going for an audience."

    Orlando Sentinel

freelance writer

  • As a writer on assignment, I've traveled to Italy, Scotland, England, New Orleans, California and New York City, with a specialty on all things Orlando. Whether it's a story about Arts & Crafts houses in Florida or new styles in computers, a Mounted Police squad or alien abduction insurance, I've written it. Environmental issues, music, movie and theater reviews and in-depth conversations with legends in jazz. Interviews and personality profiles are my specialty.

A full-time freelance writer since 1996, I've written for national and international publications about food, travel and the arts, and am currently the Dining Critic for Orlando Magazine. With 32 productions and readings of my plays from coast to coast and in three countries since 2001, and producer of the Jazz On Edge series since 2008, I advocate the cause of local, sustainable art.

food writer

  • Florida Magazine Association Award winning food writer and Orlando restaurant critic, currently for Orlando Magazine. James Beard Foundation judge, knowledgable champion of world cuisine and avid advocate of undiscovered chefs. I can write about the front of the house of a restaurant as well as the kitchen with equal expertise. Founding member, goFLA/SunshinePlate Central Florida.


  • My plays take place on buses and in bars, in hotel rooms and government offices, farmhouse kitchens and jazz stages. 32 productions and readings of my plays from coast to coast and in three countries since 2001; creator of House Theater Project and the year-long 13in13 series of shows. "Best local playwright - Joseph Hayes" - Orlando Sentinel

jazz producer

  • Producer of the Jazz On Edge series, spotlighting new and original jazz from Central Florida since 2008, showcasing the best that Central Florida has to offer in jazz to appreciative audiences, giving creative hometown and nationally-known musicians a place to perform their own music, without boundaries, in person and online. Board member, Timucua Arts Foundation.