Playwright, Director, and Occasional Actor
Playwright, Director, and Occasional Actor
BILL HYATT (He / Him / His) is a playwright and director (and occasional actor). Bill's plays often focus on the effects of governmental and social injustice, the capacity of individuals to take meaningful actions against injustice, and the consequences when those actions are taken. And sometimes Bill writes comedies.
Bill's produced full length plays and long one act plays include It Came From Fukushima (Fringe Review - 2016 "Recommended Show"), Christmas in Chechnya (2003 Backstage West Critic's List for Playwriting), Babe Hunting Season - an almost romantic comedy, and The Beauty of Growing Older (a solo performance piece). Bill's produced short one act plays include How to Make a Video (2016 TBA Award, "Outstanding Production of an Anthology"), Banana on the Shelf, Games: A Short Sex Comedy, Gray, Land of Freedom, Let it Ride, and The Day I Lost My Boots.
Bill's most political play, Christmas in Chechnya, was written shortly after the U.S. 2003 entry into Iraq. The play examines how wartime environments foster genocide, lawlessness and war crimes. Backstage West placed Christmas in Chechnya on its Critic's "Best of" List of plays produced in 2003 and described the play as a "...harsh slice of inhumanity. Set among a group of Russian soldiers, this depiction of man's descent from optimistic devotion through unwilling perversion into a void of feeling...expertly crafts a disturbing view into souls both blackened by and combating hate." Christmas in Chechnya received seven Garland nominations, including Garland nominations for Production, Playwriting, Direction, and Performance (4 actors each received individual Garland nominations for their performances). Bill continued his examination of the political and personal effects of war in his short play The Light Blue Sea, which looks at the confusion and consequences of soldiering in an ill-defined war-zone (Afghanistan).
Bill's most recently produced full-length play, It Came From Fukushima, reflects his fascination with political and economic realities: It Came From Fukushima is a comedic critique of capitalism, the business of energy extraction, and the implications of corporate greed. The Fringe Review found the play to be "thought provoking" noting that "in between the well-timed humor there are deep seated environmental issues and serious provocations, so this is theatre that cleverly informs, which is always a good thing – and the characters are so interesting that the information and warnings are woven into the dialogue and visuals."
As a theater director, Bill is always thrilled to collaborate with playwrights and other generative artists in the shepherding of their new works to the stage. In his two most recent directorial projects, PCSF Best Short Plays of 2020 and PCSF Best Short Plays of 2019, Bill had the opportunity to collaborate with several San Francisco Bay Area playwrights in the world- and west coast-premieres of their one act plays. About Bill's direction, Bay Area playwright Vonn Scott Bair said: "[Bill] directed the world premieres of two of my short historical plays, The Bridge and We Are All Jews Here. As a director, he works at a microscopic level to analyze a script and consistently brings out the best in his performers. Will happily work with him again!" In both the PCSF Best Short Plays of 2020 production and the PCSF Best Short Plays of 2019 production, a one act play that Bill directed was voted "Audience Favorite."
Bill also directs plays that are not premieres. About his direction of Blessings: An Evening of Two Lee Blessing Plays, Back Stage West wrote: "Hyatt shines here as a director with an ear for language: The musicality of this piece is in perfect tempo, pitch and rhythm." Perhaps his most thrilling directorial experience was not an individual effort on a fully-staged production, but rather a highly collaborative effort as one of many directors contributing to a staged reading of The Lysistrata Project (Ebell Theater, 2003), which was an international theatrical effort protesting the U.S. military entry into Iraq.
Bill is originally from Los Angeles, where he was a member of and resident artist at several Los Angeles-based theater organizations. At the Company of Angels (Los Angeles' oldest repertory theater), Bill was a playwright and director member and the founder and facilitator of the Playwrights' Workshop at the Company of Angels. At the Coop Theater (Black Box Theatre, Santa Monica, CA), Bill was an Associate Artist and the founder and facilitator of the Playwrights' Workshop at the Coop Theater. At FirstStage (Hollywood, CA), Bill was a playwright member and the facilitator of their playwrights' workshop. Bill is a longtime life-member of the Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights (ALAP).
Since moving to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2004, Bill has become an active member of several Bay Area-based theater organizations. Bill is a playwright member at the Playwrights' Center of San Francisco (PCSF), where he has also served as a One-act Festival Producer, a Literary Committee member, a theatrical director for several fully staged productions, and a video and sound editor for online theatrical presentations. Bill is a playwright member of the Pear Playwrights' Guild (Pear Theatre, Mountain View, CA), where he has also served as a One-act Festival Co-Producer and as the Playwrights' Guild Facilitator. Bill is an individual member of Theatre Bay Area (TBA), and, in 2017, Bill was a finalist for the TBA Titan Award for Playwrights/Generative Artists.
Bill is a member of the Dramatists Guild.
Bill doesn't act too much, anymore. His most recent performance was in his own 35 minute(!) monologue, The Beauty of Growing Older. He found the solo performance experience to be quite different than writing or directing or even performing within an ensemble. He now appreciates actors more than ever.
Bill currently divides his time between the tech-savvy Silicon Valley and the wine drenched slopes of Sonoma County, but he always remembers fondly his roots in sunny, smoggy and "totally trafficated" Los Angeles.
Bill Hyatt performing in THE BEAUTY OF GROWING OLDER. Coop Theater. 2006. Photo by Alex Moy