Playwright, Director, and Occasional Actor
Playwright, Director, and Occasional Actor
BILL HYATT 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 plays include It Came From Fukushima (Fringe Review - 2016 "Recommended Show"), How to Make a Video (2016 TBA Award, "Outstanding Production of an Anthology"), Christmas in Chechnya (2003 Backstage West Critic's List for Playwriting), Babe Hunting Season - an almost romantic comedy, Let it Ride, The Day I Lost My Boots, The Beauty of Growing Older and Gray.
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 described the play as "an unrelentingly 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 is not for the faint of heart." 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 yet searing look at 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 director, Bill is always thrilled to collaborate with his fellow theater-makers, including with playwrights, actors, designers, producers and the technical team. Bill's directorial vision is that through collaboration, the theater-markers identify and achieve their shared and individual artistic visions, and, in dialogue with the audience, communicate, discover, and experience the truths of the work and of their shared humanity.
Bill has directed many world- and west-coast premieres, and he has directed many established plays, Most recently, Bill has directed several world premiere one act plays which allowed him to collaborate with several playwrights to achieve their shared and individual artistic visions. Recent direction of one-act anthologies include PCSF Best Short Plays of 2020 and PCSF Best Short Plays of 2019, which were both produced by the Playwrights Center of San Francisco. 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." Although Bill finds each directing engagement challenging and fulfilling, perhaps his most thrilling directorial experience was not an individual effort on an original play, but 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. entry into Iraq.
Bill was the founder and facilitator of both the Playwrights' Workshop at the Company of Angels (Los Angeles' oldest repertory theater) and the Playwrights' Workshop at the Coop Theater. Additionally, he facilitated a playwrights' workshop at FirstStage (Hollywood, CA). Bill is a longtime member of the Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights (ALAP). Since moving to the Bay Area in 2004, Bill has become a member of the Pear Playwrights' Guild and the Playwrights' Center of San Francisco (PCSF).
Bill doesn't act too much, anymore. His most recent performance was his 35 minute (!) monologue, The Beauty of Growing Older, in an evening of monologues. 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