Playwrights, Composers, Lyricists and Authors
Jeffrey Payne (Email me!)
Jeff Payne was born in Kansas City, Missouri where he started writing at a young age. At age seven his first book was selected for the Missouri State Young Author’s Conference. His first play, To Kill a Southerner, was produced during Jeff’s sophomore year at North Kansas City High School.
Since then he’s written three novels including Far From the War, one of the most critically acclaimed indie novels of 2011. The Bookscape Report called it “an important novel... one of the most interesting and captivating dystopian novels I've ever read.” Young Adult Book Reviews called it “an astounding read.”
Jeff’s written a number of plays over the years including On the Floor, Cindy Squared, Blue Toxic, and The Bitterness. His political thriller Transition Team was featured in the 2007 Kansas City Playwrights Festival. More recently, Jeff co-wrote Guns of Ireland, an original musical about Ireland’s 1798 Wexford Rebellion and the 1916 Easter Rising. During its sold out run in May of 2015, Guns of Ireland garnered national media attention with The National Review calling it “a vessel for creative and rooted healing.” The Tri-City Herald called it “beautifully written” and “a once in a lifetime experience.”
On the lighter side, Jeff spent time as a stand-up comic where routinely opened for national touring comedians like Dave Coulier and Bobcat Goldthwaite. He studied comedy writing in Chicago at The Second City.
Jeff’s a techie at heart and studied Technical Theatre at the University of St. Mary. He interned under Obie Award winning lighting designer Jeffrey S. Koger at Maine State Music Theatre. As a lighting designer and lighting programmer, Jeff has worked with the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, The Stephen Sondheim Center for Performing Arts, and Mid-Columbia Music Theatre. He’s also worked with major touring artists including Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, Reba McIntire, and the late Gregory Hines.
His wife Kathryn teaches middle school drama and introduced him to the joy of writing for young actors. He wrote The Day Skinny Jeans Saved the Universe for her class and has recently completed a new play for Mrs. Payne’s class called A Play About Bacon and Robots. With the help of composer Nina Powers (Guns of Ireland), he’s also working on a new musical based on The Jungle by Upton Sinclair.
He currently lives in Washington State with his wife Kathryn and son Oliver.
For more information, see JeffreyDavidPayne.com