A serio-comic look at three generations of women taking a Sunday ride, with the humor, affection and near-demented discord that arises when family is in close proximity for more than ten minutes.
  • IN5
    A woman's life, seen from five different angles. Featuring La Lucha, nu-jazz interpreters of modern jazz standards, plus Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Jeff Rupert and special guests.. COMING TO TIMUCUA August 22 & 23, 2020
    A contemporary play about 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.
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    A storyteller returns to her home town to recapture a relationship with the girl she loved in high school ... a relationship that may or may not have ever existed. Music by Mark Feinman.
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    TOM WAITS FOR NO MAN: the ballad of bobby ace
    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.
    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.
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    A young woman forms a relationship with a disembodied voice in the night; a veteran late-night radio personality. Music by John C. O'Leary.
  • THE SHORT PLAYS See more


    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.


    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?

    TEMPUS The end of Swing. The birth of Cool. The Old World meets the Jazz Age.
    THE BAND OF DRUNKS They're young, wild and talented, hard-drinking, hard-living rock stars of their age ... Russia, in 1859.
    THE LITTLE DICKENS Someone has stolen London's Christmas puddings; it's up to the children of Dickens to solve the mystery.
    THE OPERA PROJECT Stay tuned...


    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


  • Winner: BroadwayWorld Orlando Awards • Community Foundation of Jacksonville Art Ventures Fund Grant • United Arts Professional Development Grant 2012, 2009 • Florida Division of Cultural Affairs Individual Artist Fellowship • Telly Award • Galati Research Grant • "Playing by the Lake" Festival • Three time associate artist, Atlantic Center for the Arts.

REVIEWS See more

  • "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

  • "House Theater Project will expand the definition of live performance."

    United Arts of Central Florida

  • "The idea is to make the audience think about people other than themselves, to make them feel like they’re overhearing a private conversation,” Hayes says of his play that defies neat pigeonholing. “It’s a comic, tragic nonmusical musical,” he says. “It’s the way people are. It’s real life.”

    Orlando Sentinel

  • "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, A Slow Ride, 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.


My plays take place on buses and in bars, in hotel rooms and government offices, farmhouse kitchens and jazz stages. 43 productions and readings of my work 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

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.

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. Chair of WORD PLAY alternative programming, Timucua Arts Foundation.