Debbie Jones
Founding Partner - Dora Mae Productions


Debbie Jones








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Jones started her work in theatre as an actor in college under the mentorship of an extraordinary 88 year old, 4-feet 11-inch nun, Sister Mary Donatus IHM.  With Donatus at her back, she took every opportunity on campus and off to put up a show.   Jones put herself through graduate school working political sketch comedy in the back room of Mr. Henry's in Georgetown with Roberta Flack on the piano in the front room.  In 1968, she joined the Midsummer/Orestia tour of the National Players out of Washing D.C.  As Titania and/or Clytemnestra, Jones performed 1 night stands six nights a week for 10 months.  In the process she became an excellent driver of the tour's station wagons and eventually performed in 37 states.  Then she went to New York.

The New York underground theater scene was electricity for her work.  The shift in emphasis from actor to writer/director was like coming home.  Jones is an intense collaborator.  She has directed original works (her own and other playwrights) at innovative off-off houses including HERE Arts Center, The Mint, New Voice and on Theatre Row.  Her collaboration with the brilliant solo performer, Samantha Jones, resulted in Butterfly Suicide which was one of 12 shows selected for the prestigious Sola Nova Arts Festival at P.S. 122. 

 

Jones' love for playwriting evolved in the pre-dawn hours of Manhattan where she first wrote on an old Royal typewriter then on a succession of computers.  (The typewriter still works.)  Her craft grew through rehearsals and her considered experience as a teacher of writing.  Jones served as playwright-in-residence at four established off-Broadway houses including Manhattan Class Company and Circle Rep.  Her play, Jeremy Rudge, was produced in New York at The Mint Theatre with Austin Pendleton and Becky Ann Baker.  Her play, The Breezeway, was produced in New York at The American Theatre for Actors.  In 2007 she co-wrote and directed the independent feature film, The Last Christmas Party, for Dora Mae Productions. 

 

Throughout her years in theatre, the beginnings of her short stories collected in the back of an old file cabinet.  Writing these short stories gave Jones a freedom to explore place she hadn't found in the dialogue of her plays.  And it was a real pleasure to write about the place where she grew up putting on shows in Susan Peters' garage so she pulled together a short story collection for publication.  Tales of Wonder from the Garden State is an award-winning finalist in The USA Best Books 2011 Awards. 

 

In 2007, Jones was selected by The Dramatists' Guild as one of the "Top 50 to watch."  She is the recipient of the prestigious Berilla Kerr Award for her body of work in New York theatre.  Jones wrote for the syndicated TV series Happiness, which was the recipient of both The Film Advisory Award for Excellence and the Dove Award.  She is a founding partner of Dora Mae Productions, a member of The Dramatists' Guild, PEN American, the UFT,  AEA and Alpha Psi Omega.  She attended Immaculata College for her BA in English and earned her Master's Degree from Columbia University in English Education.  Jones thoroughly enjoyed teaching Latin, and writing at The Center School, a public middle school in New York City, for 19 years. 





Dora Mae Jones
Dora Mae Jones
(3/1/91-9/6/01)

Dora was the real star of Dora Mae Productions. She lived on the Upper West Side for 10 years. She enjoyed long walks in the Ramble, warm naps in the sun, good company, and squeaky toys with faces! She is deeply missed and will always be our muse.




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