Josiah Thomas Turner


Josiah Thomas Turner is an MFA Playwriting Candidate at the The University of Texas at Austin, class of 2022. Born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Josiah received his Undergraduate degree in Drama from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point. For his first full-length play, UNCLE TOM'S NEPHEWS, Josiah received the 2019 National Undergraduate Playwright Award from the Kennedy Center's American College Theatre Festival, as well as being named runner up for the Loraine Hansberry Award. The piece was also a semi-finalist for the 2019 Playwrights Realm Scratchpad Series. Josiah’s short play, GEORGE, JESSE AND MARY was named a finalist for the John Cauble Outstanding One-Act Play award. He was also the recipient of the 2019 Ken Ludwig Playwriting Scholarship.



My work, up until this point, has been created with the singular goal of truthfully interpreting the world through the lens of my own eyes. Through the eyes of a young, gay, black man brought up in middle-class Wisconsin during the age of technology. I consider myself quite lucky to have all of these traits and experiences, as it has not only made my life interesting, but has also blessed me with a unique voice. 

This voice has been moulded by the teachers who have trained me, the mentors who have helped develop my work and by the respected playwrights who have come before me, those who have inspired me to take up this craft.

My dream is not to be the next Edward Albee or Annie Baker, but instead to affect the hearts, minds and sentiments of the audience as effectively as they have; to entertain, to educate and to change lives.My work has always been made with an aim of being inclusive, honest and original.

I take my work very seriously, and I find myself in a constant state of creation. I love every moment.

I have three main goals with my work. The first is to bring challenging and rewarding roles to a more diverse selection of actors and to pursue a more inclusive theatre that better represents the face of America. I want to create roles for the Queer community and POC, roles which do not hinge on the “One Story” rhetoric Hollywood and even theatre today peddles to these people groups. Blacks have been told too long that they are only good to tell stories of servitude or violence, Latinx actors have been shoved into the narrative of sexy, exotic casting choice, while every other minority, those included, have been paraded in our writing as props and set dressing for the use of the white, usually male protagonist. My plays aren’t necessarily written around a character’s race or sexual orientation, yet I do require in certain roles that a certain ethnicity be cast. To break the mould and tell the truth; we have more stories to tell.

The second is to spark a conversation. My plays always present the audience with a story, ideas, thoughts, feelings, opinions and challenges. This isn’t to teach, but instead to spark discussion amongst ourselves by exposing our own biases and opinions. The only way to create change is to create a dialogue.

Thirdly, and more personally, I aim to develop a style unique and honest to myself. I admire those artists who followed their own convention and sparked a new kind of theatre, a new style. Suzan Lori Parks, David Mamet, Annie Baker; these are the contemporaries who inspire me to respect convention but craft my own voice. I find that I appreciate and am drawn to a more natural language and less contrived plot structure than is seen in some modern playwriting. It may shift in the future, but I believe in the freedom to follow my impulses and experiment as I come into my own.







Full-Length Plays:



One-Act Plays:


 - MonologueBank

QUEER - MonologueBank



Short Plays:







NOTE FROM MonologueBank

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Items: 19 of 11, per page
  Source Title Author Description Free sample
Josiah Thomas Turner

A camp counselor learns not to sweat the little things, or the big ones.

Josiah Thomas Turner

Jesse Washington, falsely accused of a crime he didn’t commit, describes how he crossed The River.

Josiah Thomas Turner

Young, pregnant Mary Turner describes how she crossed The River.

Josiah Thomas Turner

A young gay man tries to comfort his friend who has recently been diagnosed with HIV.

Josiah Thomas Turner

A young gay man weighs the consequences of his recent HIV diagnosis.

Josiah Thomas Turner

A young gay man, outed by an HIV diagnosis, contemplates beauty and suicide.

Josiah Thomas Turner

A black man relives a violent night in 1961 Birmingham, Alabama.

Josiah Thomas Turner

A young black woman retells the events of the evening leading to her sexual assault.

Josiah Thomas Turner

A young cook trapped in a bleak situation lightens his spirit with an anecdote.

Items: 19 of 11, per page