Arthur M. Jolly

Arthur M. Jolly (born 1969) is an American playwright and screenwriter. In 2006, he was awarded an Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting for his comedy The Free Republic of Bobistan.[1][2]

Arthur M. Jolly
Sussex, U.K.
Occupationscreenwriter, playwright

Early lifeEdit

Jolly was born in Lewes, England, the son of Sir Richard Jolly, a development economist, and Lady Alison Jolly, a primatologist. He graduated from Stuyvesant High School in 1987, where he was a student of Frank McCourt. From 1988 to 1998, Jolly worked in New York City as a stunt performer and special effects artist, garnering over 160 credits and doubling numerous actors including Adrien Brody, Norman Reedus and Freddie Prinze, Jr. During this time, Jolly had his first publication, the short story Dancing with Fire.[3]

In 1998, Jolly moved to Northern California to become a helicopter pilot - a career that would last for eight years, flying tourists into the Grand Canyon, fighting forest fires in Northern Idaho, and teaching U.S. Army pilots in Fort Rucker, Alabama.[4]


After his short play Howie’s Last Words was accepted into the Summer Shorts Festival[5] of the Miami City Theatre and given a full equity production in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Jolly moved to Los Angeles to write full-time,[6] although currently resides in Houston, Texas. He is the playwright of over 60 produced plays, many of which have been published. In 2006, Jolly was awarded a Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In 2013, Jolly was named an alternate for the Fox Writers Intensive. In 2017, he was awarded the Hammond House International Literary Prize for a Screenplay for his screenplay Eight Ball,[7] and in 2018 his play The Lady Demands Satisfaction won the Todd McNerney National Playwriting Award.[8] In 2019, he was invited to participate in the Alley at Ucross writing retreat - a collaboration between the Alley Theatre and the Ucross Foundation.[9] He has been a featured Artist at the Valdez Last Frontier Theatre Conference (2016, 2017 & 2019)[10] He is a member of the Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights, the WGAw Caucus and the Dramatists Guild, and is represented by Brant Rose Agency.

Writing styleEdit

Jolly writes comedies and realist dramas, but often with heightened language and characters that are self-aware. His dramas sometimes verge into dark territory and even physical violence, but always with an underlying sense of optimism. His characters struggle with the human condition, but frequently use humor to deal with personal problems and their inability to understand or handle their own emotions. This gives Jolly's work an uneasy blend of humor and pathos, where laughter is used to mask deep conflicts. The lightning fast turns from one to the other present an exciting challenge for many actors and directors, and also make monologues from Jolly's plays a favorite at auditions and International Thespian Festival competitions. He has a reputation as a writer of strong roles for women, and many of his plays involve female-centric story lines (A Gulag Mouse, Trash, Past Curfew) or gender reversals where roles traditionally thought of as male are written as female. (Long Joan Silver)

Stage PlaysEdit



  1. ^ "Academy Nicholl Fellows 1986–Present". Retrieved February 6, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Lindeen, Julie (October 5, 2006). "Acad sets Nicholl finalists". Daily Variety. Retrieved February 6, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ [3] Sun Sentinel review of Summer Shorts Festival 2005
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ "UCross & The Alley Theatre Announce ALLEY AT UCROSS Collaboration". Broadway World. 18 September 2019.
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Babes With Blades Theatre Company Announces Winner of Joining Sword & Pen". Broadway World. 1 April 2017.
  12. ^ "McNerney National Playwriting Contest". 2018.
  13. ^ "David Mark COhen Playwriting Award". 2020.
  14. ^ "Little Fish Theatre has best seller in "The Ithaca Ladies Read Medea"". 10 April 2016.
  15. ^ [4] Medford Playwright Wins Competition
  16. ^ Joining Sword With Pen Competition announced
  17. ^ [5] Nicholl fellows 1986-present
  18. ^ [6] Daily Variety - Acad sets Nicholl finalists
  19. ^ [7] Film Threat Review

External linksEdit