Home About Joe Screenplays Plays Books & Articles

Joe Gilford



Find a selection of Joe Gilford’s plays at


Full Length Plays


New York premiere at Ensemble Studio Theatre in 2013. Nominated for two Drama Desk Awards, Outstanding Play and Outstanding Leading Actress(Miriam Silverman) and for the Off-Broadway Alliance’s Best New Play award.  This is the story of the struggles of blacklisted actors in New York during the McCarthy period of the 1950s, based on the real-life characters Joe Gilford’s parents, actors Jack and Madeline Gilford. Critically acclaimed, it is also a streaming audio podcast from the Radio Drama Network and was videotaped for Lincoln Center’s Theater on Film & Tape collection.

Click to see more about FINKS   Click to watch video about FINKS     Published by Dramatists Play Service


The story of traumatic brain injury in football. Set in a remote town in southwestern Pennsylvania, a football mom who is also a pathology lab technician struggles with the decision of allowing her son to continue as a football star, with NFL dreams. It is also the story of a former NFL star who is deteriorating from chronic brain disease. Danny’s Brain is the recipient of a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation through the auspices of Ensemble Studio Theatre.

Click for detailed synopsis. READ IT at the New Play Exchange


Edwin Armstrong had already invented a circuit that had revolutionized early radio. Now he was ready with a new innovation: FM, a clearer stronger radio signal. But he needed his longtime colleague David Sarnoff to launch it. Sarnoff was the king of broadcasting, having founded RCA and turned it into a media and manufacturing giant. FM would make him the absolute ruler of the airwaves. So the two set about to change the world together. But for Armstrong this led to a decade of frustration, betrayal and ultimately his suicide. A story of the growth of technology and media power in the mid-20th century.


That 40-something couple you always see at the end of the bar necking furiously just before closing? It’s Diana and Mickey. She’s a New York social worker. He’s a gonzo journalist. And they just  can’t seem to get it together–even though they’re completely in love with each other. An urban comedy about the power of mismatched love. Produced at the Westbank Downstairs, NYC.

One Act Plays

IN AISLE 4 (10 min.)

A young woman and an older man meet by chance in their neighborhood supermarket for the first time since the end of their passionate love affair. Produced at Ensemble Studio Theatre. READ IT at the NEW PLAY EXCHANGE.

KNOCKDOWN(30 min.)

Seven characters are brought together at the scene of a traffic fatality.  Produced at Todd Mountain Theater Project, Roxbury, NY. READ IT at the NEW PLAY EXCHANGE

NOT TUNISIA(50 min.)

1954: the CIA-backed invasion of Guatemala. Two radio operators–a veteran of the old days of WWII and a new recruit, are poised to send the signal to launch the invasion. But within the next hour, they will confront the truth of their patriotism and the mission of their government. Produced at Todd Mountain Theater Project; Naked Angels, NYC; Alices’s 4th Floor, NYC. READ IT at the NEW PLAY EXCHANGE

SETTLEMENT (12 min.)

The greatest divorce lawyer of his generation, Reuben Mandel, instructs a young divorcee on the necessary spoils of the end of a marriage and a family. READ IT at the NEW PLAY EXCHANGE

NO FAULT (20 min.)  A young cabbie learns from two seasoned African-American truck drivers what it means to tell the truth.

Other scripts available on request.

FINKS can be purchased online at

Dramatists Play Service