• August 24, 1951 to February 26, 2021

     

    Rest in Peace, Bill

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    • bio

      BILL C. Davis is the author of MASS APPEAL – play and screenplay. MASS APPEAL premiered at Manhattan Theater Club and moved to Broadway. The play has been translated and performed around the world. As an actor he has performed the role of Mark Dolson with Milo O'Shea, Brian Keith and Charles Durning.

      His play DANCING IN THE END-ZONE premiered at the Coconut Grove Playhouse directed by Jose Ferrer and opened on Broadway the following year. It has been translated to French (Ligne Offensive) and is being readied for a Paris production under the direction of Mathilda May.

      He performed in his play WRESTLERS at the Cast Theater in Los Angeles where it was Critic's Choice LA Times and then moved to the Hudson Guild Theater in New York City. 

      His play SPINE premiered at the Cast Theater and was produced at The George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick NJ, in both cases under his direction. SPINE was later presented at The Barrow Group Theater in New York City.

      His play AVOW premiered at The George Street Playhouse and then moved to off-Broadway. The play's French translation, (Les Voeux du coeur) opened in Paris in 2015 and toured through France and Belgium in 2016.

      He directed his play COMING2TERMS at the Vineyard Playhouse in Martha's Vineyard in 2011. French translation and title – (Le Cocktail Humain) THE HUMAN COCKTAIL. 

      He also directed a workshop production of his play EXPATRIATE at Manhattan Theater Source.

      EXPATRIATE was translated to Czech and the play had its world premiere in Prague, November 2017 at Reznicka Theater where along with MASS APPEAL is running in repertory.

      His short story, FAMILY MEETING, was published by Dutton in a collection of short stories called “Dude.”

      BILL C. Davis has been artist in residence at Brooklyn College and at his alma mater Marist College. He was playwright mentor at Carnegie Mellon University.

      As well as adapting his play MASS APPEAL for a feature film, he wrote a teleplay for CBS television and Robert Greenwald Productions – “The Secret Path.”

      His most recent plays – THE GERMAN DOCTOR and CONCIERGE are being readied for production in Prague for the former and Paris for the latter.

      BILL C. Davis formed a production Company in 2015 – Harry Banks Productions. He has produced, written and directed two films under the banner of that production company – HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS – which received the award for best feature film and best writing for a film at Buffalo-Niagara International Film Festival in September 2017 – and he has just completed his film adaptation of AVOW, in August 2017.

      In the past several years he has been developing two musicals – VILLAGE RITES and OPEN FOR ME.

      While in Paris this past April (2018) he completed his newest play, SIP (Shelter In Place). 

       

       


      On posters I often see the last name of everyone involved - author, director, actors - printed in capital letters. I'm sure it's because last names are often more rare than first names. It also seems to honor the legacy of the ancestors who came before. I however don't feel a good deal of honor toward the name - "Davis." It is the name my father's father chose out of a phone book when he realized at the age of 20 that the name,"Gliserman," somehow disqualified him from decent employment in Boston in the early 20th century in America.

      The legacy of that name, which is shared by so many for so many reasons, has for me a note of capitulation about it. It's a conspiracy of cowardice, expediency, prejudice and Bell Telephone. He must have looked for the most populated name in the phone book and grabbed that one. The irony of this is that his doctor brother kept the name Gliserman and converted to Catholicism when he married his Scottish wife. Mr. Davis/Gliserman married an Irish woman and that marriage lasted not much past my father's second birthday. What did remain with him was that name with no lineage; with no chance to form a prejudgement. "Davis? Oh -you must be..." well - you could be anything. There's Bette; Sammy; Jefferson - more recently - Geena; Hope; Lanni; Angela.

      Out of this American gene swirl of Irish, Italian (my mother), and Russian-Jewish, the name printed on my birth certificate is - William Clarke Davis. Clarke was the maiden name for my Irish great grand-mother. "William" was for the Irish cop uncle to my father who was his stern, reportedly abusive, surrogate father.

      In college I would put on posters and title page for plays I was writing - bill c. davis - all lower case. If I had known about this family name business sooner I might have gone through the legal hoops to have it changed to at least one of the family names - DeNicola - Richardson or Gliserman - but I decided to concoct a name from what was given and now to put the emphasis not on the common last name but on that first abbreviated name of my own construction. - -

      Names like Coppola, Streisand, Schopenhaur, Camus, Dostoyevsky, Faulkner, Gielgud - all names with fiber - and shared by no one. Names like Allen,(Woody, Karen, Marty, Tim) Simon,(Paul, Carly, Neil) and Davis -create a family tree of unrelated and camouflaged folk. So I have asked going forward to have all scripts and publications present my name as -

      BILL C. Davis.

      I'm asking to let BILL C. be the trumpet; fortissimo - and Davis be pianissimo. And I thank all publishers and printers going forward for understanding and honoring this request.

       

       

             

      © Copyright 2016 by Bill C. Davis.

  • works

     

     

     

    • Translators for BILL C. Davis

        

      Eric Figueroa Acosta

      French translator

      THE HUMAN COCKTAIL (Le Cocktail Humain)

      DANCING IN THE END ZONE (Ligne Offensive)

       

       

       

      Dominique Hollier

      French translator

      AVOW (Les Voeux du Coeur)

      THE SEX KING (Der Sex König)

      CONCIERGE (Le Concierge) 

        

       

      Davy Sardou

      French translator

      MASS APPEAL

       

      Alain Malraux

      French translator

      EXPATRIATE (Expatrie)

       

      Felix Everding

      German translator

      MASS APPEAL (Und Mit Der Geist)

      THE SEX KING (Der Sexkönig)

      THE HUMAN COCKTAIL (Der Menschliche Cocktail)

       

      Alexander Jerie

      Czech translator

      MASS APPEAL (Odvolani)

      EXPATRIATE (Uteky)

      Josef Guruncz

      Czech translator

      THE HUMAN COCKTAIL (Lidský koktejl)

    • Actors Who Have Performed in Works by Bill C. Davis:

       

      MACKENZIE ASTIN

      KATHY BATES

      MEREDITH BAXTER

      ELIZABETH BERRIDGE 

      ZACH BOOTH

      DAN BUTLER

      GEORGE CLOONEY

      RICHARD COX

      TANDY CRONYN

      OSSIE DAVIS

      CHARLES DURNING

      RUPERT EVERETT

      ALAN FEINSTEIN

      MIGUEL FERRER

      JUNE GABLE

      TODD GEARHART

      RICHARD GILLILAND

      RONNIE GRAHAM

      CHRISTINA HAAG

      MARK HARMON

      JULIE HARRIS

      GINA HECHT

      FRANCIS HUSTER

      JEREMY JORDAN

      BRIAN KEITH

      RICHARD KILEY

      JUSTIN KIRK

      FRANCIS LALANNE

      LOUISE LATHAM

      JACK LEMMON

      KELLY MCANDREW

      CAMERON MITCHELL

      LOIS NETTLETON

      MICHAEL O'KEEFE

      MILO O'SHEA

      SARA JESSICA PARKER

      JEAN PIAT

      JANE POWELL

      ROSEMARY PRINZ

      DELLA REESE

      MICHAEL RUPERT

      DAVY SARDOU

      CHRISTOPHER SEIBER

      DAVID STRATHAIRN

      ELAINE STRITCH

      NIALL TOBIN

      JOHN TRAVOLTA

       

    • All Hallowed

       

      "We're in a cemetery - don't talk about Halloween in a cemetery. All the dead bodies will come to life and surround you and spit at you."

      All Hallowed

      Mid 1990's, a world war II vet and father of three is buried on Halloween. At the following reception hosted by his best friend,  the vet's youngest grandchild is determined to go trick-or-treating, as his three adult children struggle with each other and with decisions about their mother whom they hope is not losing her mind.

      Seven characters:

      Stephen – 40's, divorced, middle child, smart and sensitive 

      Alex – 50, his older brother, remote, competitive 

      Cindy – 40's, sister, scrappy, mother of two, on the verge of divorce 

      Marie – 70's, their mother, grief-stricken and befuddled 

      Dennis – 70's, family friend and the kindest man 

      Justin – 10, determined, resourceful 

      Travis –14, Justin's brother, smokes dope, cynical and questioning

       

      two acts

      one intermission 

    • Concierge

    • Avow

       

      "That's why the vow is there. It's the constant that everything else has to adjust to. Don't adjust the vow to fit the changes. That's madness."

      Avow

      Two young men ask their progressive parish priest to marry them. His refusal sets into motion intersecting emotional and spiritual journeys that test the structure of romance, sexuality, faith and family. Present day.

      Seven characters:

      Brian – 32, smart, handsome, ready

      Tom – 30, pensive, attractive

      Irene – 34, Brian's sister, sharp, artistic

      Fr. Raymond – 40's, charismatic, warm

      Rose – 60's, Brian and Irene's devout mother

      Fr. Nash – 60's, wise, ironic

      Julie – 70, salt of the earth

       

      two acts

      one intermission

      Dramatist Play Service

      (revised copy available)

       

    • Dancing in the End-Zone

       

      "'Where is it?" I laughed and he got so mad, because he really wanted to know where that good time was. But he looked so funny. His hair was full of leaf-chips, he had acorns in his pockets and flower-petals in the cuffs of his pants."

      Dancing in the End-Zone

      Star college quarterback is given drugs by his coach; is controlled by his adoptive mother and is being used by his tutor even as they share a mutual attraction. Recent past.

      Four characters:

      James – 22, an innocent aiming to please everyone as he looks for love everywhere

      Coach Biehn – 40's, a trim, hyper kinetic force using whatever he has to for a winning season

      Madeleine – 60's, confined to a wheelchair, possible hysterical paralysis, adores her son and will do anything to protect him except stop trying to protect him

      Jan – 27, attractive, sexy even, looking to change the world

       

      two acts

      one intermission

      Samuel French

      (revised copy available)

       

    • Expatriate

       

      "It's not fair or smart to think that Ireland is the place for your beautiful future. Your future is here - in America."

      Expatriate

      The great-grandson of an Irish immigrant decides after election 2004 that he wants to “return” to Ireland. The daughter of this Irish immigrant runs away from home after a disastrous Thanksgiving and goes to her grandson's house for his consolation and to reveal family secrets. Instead she discovers packed boxes. Meanwhile her son – the expatriate's father - follows her to bring her home to the husband she wants to divorce.  

      Three characters:

      Kemper – 34, handsome, strong, ethical, practical and poetic

      Muddy – 79, vulnerable, emotional, on the verge of tears often but recovers quickly, a real lover

      Kenneth  56, strong, successful working class guy, veteran, confrontational, emotionally wounded, caring

       

      90 minutes

      no intermission

    • The German Doctor

       

       

      "Seeing what we've seen it's hard to think of human beings as lovable. But they are. Loving them will make them so."

      The German Doctor

      present

      Four characters:

      Axel –  grandson of WWII German doctor

      Brent – son of American WWII vet

      Amy – Brent's sister

      Liz – Brent's daughter

    • Household Accounts

       

      "All the way here in the car I was dying to ask you this but....I thought I'd give you time to at least adjust to the temperature change."

      Household Accounts

      Edmond buys a new house to begin anew with his wife after he indulged in a brief infidelity. His nephew, the son of his deceased sister for whom he still grieves, arrives after being kicked out of the house where he was staying with his girlfriend and her Christian parents when it is discovered that she is pregnant. Edmond summons the girlfriend north to convince her not to have the baby. Her mother follows her to make sure she does. Present day.

      Five characters:

      Edmond

      Joy – his estranged wife

      Alan – his nephew, late teens, son of his deceased sister

      Caitlin – late teens, Alan's pregnant girlfriend

      Barbara – Caitlin's Fundamentalist Christian mother

       

      two acts

      one intermission

    • The Human Cocktail

       

      "You think having a baby is like walking barefoot into the bright unknown of the day?"

      The Human Cocktail

      Two high school friends – two decades later – she, now living with another woman and he, divorced and single. He carries romantic feelings for her – he is her best friend – they meet once a month to get her pregnant. Present day. 

      Two characters:

      Jeremy – good-looking, smart, responsible, always on the verge of giving up on love

      Sara – supportive, fast, just neurotic enough to be lovable, very attractive without pushing it

       

      90 minutes

      no intermission

    • Open For Me

       

      "LET LOVERS DARE TO LEGISLATE    
       LET PEACE BE BRAVE ENOUGH
       TO GUARD THE GATE."

      Open For Me

      musical

      book and lyrics – Bill C. Davis

      music – Scott Perkins

      Preview the song, Anthem, from Open for Me in this music video: Anthem 

      Six characters

       

      two acts

       

    • Mass Appeal

       

      "And I wanted the kind of ears that could hear what they were screaming about because I wanted to save them"

      Mass Appeal

      A passionate and rebellious seminarian is placed under the tutelage of a sly and approval seeking priest who is as lonely as he is popular. Present day.

      Two characters:

      Fr. Farley – 50 to 70, charms you as he warns you against  being charmed, witty, scared, vulnerable

      Mark – 24 to 30, sexy, direct, innocent in his confrontations, isolated by his devotion to his sense of truth

       

      two acts

      one intermission

      Dramatist Play Service

      (revised copy available)

    • The Sex King

       

      "I spent a little time in prison and the hardest part was being away from Louise. Lying in bed without your lover, when you have a lover - well that's hell - pure hell."

      The Sex King

      1998 - In the tony hills of Connecticut a man claiming to be running an escort service is on trial for prostitution. He chooses one young female reporter to state his case to in the hopes this will help win his freedom.

      Two characters:

      Jeremiah – mid 60's, iconoclastic, smart, witty, political, living with a younger woman, forges intimacy by being provocative

      Maureen – early 30's, smart, innocent, idealistic and trusting, married to an older man, does her best not to be intimidated

       

      two acts

      one intermission

    • SIP

    • Spine

       

      "Whenever you want to go somewhere that's where we always go.  And I wished something awful -  I said to myself, "I wish he'd hurry up and..."
       I was wrong - I know I was....and I didn't think it long."

      Spine

      A night in Connecticut in winter – a family home – the last night of the youngest family member's life. Brother, sister and father hide in their rooms as his mother tries to get them out to say good-bye to him. Present day.

      Five characters:

      Lois – 42, high school prettiness, running on odd, borrowed energy

      Mike Sr.  42, airline pilot, everything must be perfect, on the verge of bursting

      Mike Jr. – 17, pierced ear, in love, in pain and wants out of the house

      Claire – 13, athletic, loves her horse, torments her older brother, tries to take over tasks in the house

      Dr. Maru – late 30's, Indian doctor, intrigued by this family and protective of Lois

       

      90 minutes

      no intermission

    • Village Rites

       

      "WITH THIS LOCK YOU WILL MARRY
       WITH THIS LOCK YOU'LL BE FREE."

      Village Rites

      musical

      book and lyrics   Bill C. Davis

      music – Brett Boles

       

      Thirteen characters

       

      two acts

       

    • Visiting Day

       

      "When I had to identify them, I remember a lot of ice cream and paint on them. I don't remember the blood."

      Visiting Day

       

      It's visiting day at The Gaylordsville Accommodation for Retired Guests. One resident decides to paint the side porch that day and enlists the aid of his two friends and two neighborhood children much to the chagrin of the woman in charge, the distress of visiting adult children and enraging one of the children's parents. Deep secrets unfold as the day progresses. Present day.

      Seven characters:

      Jess – 80, sterling, competent, holding reservoirs of pain and secrets but ready to begin again

      Ralph – 80's, tidy, distressed, obsessed with his two children, new devoted friend to Jess

      Neville – 80's, rounds out the trio, African-American, knits, accepts his current lot and enjoys his new friendships

      Blaire – 7, sassy, positive girl ready to help Jess paint the porch

      Ian – 10, shy, smart, abused and neglected neighbor, devoted to Jess, an expert with road maps

      Doris – 47, distressed daughter to Ralph, visits out of guilt and duty, details of living is her defense

      Roslyn - 50's - In charge of the accommodation - a harried dynamo  of efficient warmth and buried fears.

       

      100 minutes

      no intermission

       

    • Wrestlers

       

      "If you and Angie haven’t had a moment’s peace since that scene at the train station, that’s your problem. I’m not giving you absolution or a discussion."

      Wrestlers

      Two brothers meet on stage. After a year of silence between the two of them the younger brother tries to convince the older brother to talk to him and resolve a conflict that has festered after they both became involved with the same woman.

      Three characters:

      Monty – late 20's, athletic, lithe, quick, romantic, vulnerable

      Bobby – early 30's, shorter than Monty, formal, well-organized, repressed, guilty

      Angie – mid 20's, Italian, forceful, volatile, maternal, ready to be wed

       

      90 minutes

      no intermission

      Dramatist Play Service

      (revised copy available)

  •   news

     

      

     

     December 2017: Filming for Avow motion picture complete

     

    Link to Harry Banks Productions 

     

     

     

     

  • Family and friends remember Bill

     

    Slide Show

     

  •  

    links about bill C.