John E. Byrd

John E. Byrd
Playwright and Screenwriter

New Paltz, New York

Member Since:
November 2012
Last online:
> 2 weeks ago
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About John

I studied and worked as an actor in theater and films in New York City, appearing in numerous Off-Broadway plays and on Broadway in "The Great White Hope" starring James Earl Jones and Jane Alexander.
Film credits include "Network, "Regarding Henry," and "Rumor Has It" starring Jennifer Aniston.
My many writing credits include the screenplays, play and a YA Novel (see website) Currently, I am at work on my latest play " Purging Purvis" re: J.Edgar Hoover's suddeen animus toward FBI hero Melvin Purvis.

My writing credits include the screenplays: Café Society, which tells the story of the first integrated nightclub in America where the careers of Billie Holiday, Lena Horne and scores of other Jazz and Blues luminaries were nurtured. The club’s egalitarian owner, Barney Josephson, would suffer persecution from J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI and would become a target of the House Un-American Activities Commission.

My screenplay, The Independent, chronicles the career of pioneer black filmmaker Oscar Micheaux, a seminal figure in the history of black film who wrote, produced, directed and distributed over forty feature films between 1918-1948.

I was commissioned by producer John Williams (Shrek) to write, Let the Good Times Roll, a biopic about rock 'n' roll pioneer, Louis Jordan, whose chart-topping hits were celebrated in the Broadway musical, Five Guys Named Moe.

My recent YA Fantasy/Adventure e-Novel, "Shelby and the Lost Boy of Misbegot Island" is a re-imagined telling inspired by J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan" with a backstory of native youths who escape a Colonial slave ship to find themselves forever to remain as youths on a mysterious island. Website:



  • Cafe Society Blues

    Cafe Society Blues Biography Drama Café Society Blues: first truly integrated, notorious nightclub that launched the likes of Billie Holiday where she introduced the controversial song “Strange Fruit,” re-invented torchy Lena Horne, and many jazz and comedic greats-before being shuttered by the looming forces of J. Edgar Hoover and HUAC.

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