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About my work as a Playwright

As a playwright, I have written and performed many solo shows both original (The Confession of Jeffrey Dahmer and Ghost Stories) as well as writing many adaptations of classic works both as one-person shows and full-length plays performed by a full cast of actors. Many of my plays are tales of terror, but I have also written adaptations of books for younger and family audiences such as Anne of Green GablesLittle Women, and The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus. Additionally, I have written adaptations of several Sherlock Holmes stories and a mystery by Agatha Christie. In 2022, I was commissioned to write the first ever theatrical adaptation of Jack Trevor Story's novel The Trouble with Harry, famously made into a movie by director Alfred Hitchcock in 1955.

If you are interested in reading and potentially producing any of these plays, please contact me for further information. I also welcome commissions to adapt public domain works. I'm very good at it.

If you are interested in booking me as an actor to perform the following plays: The Confession of Jeffrey Dahmer, Ghost Stories, Stoker's Dracula, A Christmas Carol, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, please contact me for further information. These plays can be performed in any venue.

The Confession of Jeffrey Dahmer

Based on true events and comprised almost entirely of his own words from interviews after his capture, The Confession of Jeffrey Dahmer puts you in a room alone with one of the most notorious serial killers of the twentieth century.  He will tell you everything.


"A tour-de-force solo show that will keep you spellbound, stunned, and sickened.  Written and performed by the astonishing Josh Hitchens . . . Skillfully directed with tension and suspense by Ryan Walter . . . Riveting, repulsive, and seductive . . . This is one stellar, award-worthy performance with a blood-curdling message no one should ignore."
- Deb Miller, Phindie.

"Oh my God, it was mesmerizing.  I know because twice I managed to look away from Hitchens in order to glance at the audience and they were motionless, stunned, rapt. Hitchens' impersonation of a man who killed human beings, ate their hearts, and kept their skulls as trophies is both moving and horrific. None of it is played for visceral kicks. His Dahmer is a very human monster, in part appalling and in part sympathetic . . . Though Dahmer tells you up front that there will be no explanations, this narrative (taken from his confession, courtroom testimony, and subsequent interviews) provides as close to an explanation of his behavior as we're going to get."

- Author Michael Swanwick.


Photo by Ashley Smith, 2015


2013 - SoLow Festival (Workshop Performance), June 24 - 26
Performed by Josh Hitchens, Directed by Ryan Walter
2015 - BrainSpunk Theater (World Premiere), April 24 - May 9
Performed by Josh Hitchens, Directed by Ryan Walter
2017 - Jersey Fringe, August 4 - 6, the sold-out hit of the festival
Performed by Josh Hitchens, Directed by Ryan Walter
2018 - Theatre Outre/Theatre BSMT (Canadian Premiere​), February 20 - March 2
Performed by Jay Whitehead, Directed by Richie Wilcox
2019 - Philly Theatre Week, February 7 - 17
Performed by Josh Hitchens, Directed by Ryan Walter

Trailer for the 2013 SoLow Festival production

Trailer for the 2017 Jersey Fringe production

Article about the 2018 Canadian production

Watch a film of the 2013 production - NOTE: The play has evolved considerably

since this recording. The current version has 15 additional minutes of material,

but this is a record of the play in its earliest form as filmed by Brian Siano in 2013.

Watch a 2022 YouTube interview with Josh on Cait Does Crime about Jeff Dahmer

Facebook page for my play THE CONFESSION OF JEFFREY DAHMER

Ghost Stories

From the storyteller who brought you The Confession of Jeffrey Dahmer"Philadelphia's foremost purveyor of the macabre" Josh Hitchens presents his new solo play Ghost Stories. In this chilling autobiographical one man show, Josh will tell you true tales of supernatural experiences from his past that literally continue to haunt him. A horrific and deeply moving piece about confronting the demons that haunt you in the dark.


"Hitchens is an intimate, compelling storyteller, and these tales flow from pathos to laughter to chills under director Ryan Walter. Hitchens describes the shadows that haunted the stairs of his childhood home, a sinister ghost who beckoned to him from the edge of the woods, and the things that followed him for seven years after one scary night with a Ouija board...Whether or not you believe ghost stories isn't important. Every well told story has a grain of truth, and you can find ones here that mean something to you...Being afraid demands a primal human bond that laughter, suspense, excitement, or even sadness never will. Maybe ghost stories aren't about fear at all, but about that underlying vulnerability and the magnetic connections that follow...Hitchens says that when you feel a presence in the dark, "It's behind you." Maybe that means its lurking, hunting you. Or maybe that means you have the choice to engage with it or not, believe in it or not, as you move forward."
- Alaina Johns, Broad Street Review.

Interview with Josh Hitchens about Ghost Stories and horror theater.


Stoker's Dracula

Stoker's Dracula is a 75 minute solo adaptation of Bram Stoker's classic tale of terror.  Unlike any other theatrical adaptation, this play uses only the novel's original text of diary entries, letters, and newspaper articles.  A solo tale of terror that has received rave reviews from critics and audiences and been performed in theaters, museums, and people's homes.


"You may have seen one of the hundreds of adaptations of the book, but you have never seen any quite like this.  Hitchens captures the spirit of the time and characters with a chilling fierceness.  The performance is intimate and at times intensely frightening."
- Brian Stone, WHYY Newsworks.

"An enthralling 70 minute condensed version of the 1897 vampire classic that will leave your hair raised, your skin crawling, your spine tingling, and your blood curdled.  In a remarkable performance, Hitchens assumes all the roles - both male and female - with split-second timing . . . he brings startling movements and scary inflections to Stoker's haunting words.  The eeriness of the script is enhanced by a single spotlight that casts ominous shadows on the walls, and that Hitchens at times extinguishes, plunging the space into total darkness and allowing the viewer's imagination to run wild.  Even with the absence of light, you will be held in rapt attention by this brilliant tour de force."
​- Deb Miller, Phindie.


Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

"Remember that I am thy creature.  I ought to be thy Adam, but I am rather the fallen angel.  Do your duty towards me, or I will glut the maw of death with the blood of your remaining friends."

A strange and terrifying story will be confessed to the brave few who risk an evening with a mysterious, tortured creature and it's famed creator. This 60 minute solo performance was commissioned by and staged as a site-specific production in the Mutter Museum at the College of Physicians for two sold-out performances and was subsequently performed at The Rosenbach Museum and Library.

"A Frankenstein with the Hollywood additions scraped off, one that began in the Arctic wastes, revealed the self-deluded nature of Victor's ambitions, and presented the Creature with horror and unalloyed sympathy.  I cannot be the only person to leave the evening determined to reread Mary Shelley's masterpiece as soon as possible . . . a wonderfully gothic evening."

- Michael Swanwick.

Watch a 2015 interview with Josh about Frankenstein at the Mutter

Watch my final performance of MARY SHELLEY'S FRANKENSTEIN filmed in 2021 by Kyle Cassidy and edited by Brian Siano.


A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story

"So, there is no doubt that Marley was dead.  This must be distinctly understood, or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am about to relate."

A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story is a solo adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic work that runs a brisk 50 minutes.  Appropriate for all ages, this play uses Dickens's own words and goes back to the book's roots as a ghost story, celebrating the power of storytelling.

“Seeing Josh Hitchens perform Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at the Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion is a total immersion experience – a Victorian author in an intimate and authentic Victorian setting – as well as a marvelous holiday tradition. Hitchens’ one-man show is brilliant. The audience is easily convinced that the actor has transformed himself into a young Charles Dickens, who then effortlessly takes on the persona of one character after another in a timeless tale that’s universally appealing to all ages. A simply wonderful evening!”
- Cordelia Frances Biddle, Author.

Watch A CHRISTMAS CAROL at Stoneleigh: a natural garden, 2021

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

"There is a legend, a tale to be told of a sequestered glen that has long been known as SLEEPY HOLLOW."

In the town of Sleepy Hollow, there are many tall tales of ghosts. The unforgettable legend of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman comes to life in a new adaptation to create a night of thrills and chills for the entire family. 

"A full crowd of mostly families hunkered down on the grass as they listened to the story of Ichabod Crane (played by company member Josh Hitchens, who adapted “Sleepy Hollow” for stage) and his fateful encounter with the headless horseman. During the 45-minute show, Hitchens and his fellow actors, Rachel Gluck as Crane’s love interest Katrina Van Tassel and Chris Braak as his rival Brom Van Brunt, moved around the simplistic set with quiet intensity as several torches and a small crackling campfire illuminated the scene. Sound effects, provided by Eli Halpern (who played The Musician), filled the atmosphere as Crane’s story unfolded."
- Annamarya Scaccia, West Philly Local.

This play is available to be performed by one actor.


Photo by Kyle Cassidy

Little Women

"This is the story of how four little girls became excellent, resilient, all-together astonishing women."

One of the world's most beloved Victorian novels comes to life before your eyes. Little Women is the story of the four March sisters, their mother, and the boy next door as they experience the joys and sorrows of life over an eventful decade between 1863 and 1873. This is a full length, extremely faithful adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's timeless classic, featuring only six actors.

"As with the book, Hitchens and his cast stress the old-fashioned Victorian values of familial bonds and the sweet and poetic style of the charming domestic drama, inspired by the author's own family. Other secondary characters are discussed but not seen in Hitchens' sympathetic production, allowing the audience to focus on the main protagonists and the "humor and pathos" of their fond and formative remembrances in the up close and intimate space."

- Deb Miller,


The cast of the 2022 production of Little Women at Allens Lane Art Center

Robynn Delaware, Taylor Rouillard, Caren Bermudez, Emily Parker, Adam Kimmel, Letta Brown

Anne of Green Gables

"Dear old world, you are very lovely.

And I am so happy to be alive in you!"

Cherished by generations of children and readers of all ages, this new adaptation of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s classic book tells the tale of Anne Shirley – a red-headed, pigtailed orphan with an extraordinary gift for imagination – who is mistakenly adopted by a lonely brother and sister and miraculously finds a family, friends, and an entire community that loves her for who she is. Through the two years of this play, from ages sixteen to eighteen, Anne evolves as a person but never stops seeing the magic within her life and never sacrifices her ambitions to make a difference in the world around her. 

Full Length Play - 90 minutes - 5 women, 2 men.

Premiered at the Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion in 2017

Upcoming production at Allens Lane Art Center in 2023

Agatha Christie's
The Mysterious Affair at Styles

The year is 1917 and England is in the midst of the Great War. While Captain Arthur Hastings is visiting a friend’s country estate, the family matriarch is murdered at midnight. Hastings asks his old friend, the famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, to solve the case. What Poirot finds is a family filled with suspects, mysterious secrets, and a complex quest to catch a killer.

This is a new adaptation of Agatha Christie's classic first novel featuring her iconic detective Hercule Poirot (now in the public domain) in two acts with a cast of 4 men and 4 women.

The play was originally commissioned by the Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion but was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The play was subsequently performed for the first time as a Zoom reading in 2021 and is available for a fully staged production.

Styles Zoom.jpg

The Yellow Wallpaper

"There are things in that paper

which nobody knows but me."

A one-woman play adapted from the terrifying tale written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper is the story of a woman who moves into a potentially haunted house with her doctor husband. Forbidden to write, but writing anyway, she records her horrific experiences confined in a room with a wallpaper that seems to be grotesquely alive.

""Because Jennifer Summerfield’s one-woman performance, adapted and directed by Josh Hitchens, sticks verbatim to the source material, the real power of the play is derived from Summerfield’s performance. The Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion serves as the colonial mansion of Gilman’s story, and the space, or lack thereof, creates a startling immediacy to Summerfield’s hour-long monologue...Utilizing that intimacy to great effect, Summerfield hardly has to leave her seat to command the room...even as the woman is losing her mind, Summerfield brings her to life."

- Owen Hamill, Phindie

yellow poster.jpg

Poster image by Kyle Cassidy

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