Ozzie Jones

Guest Artist

Ozzie Jones’s professional journey began at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, studying under and mentored by Buddy Butler, Paul Carter Harrison, William Pope.L, and Ntozake Shange. He received a High Honors B.A. in Theater. 

Jones became Assistant Artistic Director to Walter Dallas at Freedom Theater, in Philadelphia, writing and directing Traveling Black History shows, touring New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia. As well as Sanctified Jook Joint starring Guy Davis and Black Nativity by Langston Huges winning him the Hal Prince Best Director of a Musical Barrymore Award.

In 1997, Jones represented the Philadelphia Theater Initiative in the United States and Europe, and was the First African American in the Republic of Ireland to direct a play for an Irish theater company, with Othello for Second Age Theater. 

In 2000, Jones co-wrote, did dramaturgy for, and narrated Rome and Jewels for Rennie Harris Pure Movement, touring Canada, the United States, and Europe for a decade, which won a Bessie award in NY.  He directed a twenty four hour non-stop production featuring the community’s graffiti exhibit on walls of the art gallery, important graffiti artists in Philadelphia’s history, Brazilian Jazz musicians with traditional percussionists from India, and dance pieces from Rennie Harris Pure Movement, Sabaela Grimes, and Raph Xavier. Jones has music featured in Spike Lee’s film Da Sweet Blood of Jesus.  

Jones taught developing artists in communities with limited resources, the prison system, churches, universities, and public and private schools. This work founded Rhythm One, teaching actors of all ages and skill sets acting, writing, and performance techniques. 

In 2012, Jones became director of the middle school theater department at Shipley School. The tenure has been developing a curriculum with the Upper school producing highly trained, free-thinking, and inventive artists for college and beyond.  

Jones was a one season guest artistic director for Freedom Theater and directed Kind of  Blue, Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, The Meeting by Jeff Stetson, 12 Angry Men, and the Last Jimmy at Prince theater, Los Angeles Convention center, Freedom Theater, the Kimmel Center, and the Democratic national convention. Jones directed a series of short plays written by inmates for the Philadelphia FIGHT organization for inmates’ rights, and My Block is Crazy, a documentary film about violence and youth produced in conjunction with the United States Attorney’s Office and wrote South African Nativity performed at Enon in Cape Town South Africa.

Most recently Jones has directed Dreamgirls in Malcolm X Park in Philadelphia. Starred in the film The Hail Mary written and directed by Nnamdi Kanaga, the first all Black film made in Montana, and that was signed to a distribution deal with Amazon Prime.