Joel Jones is from Charlottesville, Virginia where he got involved in plays during the formative years of Live Arts and Offstage Theater. Joel has written more than two dozen short plays (including Answer Man, Perfect Guy, Power Lunch, Tragic Hero, Big Fish Little Fish, Regatta Club Freud, and Haven’t We Met Someplace Before) that have have seen more than fifty productions in Charlottesville, New York, Boston, and beyond. His full-lengths include Shrug Like You Mean It, Fortune In Antarctica, Floating Girl, and The Election. Joel was the former Playwright-In-Residence of Third Man Productions which produced his short sketches and plays every month in the West Village for two years, and staged his full-length verse play, Shrug Like You Mean It, at the Kraine Theater.

In addition to his writing Joel served as Artistic Director for Charlottesville’s Offstage Theater, McGuffey Liaison, member of the Board of Directors, and Producer of multiple shows. Joel has acted in numerous shows at Live Arts and served as staff dramaturg. At Live Arts he was one of the original creators of the Summer Theater Festival, and for the Live Arts ‘L.A.B’ oversaw an innovative, creative program of solo shows, puppet shows, comedy pieces, new works, full-length plays, and music, including a live album featuring local musicians. (King of My Living Room)

From 2005 till 2011 Joel lived in New York City where he performed regularly as an actor, storyteller and improviser at such venues as the Bowery Poetry Club, Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, People’s Improv Theater, and especially the Magnet Theater where he has performed weekly in comedy groups from 2008 till 2011. He was a founding member of the storytelling group Campfire Stories, co-producer of Black Valentines (inspired by an annual holiday party in Staunton), member of improv groups Easy Going Folks, Mono-piece Theatre, Hell Buffalo, King Canute, LL Cool JJ, and the Kicks.

In 2011 his critically-acclaimed solo show Life Insurance ran in the New York Fringe and Washington DC’s Capital Fringe Festival in production with Nelson County’s wonderful Hamner Theater.

In 2012 Joel returned to Charlottesville with his lovely wife Jennifer, and their daughter Ellie, in 2012 in order to found Big Blue Door where he teaches longform improv, sketch writing, and telling true stories.

Joel served from 2012-2013 as committee member of The Bridge PAI’s Words Crew and Theater Crew, and served as leader of the Theater Crew. His work for The Bridge included overseeing the production of a Bread and Puppet touring show, and the Hamner presentation of the play Stanley Ann by former-UVa student, Mike Kindle.

In 2014 Joel’s short plays Tragic Hero, Big Fish Little Fish, and Answer Man appeared as part of the United Kingdom’s Bite-Size Plays productions in the Brighton Fringe and Edinburgh Fringe.

jen hoffman

Jennifer Hoffman Jones has produced, directed, and performed in dozens of theatrical and radio shows for two decades in New York and Virginia. Most recently she has worked as producer and fundraiser for the Fire Dept Theatre in NYC, and as producer for the Hamner Theater’s critically acclaimed Capital and NY Fringe show, Life Insurance.

Jen is best known for her regular appearances on Central Virginia’s only syndicated children’s radio storytelling program, Tell Us A Tale, hosted by Peter Jones and broadcast locally on 91.1, WTJU and heard internationally (tellusatale.com).  She has also appeared as a monologist with Campfire Stories, Tell All at the Bowery Poetry Club, and at the Magnet Theater.

In Charlottesville, Jen was a board member of Offstage Theater where she was producer of Barhoppers. She was also an actor in Live Arts shows and a producer and performer in several Live Arts Summer Theater Festival productions.

For over a decade Jen worked for the University of Virginia. For five of those years she worked for the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences as a major gifts officer. She was especially proud to raise the first large donations for the College Arts Scholars program and for the Virginia Film Festival.

Jen currently works as a script reader for independent film productions.


Jude Silveira has studied improv, storytelling, and sketch writing, and performed in many Big Blue Door Jams. He’s a longtime veteran of the Charlottesville art scene, having been a manager of Foolery, a board member of Live Arts, as well as being one of the creators of Wunderkammer, Shentai, and CLAW. He’s working on the website, producing upcoming shows, and helping with our organizational structure.

Miller Murray Susen

Miller Murray Susen is self-absorbed, long-winded, and a compulsive over-sharer, so telling true stories with the Big Blue Door was a natural fit for her. She’s not saying all storytellers have these qualities; some of her best friends are storytellers. Which is part of the reason she’s been pleased and excited to move into producing and hosting BBD events too. Have you told a story yet? What are you waiting for? Contact BBD right away. We could totally be friends after.
When not confessing her secrets to strangers and urging people to laugh at her expense, she maintains a blog at www.amomynity.com where she… Confesses secrets and urges people to laugh at her expense. She’s also a lady arm wrestler with CLAW, and an actor whose favorite roles have included an evil stepsister, a rapping accountant, and a profane punk rock musician she wrote for herself. She has a lot of innate dignity.
She also cares full time for her two impressionable children, lord help them. And other people let her teach acting to their children, probably not a wise decision. And she’s recently branched out into directing plays, so look out.
sean mccord

Sean Michael McCord believes that life is like a stool: you need at least three legs for proper balance. His three legs are Work (over 20 years at UVa), Family (father of three, husband of one), and Theater (as a writer, director, producer, and sometime actor). After taking Joel’s Telling True Stories class (recommended), Sean has repeatedly stepped through the Big Blue Door as a storyteller, producer, audio engineer, and host.

Anna Jones is transplant from Western North Carolina where she inherits a long tradition of storytelling, oral history, and bawdy joke telling. She’s currently studying to be a nurse while recovering from past careers in theater and editing. Anna got involved in Big Blue Door with the summer 2013 Telling True Stories class and has gone on to perform in the Jams, Slams, and Door 2 Door. She produced the April 2014 Jam.
Graelyn Brashear is a future Mars colonist and regular Jammer who occasionally works behind the scenes at Big Blue Door. She’s a newspaperman who grew up in Albemarle County and spent 11 years in New Jersey before finding her way back to the area in 2012.

Batesville native and current Fifeville residet April Muñiz has counted beans, courted politicians, monitored drug trials, schlepped produce, mothered chickens, dogs and bees, and traveled all over the world. She has a collection of stories about her days as a Peace Corps Volunteer available for your reading pleasure online. She currently plans events for Harvest Moon Catering, and photographs Big Blue Door shows, where she met her handsome beau. So you never know what might happen when you enter the Big Blue Door.

Would you like to help with the production, direction, and management of our shows? Come to a show and talk to us. We’d love to have you!


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