Thoughts and Prayers


Gerald Williams



Death is an intimate and personal moment, but echoes of a person’s life remain. Do the stories we tell about the dead help us to remember them, to keep them alive in our minds. Thoughts and Prayers is a brief look at an intimate moment in a high school library that, we hope, helps us to remember.




Gerald has spent most of his adult life in Osaka, Japan. He writes plays and short stories that often focus on the lies we tell to others and the lies we tell to ourselves. His friends are often surprised how sad his work can be, and those who only know him through his work are often surprised how much he smiles. After retiring from teaching he divides his time between Vancouver, BC and Osaka, so he can feel slightly out of place in two cultures. He has been married to the same man for thirty years.



1. When did you start writing plays? If you had a moment where you realized you wanted to write, what was it?


I was frustrated with things I was seeing and thought I could do it. I wrote my first play when I was 52.


2. How did you come to write your OOB play? Was there a particular inspiration behind its creation? How has it developed?


I have been writing about the death of children aboard the MV SEWOL, a korean ship that sank with 250 high school kids aboard. That led me to a series about the death of children at the negligence of adults, and Thoughts and Prayers was born from the empty response to high school shootings in the United States


3. What are 5 words that describe who you are as a playwright?


Lonely. Inquisitive. Open. Curious. Waiting.


4. What/who are some of the major influences on your writing?


Salman Rushdie, I love his story telling. Ian Rankin, I love how he keeps me interested. Anthony Trollope, I love his characters


5. What’s one fact someone would never guess about you?


I’m quiet


6. What are some of your favorite plays?


aside from my own? Who’s afraid of Virginia Wolfe – the people feel so sadly real. The curious incident of the dog in the night – I loved how it was so simple. The Father made me cry like I can’t remember when.


7. Any new projects you’re working on or shameless plugs?


Thoughts and Prayers is part of a larger series that is still looking for an audience.