Billy St. John fell in love with theatre when he made his stage debut at 14 in a community theatre production of Medea. His involvement began with acting, then shifted to directing and, eventually, to playwriting. The Clarksville, Tenn., native earned his bachelor’s degree in secondary education with majors in English and speech/theatre, then he earned his master’s degree in TV/film. He was a teacher for 10 years before becoming a community theatre director at Fort Campbell, Ky., for 17 years. While working at Fort Campbell, St. John wrote his first play, an audience-participation murder mystery, which he directed at the Soldier Show Center on post. The audience response was so enthusiastic that he decided to submit the play to publishers. It was accepted, and with its publication in 1990, St. John became a professional playwright. Since then, he has had more than 50 plays published and subsequently produced in all 50 states and around the world. St. John’s plays include comedies, murder mysteries and melodramas. He participated in the development of several screenplays and enjoyed occasional work as an extra or bit player in such films as Coal Miner's Daughter, The Outing and Roots: The Gift. He was a member of TCF, the Screen Actors Guild and The Drama League. In 2015, Austin Peay State University’s Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts presented St. John with its annual Ovation Artist Award. St. John passed away in 2017.