Topher Payne's theatrical career began at First United Methodist Church in Kosciusko, Mississippi. He played a sparrow.
Since 1999, he has made his home in Atlanta, working as an actor, director, designer, and writer- basically, anything people would let him do.
Topher was a 2017 Lambda Literary Award nominee for Perfect Arrangement, which was also awarded the 2014 M. Elizabeth Osborn Award by the American Theatre Critics Association. Perfect Arrangement had its Off-Broadway premiere in 2015, and has since been produced in more than twenty states. It is published by Samuel French, alongside his works Angry Fags and Evelyn in Purgatory.
Topher is a seven-time nominee and three-time winner of The Gene-Gabriel Moore Playwriting Award , and was the recipient of the 2016 Suzi Bass Award for Best World Premiere for Let Nothing You Dismay. Readers of Creative Loafing have named him Atlanta’s Best Local Playwright for the past eight years, and he was selected as one of “Ten Playwrights You Should Know” by Southern Theatre magazine.
Stage directing credits include Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Springer Opera House, 2019), Morningside (New Stage Theatre, 2018), The Foreigner (Hangar Theatre, 2017), The House of Yes (Out of Box Theatre, 2015), and the world premiere of Johnny Drago's Trash (Process Theatre, 2013.)
He began writing for television in 2016, and has scripted four films for The Hallmark Channel.
Topher is a proud member of the Dramatist's Guild of America, and both the Canadian and American Writer's Guilds. He is an associated artist at Merrimack Repertory Theatre in Massachusetts, and is a founding board member of The Jo Howarth Noonan Foundation for the Performing Arts, which provides continuing professional development for female theatre artists over the age of 40.
In 2018, Topher was inducted into The Georgia Theatre Hall of Fame.