Opening his own theater in the 1982 with his film acting earnings, Noonan wrote and directed as well as acted in several plays, two of which he also produced as films. "What Happened Was. ." (produced Off-Broadway 1992; released as a feature 1994), won the best narrative film award at the Sundance Film Festival and detailed in real time the awkward first date between a mismatched pair, played by Noonan and Karen Sillas. His 1994 play "Wifey" was the basis for "The Wife" (filmed in 1994; released in 1996), about a patient who shows up at his therapists' home. His most recent play, "Wang Dang" (1998), about a guest lecturer out to seduce a student, is expected to be filmed.