My work in theatre has followed a crooked mile and so has my personal bio. Perhaps a random accounting of some influences and experiences will form a picture of me. I was born in farm and cattle country, to parents who ran a small-town newspaper. I studied theatre and journalism in college and made a run at a master’s degree in playwriting. I was on the founding board of a regional public radio station and eventually worked for many years as a newspaper journalist and as an arts producer for a PBS affiliate (producing interviews with Tom Stoppard, Ying Ruocheng and others). I created press materials for Washington DC museums and a national historic preservation nonprofit. I have lived in Northern California, Washington, D.C., Florida, and Kansas. I now live on Cape Cod, Massachusetts (it’s that arm of land curling out into the ocean). I find it to be a deeply inspirational place, with a robust theatre scene. I have opportunities to write, direct and perform for a variety of theatres, in a variety of genres, from musical theatre to straight drama to improv to cabaret. I am completing my Dramatists Guild Certificate in Dramatic Writing and am grateful to the DG faculty for their generous guidance, including: working with Andrea Lepcio for initial drafts of “Endpapers” (soon to be published by Next Stage Press); working with Chisa Hutchinson via Plays In Progress for drafts of “The Revelation of James Hampton”; and further developing my lyric writing with John Dietrich. In Summer 2019, I was one of only ten playwrights to work with playwright Sarah Ruhl, at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. Did I mention that Edward Albee saw me in “Seascape” years ago, and he did not run screaming from the room? Ok, that’s probably enough about me.
WEBSITE AND SOCIAL MEDIA
FB: Jo Hull Brisbane
MORE ABOUT ME
My most gratifying moment in theater is always the new discovery based on my research, or witnessing a great play written by another. Pulling together the big idea with earth-shifting moments past and present is gratifying to me as a playwright, a director, an actor. For example, seeing (even just reading) great works like Sarah Ruhl's "Eurydice" or Julie Taymor's film version of "Titus Andronicus" -- those are profound theatre experiences. I feel most like myself when sipping delicious coffee and beginning the keystrokes for another project. I love the process and never expect prizes, so there is no disappointment to overcome. Onward always. The one change I would bring to theatre is that it would move away from its fractured state of labels that purport to be inclusive but are really exclusive. I want artistic directors to know that I love to dance a whole lot of dances in my writing, and that I especially love to dance with fellow theatre makers, as in collaboration. Nobody knows that I was Julie London in another life and that singing her old tunes is one of my favorite things to do when I am not writing. I keep doing theatre because it spoke to me when I was in first grade. I am hoping the plagues will pass and I will just continue to write new stories while we are all in the chasm.
WHAT I'M WORKING ON
I am writing lyrics for an original musical based on my character of Hope Henderson. Also considering making my tragi-comedy about Phyllis Schlafly (killer of the ERA) into a musical.
Feminism, Satire, Musical, Fable/folktales, Religion as Oppression, Freedom from Religion, Spoof, Fabulist, Holidays
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