We're talking this week with Thomas Bradshaw, playwright and Partial Comfort company member. His play THE ASHES has been selected as the first of four readings in this year's Welcome Mat series, featuring all new plays written by Partial Comfort playwrights and beginning this Sunday, January 9 at 7pm at The Wild Project. (FREE ADMISSION.)
You might remember Thomas's play THE BEREAVED, commissioned by PCP Artistic Directors Molly and Chad for Season 7 and chosen as one of Time Out NY's Top Ten plays in 2009. In New York alone, Thomas's plays have been produced at The Brick, PS 122, and The Flea to name a few. As one of Time Out NY's Ten Playwrights to Watch, the Village Voice's Best Provocative Playwright, the recipient of a 2009 Guggenheim Fellowship and the 2010 Prince Prize, his plays are traveling far. Recently, his play MARY premiered at The Goodman Theater in Chicago. In Philadelphia, JOB was presented at The Wilma. His play DAWN has been produced in Germany at both Theater Bielefeld and the National Theatre of Mannheim.
Here's what Thomas had to say about his experience as a company member with Partial Comfort and his play THE ASHES, featured this Sunday in the Welcome Mat series.
Tell us about your work with the company. How long have you been a member of Partial Comfort? What brought you to the company?
I have been a member of Partial Comfort for a two and a half years. Chad and Molly invited me to the retreat in 2009 to work on my play SOUTHERN PROMISES. They then did a reading of my play DAWN as a part of the Welcome Mat. They eventually decided to commission THE BEREAVED. Chad and Molly are fearless producers so my work and their vision fit very well together. The three of us worked very closely to find a director and cast for the play. I am extremely grateful for their support, and the support of all the members of PCP. I like the energy and unity of PCP.
THE BEREAVED in Season 7 was a such a big hit for Partial Comfort - Time Out NY's Top 10 of 2009, etc. Any favorite moments during the production?
I enjoyed the whole experience. I especially enjoyed working on the play at the PCP retreat in summer 2009. We did a site specific presentation of the play in this small cottage.
We're excited about your reading which will kick- off the 2011 Welcome Mat series this Sunday. Talk to us a little bit about what we'll be seeing and how this play came to be.
I wrote THE ASHES while I was the playwright in residence at Soho Theater in London. I spent a month in a small London apartment writing six drafts of the play. This was in February 2010. It is a very international play with characters from Germany, England, and the U.S.
I don't like to give summaries of my plays. I feel that it does them a dis-service, 'cause nothing I can say in a few sentences can really capture the scope of the play. But here's my two sentence summary:"It's hard to be a white supremacist these days. As a result of constant taunting, these Aryan Brothers decide to go undercover."
Any parting words about Partial Comfort and this year's Welcome Mat?
I'm honored that I've been selected to participate in the series this year!
Come check out THE ASHES by Thomas Bradshaw, this Sunday, January 9 at 7pm at the Wild Project - 195 E. 3rd Street between Avenues A and B. Admission is FREE.