MainStage Playwrights

Jami Brandli  |   Henry Murray  |   Joe Musso  |   Todd Olson  |   David Rush

Jami Brandli

Pasadena, CA

Jami Brandli is an award-winning playwright published with Smith & Kraus. In addition to her play, BLISS (or Emily Post is Dead!), being chosen for the 2012 GPTC MainStage Series, her play, Technicolor Life, won the 2010 John Gassner Memorial Playwriting Award and was developed at WordBRIDGE Playwrights Lab and the Ashland New Plays Festival. It was also finalist for the 2011 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference and 2010 Princess Grace Fellowship. Her play, The Sinker, world premiered at HotCity Theatre in St. Louis and was nominated for a 2010 Kevin Kline Award for “Outstanding New Play.” Jami lives in Pasadena where she’s at work on scripts for both stage and screen and a novel. For her day job, she teaches dramatic writing at Lesley University’s low-residency MFA program in Boston.

BLISS (or Emily Post is Dead!)

It's 1960 in North Orange, NJ. Clytemnestra and Medea are now housewives with a pill addiction, and Antigone is the teenage girl next door who is in love with a black boy. On the surface, they're seemingly blissful to follow the "rules” of Emily Post, the American author famous for writing on etiquette. But that's just the surface. Then Cassandra, a black working girl, moves into in their neighborhood and all routines are interrupted. Cassandra is determined to finally break the curse of Apollo, the gorgeous and egotistical god who gave her this “gift” of prophecy but made it so no one would ever believe her. He makes it clear his curse is practically indestructible: all she has to do is convince someone to believe her. Can Cassandra convince them they now have a choice in this modern era? That they don't have to live a doomed existence? Can all four women escape their ongoing fate?

Jami Brandli  |   Henry Murray  |   Joe Musso  |   Todd Olson  |   David Rush

Henry Murray

Venice, CA

Henry Murray is a member of the Actors Studio West Playwrights Unit, The Dramatist Guild of America, The Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights and is Playwright-in-Residence at Rogue Machine Theatre. He is the author of four full-length plays and a number of short plays including Down For The Count and Dog Is Dead, both finalists for The Heideman Award at Actors Theatre of Louisville. Henry’s play, Treefall, published by Dramatists Play Service, was named one of the ten best plays of 2009 by the LA Weekly and has logged five productions nationally. Henry’s play Monkey Adored, honored by a reading at the Kennedy Center’s Page to Stage Festival and work-shopped at D.C.’s The Inkwell, premiered at Rogue Machine Theatre in 2011. Henry’s newest play, Three Views of the Same Object, won the Woodward/Newman Drama Award for 2011/12 as well as a Holland New Voices Award.

Three Views of the Same Object

Poppy and Jesse have survived the ups and downs, an ungrateful daughter, the secretary who may or may not have been Poppy's mistress. In sickness and in health, they continue. THREE VIEWS OF THE SAME OBJECT is a love story. It's the kind of love that lasts to the end of life, as a couple is forced to renegotiate the pact that they made.

Jami Brandli  |   Henry Murray  |   Joe Musso  |   Todd Olson  |   David Rush

Joe Musso

Birmingham, AL

Joe Musso lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with his wife Kate and his pugs. Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre in Los Angeles produced his play Blood Water in Jan.-Feb. 2012, and Alley Stage in Mineral Point, Wisconsin, produced his play Voodoo Today Here Now 5 in July 2011. Raconteur Theatre Company in Columbus, Ohio, will produce his play Conk and Bone in the fall of 2012. Conk and Bone also received readings at Nicu's Spoon Theatre Company in New York in April 2011; at Penobscot Theatre's 5th Annual Northern Writes New Play Festival in Bangor, Maine, in June 2011; and at Ruckus Theatre in Chicago in September 2011. His play Absinthe won MTWorks' 2012 Excellence in Playwriting Award and received a reading at MTWorks' 2012 National Newborn Festival in New York. Absinthe also won HRC Showcase Theatre's 2011 W. Keith Hedrick Playwriting Award. Joe’s website is

Conk and Bone

Death hires Conk and Bone―two hapless men from New Orleans―to prepare the slain Greek warrior Achilles and a murdered young woman to meet Charon, the boatman who ferries the dead to Hades. All goes awry when Conk and Bone fall asleep on the job. Achilles obtains a battle sword, and the young woman turns up missing. The crisis reveals that Conk has a secret, one he waits too late to share with Bone.

Jami Brandli  |   Henry Murray  |   Joe Musso  |   Todd Olson  |   David Rush

Todd Olson

Seminole, FL

Todd Olson is in his 9th season as Producing Artistic Director at American Stage Theatre Company in St. Petersburg, FL. Original works include I Left My Heart, and Casa Blue, the last moments in the life of Frida Kahlo, along with his new adaptations of Lysistrata and War of the Worlds. His adaptation of Dracula premiered at the Arkansas Shakespeare Festival in 2010. His musical revue My Way has enjoyed over 300 productions worldwide. Current work includes the musical Hurricane Brothers (with music by Rob Hartmann). Todd received his M.F.A. from The University of North Carolina, and is a graduate from the Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard where he took classes with David Mamet, Anna Deveare Smith, and Robert Brustein, among others. Todd is adjunct faculty at the University of South Florida and lives in Seminole with his wife and three children.

Joe Corso Re-enters From the Wings

What happens when a major region theatre posthumously produces the world premiere by an American icon only to learn that the playwright might not have written the play at all? It’s the 30th anniversary at Atlantic Rep, and this year will finally be the one to stabilize a fragile institution after a great recession. But then long-time Artistic Director Joe Corso opens the season with the last work by an American master but it’s a play so controversial that everyone comes under fierce attack from a group that is usually the theatre’s strongest supporters.

Inspired by the events around California Musical Theatre and the now infamous Proposition 8 initiative, Joe Corso is a comedy about the inner battles of a regional theatre, and tackles many touchy areas like sexual orientation politics in the theatre, board members with subversive agendas, and marketing directors who will do anything to get butts in seats.

Jami Brandli  |   Henry Murray  |   Joe Musso  |   Todd Olson  |   David Rush

David Rush

Murphysboro, IL

David Rush has been produced at Mark Taper Forum, Playwrights Horizons, Manhattan Theater Club, Stage Left, Chicago Dramatists and others. His scripts have had readings and workshops at major festivals including Great Plains, Odyssey, Utah Shakespeare. He has won or was a finalist in several national playwriting contests including Dayton FutureFest, Great Plans Theater Conference (best play 2008), Firehouse Theater, Ashland Shakespeare and others. He was a writer in residence at the Inge Center in Independence, Kansas. His awards include several Chicago Jeff Awards, a Los Angeles DramaLogue Award, and Dayton FutureFest Best Play and two Midwest Emmies. In his past life as a professor, he wrote two college textbooks on playwriting and play analysis. He is represented by Robert A. Freedman Dramatic Agency, NY.

Nureyev’s Eyes

During the l970’s, the American painter, Jamie Wyeth (son of Andrew) did a series of works about the dancer, Rudolph Nureyev. The play imagines what their encounters may have been like and how their relationship evolved and changed each of them. It begins when Wyeth meets Nureyev at a party, and decides to paint him. He first has to overcome the dancer’s resistance, and when he does, he then has to deal with the dancer’s explosive personality. The play shows how that happened, and how the two men grew closer together. It ends with Nureyev’s last visit to Wyeth, when Nureyev, dying from AIDS, has one last message to leave Jamie with. The play is based in reality. It was written with the express permission and support of Jamie Wyeth.