July12, 2019 Today’s person: Bruce Barthol!

Since far too often we only publicly say nice things about people when they are dead I’ve decided to randomly pick a Facebook friend every day and say something nice about them.


July12, 2019

Today’s person: Bruce Barthol!


When I saw my first Mime Troupe show - Factwino - with my father I never thought I would spend 25 or so years working with half of Armageddonman.


I can’t remember if he was the business side or the war side, but whichever it was Bruce was always on the Left.


By the time I got to the Troupe apparently some crazy shit had happened, and being there was like wandering through a veteran’s ward in a hospital. They’d been through the Revolution of the ’60’s, the counter-Revolution of the ’70’s, and there was a lot of PTSD (Post Trickle-Down Stress Disorder) in the room. These heroes had been on the front lines a long time. One member, Arthur Holden, had joined the Troupe when I was one year old. But they were all at different phases of still feisty by the time I showed up.


But Bruce was still a ball of revolutionary fire. He was the revolutionary curmudgeon, Che Eeyore Guevara. Bruce always had a million reasons something wouldn’t work - and then he’d do it anyway because it was going to be a fun middle finger to the Powers That Be. And his knowledge of history and political theory meant that I had a fellow nerd in the building - but a super-cool, rock and roll bass playing nerd.


And he was the person that approached me about Collective Membership. Of the primary creative team at the time Bruce was the one that actually seemed to take me seriously. We could talk through ideas. And when I started writing for the Troupe it was Bruce who gave me the most useful feedback. His critical view of the work and caustic view of the world made my mere sarcasm seem like bubbly optimism, and his sense of how to dramatize, how to tell a story, where to put songs - how to create a tale that skewers the powerful and slaps the audience for their tacit approval of their own oppression -still influences every show I write.

I had the great good fortune to team with Bruce for years before and after I became Resident Playwright at the Troupe, and the harsh hilarity we created together shaped me as an artist.

People ask me about who are my influences as a playwright all the time. I normally tell them Edgar Allen Poe.


And Bruce.


Since far too often we only publicly say nice things about people when they are dead I’ve decided to randomly pick a Facebook friend every day and say something nice about them.

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