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Q&A with Bryan Willis | 1992 Fellowship, Theater

Artist Trust

Q: What kind of art do you make?
A: I look for a new challenge with each project.  And it has to matter.  Life if short and playwriting is a difficult and humbling craft.  The script has to be calling to me or I’ll move on to a different project. 
Q: What did you use your award for and what was the impact on your career & life?
A: The day I received the Artist Trust Fellowship was the day I quit my day job and became a professional playwright.  The fellowship gave me a little financial breathing room and I was able to buy health insurance, too.  It’s been 24 years but I’m still earning a living as a playwright, thank you Artist Trust! 

Bryan serves as playwright-in-residence for the Northwest Playwrights Alliance at Seattle Repertory Theatre.  His plays have appeared throughout the U.K., Israel, Japan, U.S. and Canada, including New York Theater Workshop, Milwaukee Rep, Unseam’d Shakespeare Co., ACT, Book-It Repertory Theatre and Riverside Studios in London.  His work has also been featured on NPR and BBC Radio (commission for Sophie).  Bryan has worked in the literary departments of many theaters, including Lincoln Center (NYU’s Playwright-in-Residence) and Playwrights Horizons.  He is also the recipient of the Kennedy Center Gold Medallion for his work with the Kennedy Center/American College Theater Festival and subsequently was selected to serve on the KC/ACTF National Selection Team in 2011.  Bryan lives in Olympia with his son Zach in their new home: “Willoughby, Significantly Close to the Sea”.