Artist spotlight: Bruce Walsh, playwright

Artist spotlight: Bruce Walsh, playwright

Lancaster County-based playwright Bruce Walsh is this month’s featured artist. His play Essential Reading for This Moment in History will be performed in a staged reading April 13 at 7 p.m. at the Boscov Theatre in the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts, 201 Washington St., Reading.

What is your role with Reading Theater Project?

A: Playwright of Essential Reading for This Moment in History, part of the New Play Reading Series.

What is your theater background?

A: I started writing plays when I was seventeen. That’s a long time ago. My dad was a community theater actor; we had a row of plays on the shelf; I fell in love with them. I lived in Philly for 15 years; I wrote a lot; I did a lot of theater; I eventually landed a job as an arts reporter. But I never felt like I found my voice for the stage. In 2014 I received a scholarship to pursue an MFA at Indiana University Bloomington. I think I really did discover something there. I’ve written three plays since. The first two were produced professionally. Essential Reading is the third. 

What are you working on now?

A: A play about a guy interviewing for HR jobs. Over a series of interviews he so delicately crafts his response to the, “Tell us a little about yourself” prompt that it becomes the artistic achievement of his lifetime. 

What is your favorite RTP project and why?

A: I love the BCTV Reading Reading show – a chance to see playwrights talk about their work in a friendly setting. 

What do you enjoy about working with RTP?

A: I’m just getting started, but the stage manager for my play in the Reading Series is organized, professional, and the best reader of stage directions I’ve seen. Over the years I’ve learned that companies with good stage managers are companies where you want to be produced. 

What is your dream theatrical gig? 

A: Doing what I do now, only with benefits and better pay. I currently teach literature and theater courses at Messiah University and Elizabethtown College. ETown College is walkable from my house, so I do a lot of my playwriting  in my charming little office there. I coach my son’s 8U baseball team. (Go Bulls!) Throughout my life I have excelled only at low-paying professions that are endlessly fascinating to me.