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International Performing Arts Center

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Southern Promises

When the master of the plantation dies, he wills his slaves to be freed, but his wife doesn’t think that good property should be squandered. Pandemonium ensues. The play is inspired by the true story of Henry Box Brown who escaped to the north by mailing himself in a box.

Thomas Bradshaw’s plays have been produced at regional theaters, in NYC as well as in Europe. In 2012, the Flea Theater successfully produced his play Job and in 2011, his play Burning ran to rave reviews at the New Group/NYC and the Goodman Theater produced his play Mary, which they had previously commissioned. His play The Bereaved, produced by Partial Comfort, was named one of the Best Plays of 2009 in Time Out New York and was a New York Times Critic’s Pick. The Bereaved was subsequently produced at The State Theater Of Bielefeld in Germany and presented in Berlin. In 2008, two of his plays premiered in NYC: Southern Promises, at Performance Space 122 in September, and Dawn, at The Flea Theater in November, and both were listed among the Best Performances of Stage and Screen for 2008 in The New Yorker. His plays Purity, Prophet, and Strom Thurmond is Not a Racist and Cleansed were produced in NYC. A German translation of Dawn was presented at Theater Bielefeld in Germany in October 2008 and published by Theater Der Zeit in that same month. Mr. Bradshaw received his M.F.A. from Mac Wellman’s playwriting program and is Professor of Playwriting at Northwestern University.

Ich, KürbisGeist

By Sibyl Kempson

A staged reading introducing our partnership with Performance Space 122

Ich, KürbisGeist is presented with special permission from AO International Talent Agency.

An olde-tyme agricultural vengeance play for Hallowe’en (even though it’s August)! Inspired by Sibyl Kempson’s visit to Austria during Kürbiskernernte (pumpkin seed harvesting season), this piece features a rigorous, specific and completely invented language. Every word is semi-recognizable: an amalgam of English, Swedish, German – and Sid Caesar.

“Much like the words spoken by Shakespeare’s wily fools, the messages are scrambled. Yet the world of Ich, Kürbisgeist is whole, and surprisingly powerful. Sometimes the gut understands better than the brain.”, Claudia La Rocco, The New York Times, November 6, 2012

Sibyl Kempson lives and makes theater plays in NYC and the Pocono Mountains. Her plays have been presented at Dixon Place, Soho Rep, Performance Space 122, The Chocolate Factory, New York Live Arts, the Fusebox Festival in Austin, TX, the Walker Arts Center in Minneapolis, the Great Plains Theater Conference in Omaha and Theater Bonn in Germany. She earned an MFA in Playwriting from Brooklyn College, 2007.