BWW Interviews: Bradley Campbell, Producer of THE ABDUCTION OF BECKY MORRIS at FringeNYC
Today we are talking to Northern New Jersey's Bradley Campbell about his involvement in the fringe festival in NYC. Bradley Campbell is a Director, sometimes Actor and now Producer. He is a graduate of Texas Wesleyan University, Texas Woman's University and the Actor's Studio Drama School. He is privileged to be chosen as a lifetime member of The Actor's Studio and has directed in NYC and across the South focusing on new works by emerging playwrights. Most recently, Bradley directed POOR HEARTS in American Globe Theatre's 10 Minute Play Festival.
Welcome to BroadwayWorld. Tell us about the show you are producing for this year's fringe festival.
Bradley Campbell: Our play is THE ABDUCTION OF BECKY MORRIS by Alison Crane. It is a journey across Oklahoma with a slightly psychic, pregnant woman, the convicted murderer who loves her, and a cast of colorful characters from quirky locals to TV's favorite alien chasing FBI agent (shouldn't have to give the X-tra hint, but just in case...). It's a bit of twist. Can a kidnapping save you? Can we revisit our past to alter the course of the present? Becky becomes obsessed with her former high school stalker after a series of dreams connects him to her unborn child. And her dreams must be prophetic because once she dreamed "they were gonna build a Super Wal-Mart...And they did!" And as we tell everyone...it's about pie!
Who doesn't love pie?! I hear you have a personal connection to the piece. Can you explain that to everyone?
Bradley Campbell: There are several personal connections to the show including the fact that much of my family is from the area in Oklahoma where THE ABDUCTION OF BECKY MORRIS takes place, but most importantly is that this is the first play by my best friend (and lead actress) Alison Crane. We met in graduate school at The Actors Studio Drama School in NYC, but quickly learned that we had many of our own "slightly psychic" connections back home in Texas and Oklahoma. She quickly became family and I have directed her numerous times over the past few years. Amazing actress. In addition, several other members of the production team have been pulled together from other places. I am very excited that my mentor and former professor from Texas is our Costume Designer, making his NYC stage debut.
You did something really interesting with this particular work and went to Kickstarter. Do you think producers need to think out of the box and how important is social media and the internet to you in 2012?
Bradley Campbell: Absolutely. Social media and the internet is truly where you build your audience today. Kickstarter was an amazing way for us to find the financial backing that we needed to produce the play. While the cast and crew all live in NY, NJ and CT - our families and friends are spread across, not just the US, but the globe actually. Kickstarter provided a way for them to show their support and streamlines the whole process of backing an artistic endeavor. In addition, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Funny or Die have been so important to our show. Facebook really allows you to reach out to so many and provides data and statistics that help you quickly see what excites people about your show. Twitter was a quick way to say 'thank you' and stay in touch with all of FringeNYC and our backers. YouTube and Funny or Die allowed us to produce webisodes that really extended our reach to a new audience outside of the Tri-state area and gave everyone a preview of what THE ABDUCTION OF BECKY MORRIS is all about. We have an amazing partner in Christopher Burke. He is an actor, film director and half of the amazing team that created manicattack.com. An amazing comedy website. He directed all of our webisodes and actually makes an appearance in front of the camera as well. I do have to give a shout out to New Jersey as NJ did stand in for OK in all of our webisodes.
What an incredible lesson on the importance of social media. Thank you. There are so many in the theater community that call New Jersey home and work in New York. Of course TV only shows NJ in one light. Can you tell us what brought a Texas guy here?
Bradley Campbell: When I finished school in Texas, I had the opportunity to further my education at The Actors Studio Drama School at New School University so my partner and I packed up to move to New York City. We had so many friends already here and after looking all over NYC and the boroughs at places, found a great place in NJ. Thought we would be there a year or so and have stayed in NJ for 12 years. Just bought a house. We love it. Having NYC nearby is an amazing benefit, but we love to come home to our house, our dogs and a nice quiet small town. That is truly what re-charges the artist in me, not the craziness, constant on the go.
August is a busy time with the festival (and for those that don't understand the schedule, they need to check out www.FringeNYC.org. What comes next for Becky Morris? For Bradley Campbell?
Bradley Campbell: Many shows have really found success after the boost of FringeNYC. Right now, we are focused on that. Would love for Alison to find success with her play outside of NYC as I think that it will truly resonate on any stage. As for me, who knows? I have been acting or directing for much of my life. Took this opportunity to produce and have really enjoyed the experience. Staying engaged and excited about the work is what's important no matter role you are playing with any project. I want to do work that people enjoy and will continue to pick projects that I think that I can contribute to in a positive way. And Alison has already hit me up about her next play- something to do with taxidermy. That's all she will give me right now.
Sounds like she has a wicked sense of humor and people will love this! Thanks for joining us today, Bradley. Everyone can check out this group's work along with so many others during the month of August at the festival.
THE ABDUCTION OF BECKY MORRIS premieres as part of The 16th Annual New York International Fringe Festival!
Photo credits: Headshot by Shirin Tinati; The Abduction of Becky Morris: Matthew Hammond and Alison Crane. Photo by Campbell Razak.