Authentic Voices: Totally True Tales
Meet Brigid Murphy, Baker’s Drama Artist-in-Residence for the 2015-2016 School Year.
Brigid began her creative life as a dancer, receiving a B.A. in performance and choreography from Columbia College, where she was the recipient of the inaugural Annual Alumni Concert. Brigid eventually moved from dance to solo performance, performing throughout Chicago, and New York City. However, Brigid Murphy is best know as the creator and host of “Milly’s Orchid Show”, a variety show hosted by the wise cracking country singer Milly May Smithy (Played by Murphy). It’s home has been the 800 seat Park West, where it plays to sell-out crowds. “Milly’s Orchid Show” has also had two runs in New York City, at Performance Space 122 and La Mama. The show has featured, on a regular basis such renowned artists as Eric Bogosian, Lisa Kron, David Cale, David Sedaris (a regular for many years), Nora Dunn, Frank and Malachy McCourt, Robert Klein, Ira Glass, Poi Dog Pondering (with whom she played saxophone ’93-‘98), as well as the Chicago premiere of Blue Man Group and Sex in the City and Two Broke Girls’, Michael Patrick King. Also included in the mix are a variety of acts from dance, music, and short films, to fire eaters, marching bands, and Mexican lariat champions. Brigid was commissioned by the Lyric Opera of Chicago to create an opera themed version of the show, and by the Chicago Theatre Group to inaugurate the opening of the Albert at the new Goodman Theatre.
Her M.F.A. thesis film “A Prince in the Projects” has been screened in festivals throughout the country as well as in India and Australia, and it was licensed for presentation in schools across the country. Her screenplay, “Maggie Was Here” was selected as a finalist for the Sundance Writing and Directing Lab. Brigid was featured in the Museum of Contemporary Art’s exhibit: “Art in Chicago 1945-1995, she received the Alumni Award from Columbia College for outstanding contribution to her field. As a MFA student she received the Follet Fellowship, the Rosebud award, and the Albert P. Weisman scholarship. She was awarded the Grigsby Award for her contribution to solo performance.
Brigid’s musical play, “Without A Song”, directed by Jessica Thebus, about her experience with cancer, completed a sold out workshop production at The Goodman Theatre in 2005. She has been teaching for over 16 years and currently teaches at The University of Chicago’s Graham School, De Paul University, and Columbia College. Much of her teaching is based on a class and technique she created to help students connect to their creative voice through autobiographical writing. She also offers this class to the community at large in both private and group classes. Many shows have been generated through this method that she’s directed and produced among them are three evenings of solo performances for Live Bait’s, “Filet of Solo”, the critically acclaimed ”Golden Corral,” by Josef Steiff and “North Pole-South Pole” by Tom Reilly and Anne Purkey. She also adapted, produced, and directed Harry Nilsson’s “The Point” to sold-out audiences at The Old Town School of Folk Music. In the summer of 2013 she wrote, produced, and directed a new musical featuring the music of Poi Dog Pondering. It premiered at the inaugural Three Oaks Theatre Festival in Three Oaks Michigan. In 2012 “Milly’s Orchid Show” celebrated its 25th year. The shows are now being created for the next generation of audiences, the kids.