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From Dallas to the Big Apple

Theatre ’10 alum Brigham Mosley takes on NYC

Lilly Foster | M.E. Math '14

Brigham Mosley, Theatre '10
Photo by Erik Carter

Theatre alum Brigham Mosley took off for New York City after graduating from SMU in 2010. Arriving in the Big Apple with no job, his move was a giant and risky undertaking.

Although the transition proved to be arduous, Mosley hit the ground running. Within his first week of being in the city, he landed an internship at Performance Space 122 (PS122) through Tim Miller, a well-known artist in the world of solo-performance. The internship soon turned into a full-time job, allowing Mosley to work with a multitude of downtown theatres, which put him in a perfect position to expand his theatre network.

As a graduate of SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, Mosley was no stranger to success. He first began finding success as a writer and a performer while at Meadows. His play, Pretty, Smart, Poetic, was part of the New Visions, New Voices festival during his senior year. Pretty, Smart, Poetic was produced in Chicago last year and as a reading workshop in Connecticut at the Westport Country Playhouse. With the help of supportive professors such as Gretchen Smith and Rhonda Blair, Mosley was introduced to Tim Miller.

“I have to give enormous props to Tim Miller,” says Mosley. “He has been so incredible, a fantastic artist who has really helped shape my career.” As a result of the Tim Miller mentorship, Mosley’s piece, Mo[u]rnin'. After., premiered at the PS122 in June 2011 and was included in the FAB! Festival at La Mama ETC in September 2011.

In the currently unsteady economy, it is common for students to feel uneasy as they move closer to walking across the graduation stage and into the real world. As Mosley proves, however, it is not impossible to find success soon after leaving college. In a short span of two years after moving to New York City, his first play hit the stage at 9th Space. He found his niche in writing and performing his own work, developing a following due to his unique style that allows for his autobiography to be told as a play. And with the help of wonderful professors and mentors, Mosley has what it takes to build a career in New York City. “My advice, to everyone, is to create your own work. Everyone’s story is important and everyone should be writing their autobiography.”

As a newcomer in the New York theatre scene, Mosley worked hard to secure funding for his new work. With his new connections at PS122, he was able to cultivate a pool of financial resources. To acquire outside funding, Mosley teamed up with Laura Hix, a fellow Meadows graduate and director of his play Mo[u]rnin'. After. Together they set up a page through the fundraising website Kickstarter. They were able to raise nearly $1,700, allowing them to rent a space and pay those who assisted them in the production. ”We built this really great community of SMU alums who are supporting each other. We are all seeing each others’ work, in a different way than when we were all in school,” says Mosley.

Mosley performs Oh Whatta Beautiful Mo[u]rnin'.
Photo by Erik Carter

The connections that Mosley made in New York through his SMU ties have played a huge role in his success. He boasts that Meadows theater alums fill the theatres of New York and are eager to hire other SMU grads, knowing that the caliber of their work will be high.

“SMU has this reputation of being hardworking, very talented and smart. It’s been really instrumental in my success, and I know in so many other alums’ success, having a degree from SMU and Meadows. There are so many connections that have opened so many doors for me.”

Mosley’s future plans include performing his piece Mo[u]rnin'. After. at the Emerging Artist Theatre Festival and continuing to work on his newest creation, a Greek trilogy, with the help of Laura Hicks. He hopes to embark on a college tour and reach out to campus LGBT groups with his play Mo[u]rnin'. After. When he’s not busy being a performer and a playwright, he works his day job at PS122’s box office.

As encouragement to all of those who may be a recent or soon-to-be graduate, Mosley offers these inspiring words: “Success is always something you share and it comes back to you. We’ve been lucky enough to be working with such talented people, like everyone who graduates from SMU. We have a great caliber of work and talent that comes out of school that we’ve been able to draw from.”

Once you’ve developed and perfected your art and craft at SMU, it’s time to travel the world, share your talents and join the group of talented alumni who are paving the way to success.

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