San Francisco, CA to the world online -The debut work of established actor and first-time playwright Julia Brothers, I Was Right Here takes place this weekend as online commission by San Francisco Playhouse. Brothers‘ show is described as “an 80-minute ride on the rails of life,” that takes viewers through scenes including the playwright as a child with her father watching RFK’s funeral train pass by, and riding a commuter train to visit her aging mother. Directed by Padraic Lillis, Brothers takes viewers on “a journey of the heart to discover what it is to love, lose and love again.”
The scenes in the show are described as “stops” and each “a collage of memories questioning what is real, imagined or forever forgotten… and how do we keep memories alive and how do we trust what they were to begin with?” These are important considerations at any time in our world, but most especially now as we begin to look at ways to process and heal from our collective COVID-19 pandemic experiences. Brothers speaks from a particularly important foundation of knowledge and wisdom here, too: she has the personal victory of surviving COVID-19 via a 21-day quarantine in her tiny NYC apartment on one hand, the loss of several friends to this illness she survived on the other. These, certainly, must infuse her work with a particularly valuable impartation to viewers.
Julia Brothers is a New York-based actor, however San Francisco Playhouse audiences have been very fortunate to see her locally in Dance Nation, The Roommate, and Abigail’s Party. After surviving COVID-19 and required quarantine in the spring of last year, Brothers has come out West again to be with San Francisco Playhouse to develop this first original work. In collaboration with Lillis. the Founding Artistic Director of The Farm Theater (whose mission is to cultivate early career artists through workshop, production, and mentoring), Brothers‘ debut as a playwright is something pretty special- particularly with this particular show at this particular time. Her stage and film credits are numerous, spanning a 30-year career and. along with her acting, Brothers has performed at many NYC comedy clubs doing stand up to make people laugh- something she, apparently, loves to do as evidenced by her web site which describes her, playfully, as “Actress; lover of cheese…”
Brothers is an Artistic Associate at Merrimack Repertory Theatre and a company member of The B Street Theatre and SF Playground. She was named MVP for Bay Area Theatre by the San Francisco Chronicle. Some of her recent projects include Peregrine Falls by Leegrid Stevens (directed by Lillis) at The Wild Project; playing God in the world premiere of the Kilbanes’ rock opera Weightless (directed by Becca Wolff) at Z Space and ACT in San Francisco and at The Public Theater’s Under The Radar Festival in NYC; Salesman (Workshop, Rough Draft Festival, LaGuardia Performing Arts Center) by Jeremy Tiang (directed by Michael Leibenluft) in which she played Arthur Miller. Brothers was Col Sandra Eden in The Trial of Donna Caine by Walter Anderson (directed by David Saint) at George Street Playhouse. Other world premieres include Broadway: Relatively Speaking-George Is Dead by Elaine May (directed by John Turturro); Off-Broadway: Clever Little Lies by Joe DiPietro at Westside Arts; Regional: Women In Jeopardy at GEVA, Be Aggressive and Ambition Facing West at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley; Seagull (as adapted by Libby Appel), Magic Forest Farm and Fortune at Marin Theatre Company.
Lillis is a director, playwright, and educator. He was the Humana Visiting Scholar and Artist in Residence at Centre College. As a director Lillis has been awarded: New York Innovative Theatre Outstanding Director, NY International Fringe Festival’s Overall Excellence in directing, and Best Short film at the Milan International Film Festival for his film Hand Over Hand which he wrote and directed. His plays are published with Dramatists Play Services. His solo show on suicide awareness, Hope You Get To Eleven or What are we going to do about Sally was awarded best show at Planet Connections Theatre Festival. Lillis is the host of The Farm Theater’s Bullpen Sessions podcast. He is a member of the LAByrinth Theatre.
I Was Right Here holds much promise based upon the playwright’s background and recent life experiences, alone, however even more so given the combining of these two talents, Julia Brothers and Padraic Lillis, with the production brilliance of San Francisco Playhouse. Don’t miss out!
THE PLAY: I Was Right Here
Written and performed by Julia Brothers
Directed by Padraic Lillis
THE CAST: Julia Brothers as herself
WHEN: March 27 – April 17, 2021
WHERE: Streaming video at sfplayhouse.org (tickets required)
TICKETS: For tickets ($15 – $100) or more information, the public may contact the San Francisco Playhouse box office at 415-677-9596, or online at
ABOUT SF PLAYHOUSE:
Founded by Bill English and Susi Damilano in 2003, San Francisco Playhouse has been described by the New York Times as “a company that stages some of the most consistently high-quality work around” and deemed “ever adventurous” by the Bay Area News Group. Located in the heart of the Union Square Theater District, San Francisco Playhouse is the city’s premier Off-Broadway company, an intimate alternative to the larger more traditional Union Square theater fare. San Francisco Playhouse provides audiences the opportunity to experience professional theater with top-notch actors and world-class design in a setting where they are close to the action. The company has received multiple awards for overall productions, acting, and design, including the SF Weekly Best Theatre Award and the Bay Guardian’s Best Off-Broadway Theatre Award, as well as three consecutive Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards for Best Entire Production in the Bay Area (2016-2018). KQED/NPR recently described the company: “San Francisco Playhouse is one of the few theaters in the Bay Area that has a mission that actually shows up on stage. Artistic director Bill English’s commitment to empathy as a guiding philosophical and aesthetic force is admirable and by living that mission, fascinating things happen onstage.” San Francisco Playhouse is committed to providing a creative home and inspiring environment where actors, directors, writers, designers, and theater lovers converge to create and experience dramatic works that celebrate the human spirit.