Bent Compass, a solo show written by actor Neil Brookshire and combat medic Colin Sesek, is part of the Primary Line-Up at Cincy Fringe this June. Brookshire and Sesek met while working for the Idaho Shakespeare Festival in 2004, the summer before Sesek joined the Army. Brookshire remembers Sesek bringing samples of MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) to the dressing room.
…The reading caught the ear of Kelli Strickland, artistic and executive director of the Weidner Center, associated with the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Strickland facilitated funding and resources to get Bent Compass on its feet. Brookshire contacted friend and actor Phil Darius Wallace, who has been writing and performing solo shows for two decades, to direct the play. The efforts culminated in a multi-camera recording in February of 2021.
Audiences responded well to the virtual offering, in particular, those who have lived through similar experiences. “That’s the best we could have hoped for,” Sesek says, “to have it resonate with combat veterans. That’s the goal.”
As in-person performances continue to return, Brookshire and Sesek plan to bring Bent Compass to audiences around the country.