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Brooklyn Arts Council

Jun 2007

Original Post

Posted on:
February 13, 2013
Posted in:
Featured Artists


Isaac Rathbone/Playwright/Historical Plays

Artist Statement

Isaac Rathbone is a Brooklyn-based playwright specializing in plays that explore lesser-known or neglected events and people that highlight the American Identity. His historical plays include Captain Ferguson’s School For Balloon Warfare (59E59 Theaters, UK Premiere at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival), Undeclared History, The Bonus Army (both commissioned by Hofstra University), Little Eva (Greater Milford Historical Association, Upstate New York) and Violet to Ruth Ann (National Baseball Hall Of Fame). 

Where are you from? How long have you lived in Brooklyn?

I am originally from Central New York. I have lived in Brooklyn for almost 7 years.

How long have you been a practicing artist?

I have been a playwright for 10 years, though I have gravitated towards the historical genre within the last five years.

Who or what influenced your decision to become an artist?

I have had many influential teachers throughout my life who have led me in the general direction. However, my wife Jennifer really has given me the encouragement and full support to pursue my artistic endeavors.

What do/did your parents do for a living and were they supportive of you becoming an artist?

In my youth, my mother was a nurse for a local Hospice chapter and my father was an officer in the US Navy as well as a facilities director at a state college. They have both been incredibly supportive of each decision I have made and are almost always in attendance at performances.  I have been very fortunate to have their support over the years.  

Where did you go to school and what did you study?

I attended Hofstra University and studied film and drama.

What inspires you artistically?

Good music and old photographs.

Which other artists inspire you?

John Lennon, Ernest Hemingway and Dianne Whaley (my grandmother, who paints). 

What’s your favorite place in Brooklyn to visit for inspiration?

Brooklyn Bridge Park. Even when the weather is less than ideal, it is still an amazing place to be.

Do you make a living from your art? If not, do you have a “day job” and what is it?

I do not make a full-time living from writing. I currently work as a Rehearsal Studio Manager at CAP21 Studios in Manhattan.

How did you get started presenting your work publically? 

I submitted a short script to a 10-minute play competition at the Brooklyn Lyceum years ago and it was produced. That put the wheels in motion, so I began to write more and submit to small companies around the city and rest of the country. I also founded a nonprofit theater company, Oracle Theatre, and began to self-produce some of my own works.


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