June 25, 2005

The death of a local playwright.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports:
Joel Gersmann, 62, artistic director of Broom Street Theater since 1969 and one of Madison's most prolific playwrights, died Friday in his home. He had been in poor health for some time.

The theater has a reputation for producing experimental, avant-garde plays, many of them controversial.

Currently, the theater is featuring "Oklahomo, a Gay Comedy About Curley, a Resident Drag Queen, a Transsexual Cow and Homophobia."...

Gersmann's own plays included subjects ranging from Nazis to Nancy Drew, and from abortion to pedophilia.
Anyone who's ever lived in Madison knows that the Broom Street Theater is one of those distinctive things that make Madison Madison. Goodbye, Joel!


Deb Whitehorse said...

His wild and eclectic book list that he wrote for Isthmus newspaper every year will be greatly missed. I always admired the man for learning classical Greek as an adult so that he could read The Odyssey and other epics in their original language. He was the type of character that fit well with Madison and his death leaves a void.

Menlo Bob said...

What fun, a play about pedophelia, let's make an evening of it.

Shelley Jordan said...

Joel was a complex, multi-layered man, much beloved by his vast array of friends across the country. He had a homey, comfy private side that many people didn't know about.

He loved to cook, was an intensely loyal friend who lived his life with commitment and integrity. I could always count on him for the truth, a character trait rarer than you'd think.

He also had a passion for learning and a legendary encyclopedic knowledge of classical music second to none.

He was one of the closest friends I've very had and I miss him terribly.