Ben Bradley in the kitchen of the Fountain Theatre. Photo courtesy of the Fountain
In memoriam: Ben Bradley, the Fountain Theatre
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The life and accomplishments of slain producer-director Ben Bradley will be celebrated at a memorial service hosted by The Fountain Theatre at 11am on Saturday, Jan. 23rd, at the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre in Barnsdall Art Park. Barnsdall is located at Hollywood Blvd. and Vermont, just a few blocks from the Fountain Theatre. The service will feature guest speakers, live music, and a video montage commemorating Bradley's life and career. A potluck reception will immediately follow at the Arts Center next door.
Those wishing to attend the memorial are asked to RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or to call the Fountain at 323/663-2235. (Guests are urged not to call Barnsdall Art Park.)
Bradley had been with the Fountain Theatre for over 17 years, serving as the Director of Audience Development and as a producer and director. His most recent directing achievement was the critically acclaimed production of August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean, for which he won LA Drama Critics Circle Awards for Production of the Year and Best Director. He also received the 2006 Ovation Award and the 2007 NAACP Award for his direction of another runaway hit Fountain production penned by August Wilson, Joe Turner's Come and Gone. His other Fountain directorial credits include Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill (NAACP Award for Best Actress) and Direct from Death Row: The Scottsboro Boys (Best Ensemble, L.A. Weekly Award, and Best Ensemble, Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award).
He also produced the highly lauded Fountain productions of Photograph 51, Yellowman, Master Class and Central Avenue, and co-produced the Fountain's The Darker Face of the Earth, I Am A Man, and Four by Tennessee.
Bradley was born Sept. 18, 1949 in Wilkes County, GA, but his family moved to Baltimore, MD when he was very young. He was a graduate of Carroll College in Wisconsin, where he majored in theater. He worked at the downtown Los Angeles Theatre Center as Lobby Subscription Manager before joining the Fountain Theatre family in the early 1990’s.
In addition to the arts, Bradley had another great passion – food. He was, in fact, a gourmet cook and was renowned for the delicious meals he prepared for opening and closing nights of Fountain shows. His other hobbies included oil painting and collecting music and works of art. He was a warm, gentle, generous, loving man who enjoyed entertaining friends and family with a story and a meal.
Bradley was stabbed to death on Jan. 1st in his Koreatown apartment. (Corrects earlier reports that he died on Jan. 2nd.) His body was discovered on Jan. 2nd by a stage manager who had gone to his home to check on him when he didn’t show up for a rehearsal or return phone calls. Bradley had been preparing for the west coast premiere of Ifa Bayeza’s The Ballad of Emmett Till; Shirley Jo Finney has now taken over the directorial reins. Mexican national Jose Fructuoso, 25, who has been romantically linked to Bradley, has been charged with his murder.
“In memory of Ben, and because he cooked for us for all these years, we will now cook for him,” said Fountain Theatre co-artistic director Stephen Sachs. “The reception will be potluck. We are asking guests to bring a favorite dish, dessert or drink to feed Ben's spirit and soul and to celebrate his love of food.”
The Fountain Theatre has established The Ben Bradley Memorial Fund, to offset funeral expenses for his family, and to develop new plays in the future at the Fountain. For more information, go to www.FountainTheatre.com or call Diana Gibson at 323/663-1098.
For More Information: The Los Angeles Ben Bradley Memorial Service at the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre at Barnsdall Art Park, 4800 Hollywood Blvd. (at Vermont), Los Angeles. Jan. 23 at 11am. Free parking. A potluck reception immediately follows the service. RSVP to email@example.com or call the Fountain at 323/663-2235. Please do not call Barnsdall Art Park.