Abigail Bruley is a writer, performer and director with a penchant for exploring the hefty things with a light touch, with a grin, with an elbow nudge. Her affinity for the human psyche, the world of the metaphysical, the surreal life of the cognitively disabled, and the dark humor of it all informs her style at every turn.
She credits her innate sense of humor with finding the funny in the harrowing experience of building a new life from scratch after acquiring a Traumatic Brain Injury in 2013 (an incredible experience detailed on the Repeller website). The idea for a dark-comedy Limited Series, Main Remains, came to her after she had come back online from a coma (an unbelievable, yet true story). The brush with death igniting a drive to live in the world of the series, she wrote, directed and performed in two supporting short films, Main Blessings(starring indie-rock legend Ted Leo) and 2019’s Main Absolves. During this time she also created a comedic narrative web series, The Rub, and began exploring auto-biographical work by making the short film, On the Dot, about a funny and relatable brain-injured patient and the attempt of a suitor to woo her having no idea how to woo a brain-injured person.
She got her chops writing and performing comedy at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade and The People’s Improv theater under teachers like Michael Showalter and James Murray, and creating the cult web series Down the Show, a sketch comedy series that attracted special guests like Janeane Garofalo, Kevin McDonald and Eddie Pepitone and earning Bruley a Writer’s Guild Nomination for best writing in a New Media series.
She’s Ivy League-trained in the life of the mind, having received certification to teach Mindfulness from both University of Penn and Brown University, and holding her own course, the Begin Again class, for a population that has been through great challenges and is ready to start life over again.
"I think in pictures, so I felt really drawn to the art form of film as a way to make my point-of-view into a tangible thing. I had the chance to discover what kind of stories I wanted to film in college and they always had a comedic bent to them. I think this probably stemmed from the fact that I was using my friends to fill out the cast and crew and I just liked laughing with people. As I got older, I realized that I liked writing comedy into my films because of its pureness, I guess you could say, it's closeness to the truth of the thing. So from there, I started studying it more closely."