Santa Clarita resident emerges
from quarantine as an award-winning dramatist

At 60, when most people are planning for retirement or researching where they’re going to spend the remainder of their days, Stevenson Ranch resident Braddon Mendelson decided to become a playwright.

Braddon’s career journey spanned from writing and producing for television, film, and music videos (“during the 1990’s, when record labels invested like mad men”) to graphic design, photography, and website creation. But what came next firmed up his decision to focus the remainder of his life solely on writing plays.

Ten years ago, Braddon discovered an 1839 photographic image of the Boulevard du Temple in Paris. It was one of the first daguerreotypes, taken by Louis Daguerre out his studio window. The buildings reveal themselves in great detail. The street appears empty, because with such a long exposure necessary to produce an image, horses, carriages, and pedestrians moved too quickly to be captured on the silver-coated copper plate. Appearing on the corner, however, is the silhouette of an individual having his shoes shined, standing motionless long enough to be immortalized as the first human ever to be photographed.

We have no idea who this guy was, and he had no idea what a photograph was. This is the most famous unknown person in history,” thought Braddon, as he descended the rabbit hole of vintage photography, ordering biographies from Amazon and researching early 19th century Paris.

His lingering fascination with the image exploded when he learned that Daguerre met with Samuel Morse, the American inventor of the electromagnetic telegraph, at his Paris studio in 1839. He now had the setting for a fast-paced, farcical romp, as he reimagined the two inventors scheming to identify the person in the Boulevard du Temple photo as a publicity stunt to save a failing theatre.

Dave RItterband, Eddie Frierson, and Ben Cohen star in Braddon Mendelson’s “Rembrandt Perfected” during its World Premiere 2023 run. (Photo: Tim Hart / Olive Branch Theatricals)

What culminated from his research is Rembrandt Perfected, a full-length comedy that won “Best New Play, 2022” at the Long Beach Playhouse New Works Festival, where a special staged reading was presented.

Braddon recalled, “It was a terrific experience. The audience laughed at all the right places, while learning about this important time in the history of invention. It was a tremendous opportunity awarded me by the folks at LBP.”

Rembrandt Perfected
subsequently had a sold-out World Premiere run in January 2023,
The Main
in Newhall, California.

To Learn More About Rembrandt Perfected and Playwright, Braddon Mendelson and for Contact information

Written by

TVolution Founder and Managing Editor DARWYN CARSON completed a six-year stint as Managing Editor of Leonard Maltin’s Annual Movie Guide in 2015. She has been covering film since her early association with entertainment journalist Michael Symanski at She also covered film and restaurant news in her column Carson’s Corner for a variety of social publications. Her articles have appeared on Zap2It, Indiewire, and, of course, The TVolution. Follow Darwyn @bnoirlikeme. Follow The TVolution @thetvolution. Please Like The TVolution on Facebook.

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