Tessa Bridal was born and raised in Uruguay. After moving to Washington, DC with her mother and sister, she began writing as a means of dealing with the psychological impacts of immigration and displacement. She eventually moved to London and completed a three-year course in theatre arts, with a focus on acting and directing.
She later married and moved to Minnesota, where her two daughters, Anna and Kate, were born. Bridal went on to develop a career using theatre in museums—an educational and interpretive technique she was instrumental in developing and for which she became widely recognized in the museum field. While at the Science Museum of Minnesota, she was awarded the American Alliance of Museums’ Excellence in Practice Award, which recognizes an individual who demonstrates exemplary service to the public through the practice of education in museums.
Bridal also led interpretive programs at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. She is the author of two books on the use of theatre in museums: Exploring Museum Theatre and Effective Exhibit Interpretation and Design.
Her first novel The Tree of Red Stars won the Milkweed Prize for Fiction, the Friends of American Writers Fiction Prize, and was translated into several languages. River of Painted Birds (Río de los pájaros pintados) is her second novel and will be released both in English and Spanish.