Brelby’s company members comprise our core ensemble. They take on administrative tasks to help keep our theatre running smoothly, but they are so much more than just volunteers. Our company members set the bar as leaders, artists, and humans as to what Brelby’s executive team expects from our collaborative artists. They are dedicated, driven, reliable, creative, and compassionate.
Today’s Company Corner features an interview between Brelby’s Artistic Director Shelby Maticic, and one of our most recent additions to the company, Jonathan Gradilla. Jonathan has been seen on the Brelby stage in Quest for Claus: the Musical, unexpected, Peter and the Starcatcher and Heathers the Musical. He was also a part of the stage management team for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.
Shelby: I remember the first time that we met. You came in for a volunteer day and helped with some of the grunt work of getting our new building ready to open. Tell me about how you found your way to Brelby.
Jonathan: I found my way to Brelby Theatre when I was really trying to find myself. I became active around the end of 2016. Upon accepting my first role I knew I had a special connection with the company. It seemed as though they wanted to be there, and this made me want to be there. Working at Brelby has given me this incredible opportunity to grow to be a better person and artist. I’ve become part of this incredible family, and I couldn’t be more excited.
Shelby: You were charming…but quiet. You’re still kind of quiet. I’m glad that you auditioned for us with so many amazing theatres in town.
Jonathan: I was drawn to this theatre because it had charm and a sense of community. I’ve learned that we all care for one another and give support when needed. I’ve been involved with the company for over a year now. I am lucky enough to call these people that run the show and create all the magic my friends and family.
Shelby: What drew you to theatre in the first place? How long have you been involved?
Jonathan: Throughout my childhood, I went to a performing arts K-8 charter school. Each fall and spring there would be a performance involving each and every class. I had always been interested in the arts but hadn’t fully committed until I was a Junior in high school. When I was placed in the ensemble of Bye Bye Birdie I knew that performing on stage was something I loved to do. Looking out to the vague, barely visible faces in the audience, completely captivated by the performance sealed the deal. Showcasing art, either being on stage or through a screen, has always been a big part of my life. It has shaped me into the person I am today and continues to allowing me to grow into my best self.
Shelby: The arts can be so powerful. Can you share one or two of your favorite Brelby memories?
Jonathan: I’ve met many friends at Brelby who will always hold a special place in my heart. My favorite memory doesn’t exactly take place at the space, but at my own home: when I got my very first callback from the theatre. When I got that email, I was amazed. Shocked. Excited. This would be my first callback since high school and I was nervous. I had had these doubts and thoughts streaming through my head, but Brelby saw past it all. They gave me that chance to show them what I had. I never would have guessed that a little over a
year later i would be an actual company member.
Shelby: You’re kind of known around here for your Zen personality. If you had to choose one quote that summed up how you try to live your life, what would it be?
Jonathan: Live and let live. Become your best and you will see the best.
Shelby: That quote is so you. I think it will serve you well in your new role as Media Liason. What are you looking forward to most in this new position?
Jonathan: Brelby Theatre’s most successful form of advertising is by word of mouth. My goal is to create unique and original digital media for advertisement and promotion of the Company. As the Media Liason, I am hoping to build a strong digital media buzz for the Theatre Company and it’s productions. With my years of knowledge and skills from media training, I hope to increase the quality and quantity of content released under the Brelby brand.
Shelby: Music to my ears. I’m looking forward to seeing what you create. What do you look forward to accomplishing as a company member?
James: I am excited to continue the growth and community of this theatre. We’ve got the purest intentions of supporting local arts. Everyone deserves their chance of expression.
Shelby: Thanks for letting us all get to know you a little better, Jonathan. Next up, Jonathan will be playing the role of Joey in this Spring’s AZ Premiere of Fly By Night.
Tickets are available HERE.