In Good Company: Looking Back on Season 8

In Good Company
By The Brelby Theatre Company Ensemble

To wrap up another great season, we asked the members of the Brelby Theatre Company Ensemble to talk with us about the past year and what they look forward to in the future. We say goodbye to Season 8, but have so much to look forward to in the New Year! We hope you’ll be with us!

BRELBY BUZZ: You’ve all done so much amazing work this year as an Ensemble! Tell us, what is one memory that stands out above the rest?

John Perovich, Education Director: Selfishly, my favorite memory this past year was the production of missing grace in the Studio Series. I really love the play—it was a very difficult play for me to write—and it was great seeing it come together at Brelby. If I’m not being selfish with my own work…then my favorite memory this past year was definitely the warm and electric reception to Rosie’s Pub. It was a critical time of year for the Company…preparing to complete the move to the new space. It was wonderful to see the final show at the studio sell out on multiple nights. The entire show had a positive vibe during its run…I really liked that vibe and was proud of Brelby.

Melody Chrispen, Box Office Manager:  I think my favorite memory from this year was opening night of missing grace. We had a full house and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house by the end of the show. I have never seen an audience move through so many emotions simultaneously. They laughed, they sighed, they gasped, they cursed under their breath, they sobbed. It was such a beautifully moving piece of art and I feel honored to have been part of it.

Allison Bauer, Production Manager: missing grace was a huge deal for me. I had read the show before we did it and I had numerous conversations with John about it. It was something so incredibly special for me. People needed to see it and hear its words. The fact that people left feeling something was more than I could ask for. It was also a big turning point for me as an actor and a person. I also loved the response that Rosie’s got. It happened in such an important time and it’s relevance even now is more important than ever. I think that those two shows said a lot about subjects that people tend to deem as taboo and people needed to hear them.

Jessie Tully, Wardrobe Supervisor:  After Hours at Rosie’s Pub was the shining light of this past year for me. From our first writing session to closing night it was a dream come true. Rosie’s was really important for me personally. I learned a lot about myself as an artist and a human. Also Mia and I discovered we make a great team. Finding a writing partner that you work so well with is like finding an artistic soul mate. This years been a rough one but things like that make it worth it.

Shelby Maticic, Artistic Director:  I think my favorite moment might have been tied to opening night of Windfall. I was so insanely proud of Brian for that show. He had been developing it for years, and poured so much into it. The cast was tight. The production team was wonderful. Fernando did an amazing job of doing justice to a script that Brian was so passionate about. It was exactly the way you hope to open a season as an Artistic Director.

Carolyn McBurney, Advisory Board Liason:  Rosie’s Pub– the women who wrote it, the cast who performed it and the patrons who thanked us for telling this story. I hope that it is not the end of the road for Rosie’s.

Zachary Arnold, Marketing Intern: My favorite memory from this past year was boot camp during The Oz Chronicles. It was great cheering everyone on who entered that relentless obstacle course. So…many…starfish. There was a lot of energy is those rehearsals.

Mia Passarella, Cultivation Specialist: So much has happened this year. Windfall was so great, The Miscast Concert is always a blast (even though I lost my voice this go around), and I made so many puppets that I’m extremely proud of. However, I think if I had to choose one memory, it would be performing in missing grace. That show was such an incredible experience. Because there were only three actors in the cast, there was so much opportunity for cast bonding, and character development. I pushed myself harder than I ever have before and produced a performance that is my best artistic work to date. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity I was given by being in that show.

Anabel Olguin, Shop Manager: One of my favorite things from this past year was being a part of The Oz Chronicles in general. I got a chance to meet and work with a lot of new awesome people on a brand new show. I also was able to do a lot more for this show than for shows I’ve been involved with in the past. I got to be onstage, work on the set and costumes as well as hair/ makeup.

Bertha Cortes, Education Outreach: There are so many great things that happened that it’s difficult to pick just one. I made it a goal to work on as many things as possible this year which at times I hated myself for but overall I’ve learned a lot. I am so thankful to Brian and Shelby for giving me so many opportunities to grow.

Fernando Perez, Media Liaison: My favorite memory would have to be Cold War Kids. It was such a different story than I’m use to telling so that entire process was terrifying in the best way possible. It was such a special and unique story that I wanted to do it justice as a director since my cast and crew were all nailing everything they were bringing to the table. At the end of the day I couldn’t be prouder of that show.

Devon Mahon, Cultivation Specialist: My favorite memory as an audience member was during missing grace when the fridge opens for the first time on its own. It was opening night and I held my breath during that entire moment and had every hair on my body standing on edge. I was fully in the moment experiencing theatre magic and going through all of the emotions.

Clayton Caufman, Result May Vary Director: My favorite memory from this last year has to be doing the sound design for Ghost: the Musical. I challenged myself to source and record all of my own sounds, which I did. It was a very rewarding process.

Luke Gomez, Podcast Director: The one memory forever burned into my skull was in The Oz Chronicles; most Brelbians now know the story but during a matinee my co-actor, Clayton, destroyed his knee and had to go to the hospital before the intermission. It was decided then, that I would take over his lines for the rest of the show to sort of fill the gaps. With 5 minutes prep, I was back on stage now doing 2 characters lines. It’s a strange memory, but it was the kind of experience every actor dreads happening to them and now that it has I don’t think I can ever get scared on stage again, ever. I also have to mention missing grace. It was, in my opinion, the best show Brelby did this year, and we had a very good year for shows.

Mat Vansen, Marketing Liaison: My favorite memory from this year is definitely the first time we read and walked through the Yoga scene from Windfall. It was everyone’s first time and we all had such a blast playing with it and upping the absurdity and I don’t think I’ve had quite that much fun in the rehearsal room in a long time!

Chelsea Jauregui, Results May Vary Director: My favorite memory is probably the Windfall process as a whole. It’s where I started to come out of my shell. I had some great slip ups (…get it) and saves during the run of the show; “Theresa!…thanks for the ride, girl!” That yoga scene though! Even housing a dead boy was a good time.

Brian Maticic, Executive Director: There were a lot of incredible moments this year: Getting the new space open, directing missing grace, sold out run for Ghost… but one stands out for me. Opening night of Windfall was something I can’t even explain. Overwhelming, uplifting, and rewarding in ways I didn’t know where possible. Not only seeing my script that I had worked on for so long brought to life, but the passion that came from the artists involved, the energy surrounding the whole production, the response from the audience… it was so much. I hope every artist gets to experience something like that at least once.

Megan O’Connor, Blog Manager: I think I have a lot to be proud of from this season, but a few highlights include getting nominated for a Zoni with my writing team of Shelby and Luke for our script, Meet the Dryers–that was a great feeling! I also loved the work I did makeup designing for Postcards from the Apocalypse. That show gave me a lot to play with and I think I did a great job turning Alexxis into a living doll.

BB: So much has happened in 2016 and Brelby really is just getting started. What are you most looking forward to in the New Year?

JP:  I’m really looking forward to the projects that I’m working on at Brelby this year. It’s going to be a busy, exciting year! As the Education Director, I’m excited to go into my first full year in the position. I’m looking forward to collaborating with Bertha. I’m excited to be performing in Peter and the Starcatcher and directing a piece in A Night of Shorts—and Devon‘s Whisper Sweetly! Finally, I’m excited for my newest play—unexpected—to be on the main stage this summer at the Playhouse. Lots to be thankful for and lots to look forward to!

MC:  Well. Most of my life revolves around Brelby, so really I’m just looking forward to the lineup next year haha. In particular, Dogfight, unexpected, and Midsummer. Dogfight has become one of my favorite musicals, I’ve always been in love with Midsummer, and I just love John Perovich‘s writing. This particular story sounds hilarious. I’m taking it easy, compared to what I usually do, next year, so that’s exciting. I’m hoping to have more time to socialize, crochet, and, you know, sleep. #lifegoals

AB:  I am over the moon about A Night of Shorts. I am excited and scared and it makes me wanna vomit but I’m so excited. I am also very excited to costume Peter and the Starcatcher. unexpected is going to be hilarious. I am super stoked for all of my friends who have plays in the season too. Megan and Devon and Luke and Mia and Jessie and everyone! Since my life revolves around the theatre, that’s what I’m looking forward too. I’m also excited and stupid nervous to fully step into my role at the theater now that I am done with school.

JT:  I can not wait to see the new worlds we create next season. The playwrights are insanely talented. I think the studio series I’m most excited for is Blacklisters. Luke has done a beautiful job of writing a thought provoking, at times funny and terrifying show. Next year is full of unknowns and I think Blacklisters couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time.

SM:  I’m delighted to see the strong wave of support for all of our new plays. It’s always a risk to produce original works, but I believe in our community. Everyone is taking the opportunity seriously, and I can’t wait to see the resulting theatre. I’m also excited to continue settling in our new home. Each organizational project makes us feel more comfortable and focused, and it’s been amazing to be able to host 3-4 rehearsals/activities at once without feeling crowded. We have a lot of exciting things coming in 2017, expansion, advisory board recruitment, new faces, new opportunities. I’m excited for all of it.

CM: New Year- I am so proud of Allison and the Take Me Back team. I also look forward to learning all kinds of things from Mollie for Peter and the Starcatcher and look forward to all the magic that is ahead as we settle into our new home in Catlin Court!

ZA: I am personally extremely thrilled to be performing in Blacklisters next year. On my list of shows I’m excited for in 2017, Blacklisters has been ranked number one for awhile now. The script is so amazing and I am so honored to be able to help bring it to life as Judd.

MP: SO MUCH NEW WORK!! I think new works is the driving force in the theatre community. I think theatre needs new works to continue in this world. And so many of my best friends have full length plays being produced this year, and I couldn’t be more excited for them. I am also extremely jazzed about The Night of Shorts. Jessie and I wrote something that I am extremely proud of and the cast/director of our piece is doing a stellar job. I never thought that I would consider myself a writer, and now my words will be brought to life on stage. That’s surreal.

Oh! I wrote for the first time this year too in Rosie’s Pub. And now Better Half is going to be produced. Daaaang. So much HAS happened this year.

AO: Ever since the 2017 season was revealed in the summer, the shows I have been most excited about include Dogfight, Midsummer, and unexpected (even though I have practically no clue what it’s about, it instantly stood out to me). Overall, I can’t wait to be able to be present and contributing throughout the entire year. I also get to step into roles that will help me grow as a theatre artist.

BC: I am super excited to get the opportunity to work with John next year! There are so many great things lined up that are going to blow people away. Personally I’m looking forward to learning how to sew and I also plan on doing some traveling. All the things that will help me be a better person and artist.

FP: I’m most excited for Depend on Me. Getting to work with Brian as a writer again is going to be a lot of fun. It’ll be like creating a spiritual successor to Windfall.

DM: In the new year I’m looking forward to completing my first full length play and getting to see it on its feet.

CC: I’m super excited about all the world premiers next season. The one I’m looking forward to the most is Megan O’Connor’s play, The Pledge.

LG: In the first part of the year will be Blacklisters, the second full length I’ve written for Brelby and incidentally a show that would only exist because of Brelby’s writers group. I get to direct again this year with the show Space Junk and I cannot wait to get it on it’s feet. I’m also sound designing Brian’s new show so you can all look forward to that playlist. Overall, I’m incredibly excited for all of the new works, and just the fact that we’re producing so many new writers.

MV: I’m looking forward to all of the original works! We had a lot this year but it feels like next season is even more jam packed with original goodness! I love both witnessing and being a part of the creative process and seeing everything come to life in a way that it never has before.

CJ: Every show I have done with Brelby has been an original work. There is something so satisfying about being a part of the original cast of a new work. I’m very excited to get back to auditioning for the first time since August. unexpected, Whisper Sweetly, Shakespeare! I’m excited for the moment when I stop and realize that, “hey, I haven’t stopped making art in for like ever…Hell yeah!” I might just audition for all of it, who knows, I don’t; and that’s what makes it so exciting!

BM: PETER AND THE STARCATCHER!!!!!!!!!! This is my favorite play. The only true dream role I’ve ever had. And. It. Is. Going. To. Be. Incredible. You would have to be a fool to miss this production. I’m also super excited to direct Megan’s first full length original play The Pledge. I’ve always been a huge fan of Megan’s writing, and she is one of my favorite artists and people to collaborate with. Then there is my next script, Depend on Me. I can’t wait to really dive into it and explore all of the themes and characters I’ve laid out. It has some incredible potential to be my strongest work yet. I’ll also start teaching the middle school Theatre program at my day job in addition to Math and Science, so that will be a grand new adventure as well. 2017 is going to be a big one and there is a lot to look forward to.

MO: There really is so much to look forward to in the New Year. Personally, I’m excited to continue writing both for the Brelby Buzz as well as personally. My first full length play has been commissioned by Brelby and will be going up in the summer and I’m so excited to be given this opportunity. I’m most excited to continue to put down roots in the art community in Phoenix–there is so much talent here and so many exciting things happening and I’m thrilled to be part of it. I look forward to all the amazing art my fellow Company Members and Collaborative Brelby Artists are just waiting to create!

Our thanks for the Brelby Theatre Company Ensemble Members for everything this season! And from all of us at Brelby to you, our readers, artists, and patrons, Happy Holidays and New Year!

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