I remember it was sometime during my senior year of college I was sitting in small classroom with five other people, two of them were Brian and Shelby. We were there to get a rundown of this new company they were going to make after graduating. At the time it was something I entertained as a cool idea, but as Brian and Shelby moved back down to Phoenix I didn’t think much of it other than a small contribution of writing to their first dinner theater.
So it was a month out of graduation and I was still in Flagstaff while I tried to find somewhere to go, y’know starting my life and stuff. I was talking to a professor and I mentioned how at that point, I truly had no idea what I was supposed to do next. She said “Go see what Brian and Shelby are doing.” And I sort of shrugged it off but she said “I’m serious.”
Now back in Phoenix, working a terrible retail job, my first two shows with Brelby were God’s Favorite and Alice’s Canvas. Those names may not be familiar with some of the newer Brelby people, and that’s fair because I can’t remember who actually saw either of those.
Brelby has a reputation as scrappy, and when I think where we’re at now, my only thought is “you have no idea”. It was crazy times, rehearsing at the Brelby house, building sets that would be wonderland in the garage. It’s strange thinking back then, and where we are now and it used to make me amazed. Now though, it’s very clear why all the awesome things that have happened, have happened.
That’s because Brelby is a place that’s built a family of artists, led by a couple that refuses to let setbacks ever stop their momentum. 7 Months we couldn’t use out own space so what do we do? We find someplace nearby! Two shows we moved our entire sets an entire block to another building. I once re-designed lights for a show the day of opening. And you know what? We pulled it off, because we’re Brelby!
With Brelby I’ve been able to play Albert Einstein and Orin Scrivello. I’ve been allowed to direct and assistant direct. I’ve designed lights and sound, something I never thought I’d do and it’s ended up as some of the creative work I’ve been most proud of. I’ve been able to help write a light-hearted Christmas show, and a modern re-telling of Alice in Wonderland. This year saw the production of Princess and the Pirate, a play I originally wrote as a joke, only to have it open to a roaring applause. It was one of my best moments here, and that’s in a long list of best moments.
I don’t wanna get too sentimental, but I’m happy this theater is in my life and I can’t wait to see what will happen in the future. I’m not just blessed to be here, I’m #soblessed.
– Luke Gomez