Sneak Peek: Ghost the Musical
By Megan O’Connor
We’ve entered a new phase of Brelby!!! In case you haven’t been keeping up with us, we’ve moved from our former space to the new beautiful Brelby Playhouse located in Catlin Court. And rehearsals are well underway for our next Main Stage show, the Arizona Premiere of Ghost the Musical! The cast and crew spoke with the Brelby Buzz about being part of a new work and their experiences with the paranormal to get you ready for the show.
Brelby Buzz: What is the best part of working on an Arizona Premiere?
Leeann Tegl, Louise: It’s gratifying knowing that you are putting on a work nobody has seen. I’ve done one before and it’s an amazing feeling. It gives the actors more freedom for choices since we can’t copy another productions. Same with the designers.
Mary Plante, Ensemble: So far, Phil’s creative get-to-know-you questions.
Gabriel Escudero, Ensemble: It’s fun being able to bring new art to people and have that be their first experience with it. It’s not something you get to do often.
Aubrea Robards, Ensemble: Whenever you do a show you are forever compared to others who have done it before you – so for us, other than the original recording, we shall be what everyone is compared to. Nailed it.
Megan O’Connor, Stage Manager: New works are so fun! They come with all kinds of new energy and endless possibilities. Every piece you do should have your own original stamp on it, and everything feels limitless with a new work.
Mia Passarella, Subway Ghost: I love working on premieres because it’s something fresh, something most people in Arizona haven’t seen, and something I definitely haven’t worked on. I love working on newer things. I feel like it allows me more creativity and originality while creating my characters.
Allison Bauer, Ensemble, Hair and Makeup Design: I love working on premieres because it’s something people haven’t seen yet. There are no major expectations or standards for what the show is too look like so it gives an awesome amount of creative freedom. It’s a perfect outlet for creativity and originality.
Monica Hernandez Bollt, Ensemble: There’s just something special about working on a premiere. You know it’s something that people will remember, and it feels impactful.
Phillip Amerine, Carl: Having the opportunity to set the precedent for all Arizona shows to follow ours.
David Samson, Sam: The best part of working on an Arizona Premiere is that you have the artistic freedom to make the character and/or production your own. You get to set the standard for all future productions to follow. It’s very exciting because it’s something that most audiences haven’t seen before.
Devon Mahon, Assistant Stage Manager: You know that feeling you get when you look at a soda fountain machine and you see Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Root Beer, Poweraid – your standard stuff – and then you occasionally see a machine and you’re like, “Oh they have VANILLA Coke?!” or, “CHERRY Coke! How exciting!” ? Well, working on an AZ premiere is like being that new drink added to the dispenser. It’s something different for people in your area to experience and enjoy, and you get to be a pivotal piece in introducing it.
Jessie Tully, Costume Design: I love designing for premieres! You get to help create this world that not a lot have people have seen or in some cases no one has seen. It’s exciting and most of the time the end product makes you feel incredibly proud.
Melody Chrispen, Hospital Ghost: Premieres, particularly musicals, always pull in such a unique creative team. We have so many new faces performing in this production! I truly cannot wait to see how our audience will react to such an incredibly talented team.
Brenna Jackson, Ensemble: The best part of working on a premiere is knowing that we’re setting the precedent of how other companies will do this show in the future. It’s a little scary, but also very exhilarating. I just hope we can bring alive something that existing fans and newcomers will enjoy (and we will)!
Shandi Ilyse, Mrs. Santiago: The best part of working on an Arizona Premiere would have to be getting to originate your role and bringing the show to life for an entirely new audience. Nobody will have seen anything close to what we’re doing in the Valley, and everybody loves getting to be “The First.”
Zachary Arnold, Assistant Director: Arizona premieres are so exciting! You get the chance to introduce something amazing to a fresh set of eyes.
BB: Do you believe in ghosts? Have you ever had any kind of supernatural/paranormal experience?
LT: I definitely believe in ghosts. One lives in my best friends house! I have too many stories–just ask.
MP: No and no.
GE: No, but I don’t dismiss the possibility since I have had friends who have had that experience.
AR: No and no but I still will never stay overnight in a haunted hotel because that’s just crazy.
MO: I’m not sure. I believe in spirits and energy, but I don’t believe that people stay here with us after they die. I haven’t really had any supernatural or paranormal experiences that I can remember. I feel like that’s the kind of thing that would stand out in your memory.
MP: I believe there are things in this world that I should not and do not want to mess with. And no, I haven’t experienced anything, myself.
AB: I believe it’s possible for souls to not ascend or descend immediately but I wouldn’t say that I am a full believer in ghosts. I’ve definitely been places where I have felt negative energy but nothing too crazy.
MHB: I do believe in ghosts, but I try not to think about it too much because I’m a big weenie.
PA: I’ve never seen one so I find it hard to believe in them, but I’m not against believing in them.
DS: I definitely believe in spirits.
DM: I definitely believe in ghosts, and I’ve had a few instances. My last apartment in Flagstaff had a ghost who we called Emily. She lived upstairs with me and Zanden…her room was through the panel in Zanden’s closet. The panel would fall off all the time and one drunken night we took flashlights and went in the room. Never any violent occurrences, just board games falling from shelves, doors creaking open and slamming, and a creepy giraffe chalk pen incident.
JT: I do not and I have not. But to this day I will not let a limb hang off the bed or leave my feet uncovered at night while I sleep….so maybe a small part of me does.
MC: I do, actually. I’m not into ghost hunting or Ouija boards or anything like that, but I’ve definitely been around my share of theatre ghosts. Some nice, others not so much. One time at my college theatre, I walked into the bathroom and swore that I saw floating faces in the mirror for a brief moment. I’ve had a few encounters like that. I’m not fully convinced that ghosts exist, but I certainly have high respect for the concept of a supernatural realm in general.
BJ: I believe in spirits more than I believe in the traditional ghosts. Like I believe the dead can communicate with us in their own ways for a certain amount of time after their death. My grandfather was a carpenter and he signed his work with a butterfly. His death was really hard for my family, but a few days after the funeral, my dad came home from work and said that a butterfly flittered around his car the entire drive home, and I truly believe that was my grandfather trying to send us a little comfort from the other side.
SI: Absolutely! I read tarot cards, dowse with pendulums, and do all sorts of witchy things so ghosts are definitely on the menu. And yes, I have had a ghost encounter in a hotel room in Anaheim of all places, but it is a bit of a long story. All I will say is beware of ghostly little girls in pink pajamas. Especially when they don’t have heads.
ZA: HECK YES I BELIEVE IN GHOSTS ARE YOU KITTEN ME?! Ghosts are so freaking real.