November 2019 Blogathon: Leigh Anne Hager

It is Brelby tradition to dedicate the month of November to giving a platform for our artists to share their stories. This month our annual Blogathon theme returns to its roots with a visit back to the topic of “My Brelby Story.” We’ve grown a great deal over the past few years, and many of our original bloggers have moved on to new careers, new lives, new challenges, and new cities. Enjoy this year’s series with 30 Days of Blogs.

I am a toe dipper. The one who timidly tests the water, searching for just the right conditions before entering the pool. #mybrelbystory begins in much the same way– with a toe dip.

I had heard about Brelby Theatre Company in passing, and when I saw that a couple of my friends were in an upcoming production of Heathers the Musical, I knew I had to go check it out. The theater is nestled in historic downtown Glendale. The area has such an interesting vibe– the juxtaposition of shops targeting my grandma, eclectic restaurants, and artists is so intriguing. I loved the theater and the performance of Heathers, but I needed to do more research before I jumped.

I started seeing more shows at Brelby and following them on social media. I was so inspired by the diverse casting, the creative vision, and innovative new works that Brelby brings to life. I saw a post on the Brelby Facebook page searching for a music director for their upcoming production of Jasper in Deadland. I strongly encouraged my friend to give it a shot, and BOOM! She was selected to be the music director. Researching Jasper in Deadland, I fell in love with the story and the music. I knew I needed to take the dive!

The atmosphere for auditions and callbacks was so chill and welcoming. It was honestly the best audition process I’ve ever experienced. You could tell everyone there just loved what they were doing. After getting cast, the rehearsal process was no different.

The passion Shelby, Brian, and the Brelby Company members have permeates every aspect of a production. They care deeply about the art, the people, and the process. One thing that really excited me about the Jasper in Deadland production was Shelby’s huge vision, and that EVERYONE was on board to make it happen.

I had the opportunity to craft a few of the foam wigs with other cast and crew members, as well as some costume pieces. We had such a blast backstage working together, bonding and helping each other in whatever way we could. Everyone was so supportive, it was a really refreshing experience.

Brelby Theatre Company is just that– a refreshing experience. It is comprised of artists who are risk-takers, fearless, fiercely loyal, passionate, and innovative. Through successes and failures, they support one another and work to share incredible art in the Valley. My only regret is that I didn’t jump in sooner.


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