The Ghost of Exile Yet To Come

Sun, 07/03/2011

Associate Artistic Director, Brenna Geffers, brings us inside planning the perfect season and how to avoid too much dill.Cooking Up the Perfect Season Summer time is a strange time in Exile. It feels like only a moment ago we were happily celebrating the successful opening night of Iron in our new Studio X. And now, we are on the cusp of a whole new season. New Shows. New Actors. New Designers. Hopefully new faces in the audience and at our parties as well.... Back in December, when last season was still just a teenager- this season began its infancy. Bryan - my managing director and best friend- and I joke sometimes that he is drowning in Exile present. But I often feel like the Ghost of Exile Future. There is barely time to enjoy one season before it's time to start worrying about the next. I often feel like an army commander- yelling "Go! Go! Go!" at actors and plays as they jump out of a plane to attack the world below. Get them in. Throw them out. It can be very exciting to be in the thick of seasonal planning. So many wonderful plays. All sorts of possibilities. But it is nerve-wracking too. It's like planning a dinner party for your incredibly cool friends. And there is no cookbook. Will the delicate and subtle taste of the first course of the Aliens clash with the hearty and flavorful Knives in Hens in the third course? If I put Gruesome Playground Injuries in the oven in November, will there be enough time to get Behanding ready for a delightful desert in April? Did I use too much dill? And these aren't just any dinner guests. These are the most important, most beloved people I know- you, the audience. We love what we do here in Exile. And we want to share these amazing stories, amazing faces with you and make you feel as great, as excited and as thrilled as we are about them. But can we? When you are planning a season, it can make you really question "Why theater" at all? Why is it so important to me to get you all in a room, and create something living and breathing for you? In today's world of bleak economical forecasts and budgets cuts- why do I feel so vehemently that people need theater. It is not a question that is easily answered. But I know, back in February, during the previews of Lieutenant, Matt Pfeiffer and I made a hasty hand off. He had a collection of plays by Rajiv Joseph. I did a quick curtain speech and grabbed the script off Matt while he settled in to do his directorial duties for Lieutenant. I went upstairs to Quig's Pub, ordered a special and proceeded to tear through Gruesome Playground Injuries. Maybe downstairs- Exile's most successful show ever was about to launch. But upstairs, I was swept away by these two lonely characters on the page. I knew them. I loved them and I knew I wanted you all to meet them. And that is all I can really say for sure sometimes. I hope you like these crazy, beautiful characters as much as I do. I think you will. I can assure you we have never had such a collection of lost, funny, gritty souls all onstage in one season. And on opening night of Knives in Hens, I hope you will come up and tell me what you think of them. But you will have to pardon me just a little. I will be worrying about the next season's character before I have had a chance to say hello to these ones. Until then, Brenna