Today we’d like to introduce you to Bree Pavey.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Bree. So, let’s start at the beginning, and we can move on from there.
I’ve been performing all my life. As a kid, I would dress up in my grandma’s clothes, hats, wigs, jewelry, and makeup to come to the living room to perform theme songs to their favorite TV shows. In college, I got degrees in philosophy and sociology and was involved in pre-law programs but was also always doing theatre. After graduating from law school and passing the bar, I went back to doing theatre even while working as an attorney.
Eventually, I realized that law was not the path I wanted to be on, so I sold everything and moved to LA. In my first few years in LA I got into SAG and had a great time doing film, TV, and commercials, but still, I was always doing theatre. I had the great privilege to travel to NYC with a world premiere in LA that moved off-Broadway. After a few years of loving New York, I realized LA had become home, so I returned.
My focus since returning has been cultivating intimate theatre and nonprofit work. I serve as the Managing Director for Loft Ensemble, and my “day job” is as Producing Director for The Blank Theatre in Hollywood! I get to live theatre all day and all night, and all my dreams have come true. And thanks to a wonderfully patient and supportive husband and friends, I maintain my sanity most days.
Has it been a smooth road?
It actually has been pretty smooth for the most part. I tend to thrive during a challenge and an excited by problem-solving, so there is a certain joy in the struggle for me. But yes of course money gets very tight, loved ones pass, friends betray, hearts break, shows flop. But that’s just life.
I’ve been lucky enough to be surrounded by amazing friends and artists, and I have an incredibly supportive family, so while things have certainly been hard over the years, I honestly can’t remember anything specific because each moment of pain was overshadowed by countless moments of gratitude and joy.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Loft Ensemble story. Tell us more about the business.
Loft is an award-winning, a nonprofit theatre founded in 2007, and we are recognized by Equity as a membership company. We tend to attract a younger membership because we do some pretty unique work. I don’t know if edgy has been too overused in describing theatre, but I think it suits us.
We like to push the envelope and challenge the norm in our work. We think it’s a good thing for people to be uncomfortable and provoked into the conversation. We are a 100% volunteer-based organization that strives to create a bit of a home base for members.
Being in LA is hard, and scary and can be very lonely. So we try to craft an environment where everyone focuses on being honest, supportive, encouraging and loving. We want our members to feel safe taking huge risks and working outside of the box.
We encourage people to try doing everything in theatre, act, write, produce, design, costume, build sets, take pictures, make videos — any and everything. My Artistic Director, Adam Chambers, and I always say we want to grow professional artists who are also good humans.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Intimate theatre is a shifty creature. It’s very different in LA than almost anywhere else I’ve been. LA has more 99 seats and under theatres than anywhere else, yet we don’t have what would be considered a theatre culture. In a town that attracts millions of tourists annually, none of them come for theatre, which is kind of astounding.
The somewhat recent change in Equity’s rules has had a profound impact on the theatre landscape in LA. So as tourism grows farther out of reach as a target audience and small theatres continue to be impacted by an inability to work with Equity actors, we see technology beginning to play a bigger role.
Whether live streaming or just working with multi-media in productions, I see colleagues really doing some incredibly innovative things in intimate theatres which lays the foundation for an industry-wide evolution in how we present live work.
I’m also really inspired by a place like A Noise Within, where they are working on programs for shows that are less visually or aurally stimulating to allow audiences to share an experience who may have otherwise not been comfortable.
I’m generally impressed with the ways intimate theatres can stretch limited funding to create really engaging and honest work that is straight from the heart.
- Mainstage shows are $20 (Students $10 with ID)
- Dark Night shows are $5
- Address: 13442 Ventura Blvd Sherman Oaks CA 91423
- Website: LoftEnsemble.org
- Phone: 818.616.3150
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/loftensemble/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/loftensemble/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/LOFTensemble
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/loft-ensemble-sherman-oaks
- Other: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOjwrj1EyOYAul9Jx84qC9Q/featured
Emma Latimer, JD Ramage, Dayeanne Hutton, Victoria Anne Greenwood, Shane Tometich