Press Release (ePRNews.com) - GLENDALE, Ariz. - Jun 12, 2017 - An Illinois native, Jennifer Gantwerker made her theatrical debut at age eight in a summer camp production of Prejudice is an Ugly Color.
“There was definitely face paint and a candlelit performance of Imagine,” Gantwerker said.
She said she went on to graduate from the University of Southern California with degrees in Theater and International Relations, and then, she laughed, “chose the career path that guaranteed her the smallest income.”
Since moving to Arizona in 2013, Gantwerker has performed with local theatre companies including Class 6 Theatre and Southwest Shakespeare Company. She also appears in several ongoing shows with Murder and a Meal Dinner Theatre and is a member of The Cosmonauts sketch comedy troupe. Previous roles at Brelby include “one-half of Ariel” in The Tempest, Rosalind Franklin in After Hours at Rosie’s Pub, and Lady M in Macbeth. A member of SAG-AFTRA, she is represented for film and television by Dani’s Agency, and recently played a lead role in the short film Know the Shot. When she is not acting, she works as a teaching artist, bringing drama into classrooms throughout the Valley. She said she also teaches yoga, makes delicious homemade burritos, and is responsible for the lives of one plant and one cat.
Gantwerker plays a magician’s wife in Brelby’s The Pledge, opening Friday.
“Natty is funny, awkward, smart, and passionate,” Gantwerker explained. “She puts her heart and soul into everything she does. She doesn’t back down from a challenge, isn’t afraid of hard work or sacrifice, and her caramel crème puffs are amazing,” she grinned.
Clayton Caufman is a Company member at Brelby as well as a director of their improv team Results May Vary. Caufman has been doing “close up magic” for nearly six years and says he is “extremely humbled to be part of bringing The Pledge to life.” His previous Brelby acting credits include Peter and the Starcatcher as Alf, The Oz Chronicles as Tinker, The Tempest as Stephano, and Non Fat Soy Peppermint Mocha Latte With Sprinkles . . . A Tale of Christmas Spirit as Darren.
“David is a struggling magician trying to find success,” Caufman said. “He will do anything to help get his show off the ground even if that means hurting those closest to him.”
“This show is about what happens to a relationship when the people involved aren’t equally invested in it,” Gantweker said. “Except with magic.”
Caufman interjected, “It’s about the fine line between illusion and reality, and if you can truly tell the difference.”
When asked what are their favorite parts about working on the project, the actors have interestingly varied answers.
Gantwerker has two favorites. “One has been watching these characters come to life. They are unbelievably well written, and this cast is making incredibly brave, nuanced, interesting choices. I feel lucky that I get to play with such talented people. My other favorite thing is all of the illusions in the show. I am legitimately amazed by magic and always have been, and this show has only made me love it more,” she exclaimed.
“My favorite part of working on this show,” Caufman answered, “is the sheer amount of magic in the show. Working on these effects has been a blast. It isn’t often I can combine my two loves in life – magic and theatre.”
Gantwerker added, “Audiences should come see The Pledge because they will be amazed and surprised and delighted and challenged by it, and those are feelings that people have historically been in favor of having. Also, and I can’t stress this enough, MAGIC!”
Caufman concluded, “You should come see The Pledge because it will truly make you question your own reality.”
The Pledge by Megan O’Connor is directed by Brian Maticic and plays June 16-17, 23-24, 30, July 1 at 7:30pm and June 18, 25 at 2pm.
Brelby partners with local downtown Glendale businesses to offer more options for audience members. By showing their digital ticket, audiences can receive 10% off of their bill at the Hop Stop Diner, 10% off of any entrée at Haus Murphy’s Restaurant, and 10% off of a customer’s bill at the Olde Towne Glendale (OTG) Beer & Wine Bar or the Gaslight Inn.
Tickets are available by visiting the official website, brelby.com/tickets. General admission is $15 per performance. Admission is included in the benefits of Brelby’s ShowGO subscription: brelby.com/showgo. The Brelby Playhouse is located at 7154 N 58th Dr, Glendale, AZ 85301.
Brelby Theatre Company