Keeping with our 16 year memories, our Directing Intern Brey Ann Barrett shares a touching love story from her teenage years. She married her high school sweetheart after their love of performing arts drew them together. After meeting at an audition, the couple grew their relationship into a marriage and eventually made the move from California to Philadelphia, where Brey currently studies Directing, Playwriting & Production at The University of the Arts. She recently Assistant Directed The Edge of Our Bodies and will Assistant Direct the World Premiere of The English Bride with Deborah Block.
When I was 16, I was helping out a local storefront theatre company during my school breaks, which happened to include their summer musicals. That particular summer I was expected to be the page turner for the piano player and was able to attend the auditions for the show Assassins. It turned out that there wasn’t much need for my page-turning skills but I lingered around to observe the audition process from the lobby. With me were a couple of my friends from school: one was auditioning and the other was also going to be helping with the show.
As young gals do, we decided that we would talk to strangers auditioning for the play. This is included some playful flirting with a couple of the guys there. I zoned in on a slightly nerdy guy with dark hair and glasses wearing a “Chicks Dig Scrawny Pale Guys” shirt.
I told him that I liked his shirt because I indeed liked scrawny, pale guys; which was true and still is the case.
We three girls, this nerdy fellow and one other gentleman ended up hanging outside the theatre and chatting for a couple hours about all kinds of different things and interests. All the while, I found the nerdy fellow more and more interesting and really hoped that he would get cast so we could hang out. At the time, I was really hung up on a guy at school that was sort of stringing me along and wasn’t going anywhere. I wasn’t at all interested in the idea of a relationship with anyone.
I give you this information in order to say that the whole time nerdy fellow was talking; I kept thinking “I bet he would be a fun make-out.” Absolutely, a sixteen year old thought.
Well, anyway, the five of us came around to the age announcement part our discussion.
My friend auditioning says, “20.”
My friend working on the show says, “18.”
The other gentleman says, “27.”
And finally the nerdy fellow says, “22.”
And then I said, “16”.
Nerdy fellow’s face flashed a look of shocked disappointed and I realized that it may be a little strange for both of us now that this information was revealed.
We talked a little longer and then started to part all our separate ways. As the three girls left, we all chatted about the guys and it seemed clear that the nerdy fellow had made an impression on us. I left thinking that was the last time I would see him.
However, it turns out that he was a talented dude and was cast in the show. It was a little awkward at first trying to chat with him just as friends but eventually we hit it off and were always hanging out on breaks and after rehearsals. We had so much in common and were so comfortable with each other. He made me realize and believe that there are guys out there who could just be nice, kind, funny, and smart and all the while appreciated the person that I was and would eventually become.
He was interested in my passions and hopes and was willing to listen to my problems (no matter how teen angsty they may have been). And, in time, I found myself genuinely interested in his passions and his hopes.
We worked on two more shows together and had our first date on my 17th birthday that October. We have been together ever since and will celebrated 8 years of being together in October and our 4 year wedding anniversary in December.