Spotlight Series: Phil Brickey – Actor, Director, Rock Musician, and an Elementary Theatre Teacher

Shari Barrett

Registered Critic, Writer, Publicist

This Spotlight focuses on Phil Brickey, an actor, director, rock musician, and Elementary School Theatre teacher who was one of the first directors for whom I produced a 2006 show for Kentwood Players at the Westchester Playhouse. That show was George Washington Slept Here which required a double level set to be constructed as the home being renovated had to look totally dilapidated in Act 1 and beautifully restored in Act II. Quite a feat of stagecraft thanks to set designer Grant Francis.

Shari Barrett (SB): What would you like readers to know about your theatrical background?

Phil Brickey (Phil): I have a BA in theatre from the University of Arkansas and have acted in and/or directed 100+ shows, mostly in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas.

(SB): What production(s) were you involved with when word went out you needed to immediately postpone/cancel the show? 

(Phil): I was scheduled to hold auditions on April 11 for a show I am directing at STAGEStheatre in Fullerton called Fly Me to the Moon, a world premiere comedy by David Macaray. However, we are indefinitely postponed. Updates will be posted at

(SB):  How did you find out about the postponement? 

(Phil): My producer informed me of the postponement over a week ago.

(SB): Are plans in place to present that production at a future date, or is the cancellation permanent? 

(Phil): I believe they are planning to reschedule this season at Stages as soon as it is safe to have live theatre performances.

(SB): What future productions on your schedule are also affected by the shutdown? 

(Phil): My next scheduled gig is directing The Laramie Project for Whittier Community Theatre. But it’s not scheduled to hold auditions until January, so I don’t believe there will be a problem.

(SB): I adore that play and worked as the Stage Manager for the Kentwood Players production, directed by Michael Allen. The intensity of the piece got me crying backstage during each performance. The true and incredibly sad story about the murder of Matthew Shepard based on his sexual orientation is an important one to keep telling in light of the ongoing equality issues which still persist in our society.

How are you keeping the Arts alive while at home by using social media or other online sites?

(Phil): I am an Elementary theatre teacher for LAUSD and am trying to plan for lessons that can be taught using distance learning.  I’m also writing and recording music for my band, The Relaxatives.

(SB): What thoughts would you like to share with the rest of the L.A. Theatre community while we are all leaving the Ghostlight on and promising to return back to the stage soon? 

(Phil): Hang in there until this crisis passes. Be there for each other. Take the time to read a new script or reread an old one. Donate to your local theatre, if possible. And thank you for including me in this article!

Better Lemons Phil BrickeyPhil provided the photos for this article from a few of his prior shows: The Marriage of Bette and Boo and Same Time, Next Year.  But I could not pass up this opportunity to share my favorite photo I ever took of Phil channeling his inner Marilyn Monroe during our search for costumes for George Washington Slept Here. Stay positive and keep smiling everyone!

This article first appeared on Broadway World.

Shari Barrett, a Los Angeles native, has been active in the theater world since the age of six – acting, singing, and dancing her way across the boards all over town. After teaching in local secondary schools, working in marketing for several studios, writing, directing, producing, and performing in productions for several non-profit theaters, Shari now dedicates her time and focuses her skills as an independent publicist to “get the word out” about smaller theaters throughout the Los Angeles area.

As a founding member of the LA Stage Alliance Leadership Council Task Force, she and reps from theaters throughout the city worked together to articulate a vision for the theatre community of Greater Los Angeles.

Shari has received recognition from the City of Los Angeles for her dedication of heart and hand to the needs of friends, neighbors and fellow members of society for her devotion of service to the people of Los Angeles, and is honored to serve the theatre world in her hometown.

Currently she is the Publicist and a member of the Kentwood Players at the Westchester Playhouse.