The Brick’s website describes its new annex, Brick Aux, as the Williamsburg theater venue’s “logical and magical extension.” That much is true: logical in that The Brick has long overflowed with new plays, film screenings, festivals, community events, and plenty more, and magical in that, well, how do they do it all?
It takes many hands, and at the helm is the ever-audacious magician, The Brick’s Artistic Director Theresa Buchheister. In this interview with Greenpointers, Theresa celebrates the opening of Brick Aux — located just across the street from the flagship theater at at 628 Metropolitan Avenue — and discusses how the new venue can be a vehicle for the theater’s income during difficult COVID times and, more importantly, for its ballooning artistic ventures.
Greenpointers: Brick Aux has opened! What was the driving force for opening this annex, and how are you feeling after months of realized effort?
Theresa Buchheister: There are a several strands of motivation, as always. One was that when I stepped into the role at The Brick in 2020, we still had Vital Joint down the road. It allowed us to have an office/recording studio/small venue/storage just down the road. Due to incredibly frustrating circumstances, we lost Vital Joint in August of 2020. And with it we lost our ability to make the resources of Vital Joint available to our artists and staff. Over the past two years, I came to fully realize how much those resources mean to people. So, here we are.
Brick Aux will do more than host rehearsals and workshops; it also hosts local artists’ works. Talk about that lovely part of this storefront!
Yes! Our community is filled with fantastic visual artists, so having a gallery in the front of Brick Aux is sweet. It sets the vibe, it invites new people in, it allows us to work with visual artists in significant ways. We did a great gallery show at The Brick in October 2020, but I mounted it all on the set that was still up from The Million Underscores’ show LAPA that closed in March 2020. Otherwise I would have been dealing with brick walls… Now, we can feature these artists in the gallery and via our monthly market!
You have a fundraiser coming up, yes? Can you talk to us about it?
We are having to be even more creative than ever before, because our partner in the space dropped out financially and administratively a week before opening. That hurt on every level of hurt possible. So! Ann Marie Dorr and Paul Ketchum are hosting a marathon karaoke party on October 7 with Kegan Zema bringing his karaoke skills into the mix. People can sponsor songs, like me singing “I Dreamed A Dream” while Blake Bolan shaves my head. They can sing. We will do instrumental covers. It will be long and totally bonkers and follow COVID safety protocols. Details dropping soon!
What do you feel the Brick, or perhaps the larger Brooklyn theater community, needs right now? How can people get involved and lend a hand if needed?
This is a huge question! I think we need to remember that we like being around people, making art, discovering things through failure. We need to remember that practices and ideas are always shaped by constraint and COVID is a constraint. It isn’t ending or destroying art. It is just changing it in ways. Also, I want to start throwing rejection parties because I was around three friends who got rejected from the same program on the same day that I did and we all had a better time being sad and gaining perspective than we would have alone.
What about The Brick and Brick Aux excites you most right now?
Oh you know me, it all excites me. Our fall programming is not all up on the site yet, but it is confirmed and it is thrillllllling. We have Jordan Reed, Jason Bartell/Lydia Mokdessi, Marissa Joyce Stamps, Joanie Drago, Eliza Bent, Can Yasar, BrickFlix, Sophie Amieva, Object Collection, Nathan Repasz, The Million Underscores, John Hastings, Bailey Williams…. DREAMY AF! And at Brick Aux, we have Solace Naeymi loading in and then in November, Greg Thrasher! We also have markets, birthdays, Jaime Wright doing astrological readings, Louise Mittleman doing reiki, Garlan Jude doing Alexander Technique, Marija Krtolica doing yoga and I am teaching a class on how to produce with the resources you have. But also August is barely started, and it is magical.
Anything else you’d like to add?
While we are doing all of this and that can be perceived as thriving…. we are also in a really scary place financially due to the partner dropping out. So, please join our Patreon or rent Brick Aux for rehearsal or birthdays or weddings or film shoots, come to the market, come to the shows, come hang out after the shows in Brick Aux where there is AC and whiskey. The thriving part is the art part. We love it. We love facilitating and getting creative. I love getting to know new folx and engage in new ways with old friends. I am committed to not losing this space we have worked so hard to create.
To rent out and learn more about Brick Aux, click here.