Getting to Know Brandi Giles - Dallas Theater Center
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Getting to Know Brandi Giles

What do you do as Producer of Public Works Dallas Summer Showcase and Assistant to the Artistic Director? 

I think I’m really lucky in my position at Dallas Theater Center because I get to utilize both sides of my brain.  As the Assistant to the Artistic Director, I get to utilize my super organized part of my brain that makes to-do lists and check things off.  I feel satisfaction, if not joy, in finishing the task.  As Producer of Public Works Dallas, I also get to make to-do lists, but these lists are more artistic in nature… leaning heavily on my creative side. I get the opportunity to ask, “What if we…?” or “I love that idea!  How can we implement it?” 

What is your favorite part of the job?

My favorite part of the job right now would either be presentation meetings or designer runs.  I absolutely love presentation meetings because I get to just sit back and watch the magic happen.  I get to see the creativity overflowing out of the designers that I’ve been working with.  All of the concerns and challenges that we have been working through and possible solutions and it all starts to come together. 

Designer runs are just fun because it’s like going to see a show during work. It’s just like a presentation meeting but with the actors on their feet running the show! 

How did you find your way to theater?

How much time do you have?!?

Long story short I stumbled into it.  In high school we didn’t have musical theater.  We had Show Choir and Theater, so I did both.  I honestly don’t know if I knew musical theater was truly a thing people did.  As I matriculated through college, and after graduation, I started to see a thing called community theater.  I thought to myself… What is this beast? I auditioned for my first show and fell in love.   

From there, I did as much theater outside of my 9-5 as I could.  Eventually my passion became my profession, and that leads me to where I am today.  

Cast of Hair, Photo By Karen Almond

Cast of Colossal, Photo By Karen Almond

What is your favorite Dallas Theater Center production and why?

Geez…I have so many favorites it’s hard to narrow down.  I think the two that I would want to mention are Hair and Colossal

Hair because of how interactive it was. Because of how the audience was arranged in seating, because of the giant slide that was part of the set!  I think I paid to see that show four times and every time I came, I brought someone with me… so clearly I enjoyed that show very much.

Another show that I absolutely cherish the memory of is Colossal.  That show brought so many aspects into the theater world that I had never previously experienced as being part of the theater world.  I love the idea of having athletes, having a drumline, and having a football field as a set.   It was just so well done, intriguing, and engaging.

This is your first production to serve as producer, correct? What’s the most exciting part so far?

Crossing fingers and knocking on wood… this will be my first production that I would be a producer on that will come to fruition!  The part that’s been most exciting for me is registration. We are currently getting our community pumped up about being a part of this production, and it’s so much fun (slightly nerve wrecking) but mostly a boost of anticipation.

What can you tell us about A Little Less Lonely?

A Little Less Lonely will be a 45-minute filmed production that will feature community actors from three of our five community partner sites. Our actors will be rehearsing virtually online for the majority of the summer and then coming together in the last two weeks in July to tech and film the production.  

Our director will be coming in from out of state in July to work with our community and our designers are from many of local universities, primarily SMU. The story will have moments of realness and moments that are fantastical in hopes of answering the question, “How can we be a little less lonely?”

You’re also a teacher. What and where do you teach?

For 13 years prior to coming to Dallas Theater Center, I was a teacher in an academic setting at a school in Fort Worth.  Since I’ve been at Dallas Theater Center, I have not had a chance to teach academically.  However, I have been a teaching artist this year at Jubilee Park Community Center.   

I have a weekly workshop during their after-school program.  We have had two sessions.  Our first session focused on learning viral Tik Tok dances and our second session has been focused on more traditional dance steps and choreography, in preparation for our upcoming showcase, A Little Less Lonely this summer. 

Tell me about tie-dye.

Can Tie Dye be a way of life?

In all seriousness, I think I first experienced tie dye, as everyone does, in some summer camp in their childhood.  However, at the beginning of COVID, when I was locked in my house and couldn’t go anywhere, I try to find some activities that I could participate in while being outside and social distant.  I stumbled upon a YouTube video about tie dying… and then another YouTube video…. and then another YouTube video…. and then next thing I knew I was ordering fancy tie dyes off of websites and spending a lot of money on blank white t-shirts.

I’m pretty sure I wore tie dye every day for 5-6 months easily.  Now I only wear tie dye maybe once or twice a week.  Everything in moderation, right?

Do you have any advice for someone who’d like to get involved with theater, but doesn’t know where to start?

If you’re really interested in being a part of the theater community and you’re unsure of where to begin why not sign up for a class?  Public Works Dallas offers free workshops at many of our site partners. We would gladly give you information to sign up for one of those. You can always do what I did, and audition for community theater. When it’s safe, you can go see shows and read the playbill or the programs… there’s typically information about how you can engage with that theater. Jump in, have fun, be brave!