Getting Lively, Lush & Local With: Erika Geller

Who are you? Erika Geller

What do you do? I’m a Founding Co-Artistic Director with The CoLab Theatre Company, an actress, a playwright, and occasionally a waitress.

Where are you from originally? Pittsfield, MA

How long have you been working in Boston? I’ve been working professionally in Boston since 2009, but I’ve been experiencing theatre here since 2005.

Why do you stay? Love that dirty water. This city has a feeling about it that speaks to me.

What’s your earliest theatre memory? When I was about 9, I was in a production of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. All I remember were the lights. It was terrifying.

What’s your first theatre memory in Boston? My roommate and I went to see Spelling Bee – the production was so full of joy that I didn’t want it to end.

What was your first job in the theatre? When I was 16, I interned at a summer stock company in my hometown. I worked with the stage manager. I was so jealous of all of the actors! It was an important experience because it taught me where my heart belongs.

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had before a show? My parents and I went out to a meal at Legal Seafoods. Rare tuna steak, seaweed salad, mashed potatoes, and a glass of pinot grigio! Yum!

What’s your favorite rehearsal snack? Apples. Or Twizzlers. 🙂

Do you eat before you go on stage or do you wait until after your performance to eat? I’ll eat something small before I go on stage, usually yogurt or fruit or pretzels. Usually I’m too excited to eat anything more!

If you could change one thing about theater, what would it be? I want to put butts in the seats. So many people are nervous to attend because they are unfamiliar with live theatre. Most theatre is accessible to the “everyman” (and woman) but they just don’t know it. We need to market it that way.

What kind of theater excites you? If the actors are enjoying themselves on stage, I’ll be excited in the audience. If the playwright put a piece of their heart in the script, I’m excited to speak their words. Show me a group of people who love their craft, and I’m on board.

What advice do you have for artists just starting out? You don’t have to take every piece of advice given to you. Listen, thank the advice giver and do what you feel is right for you. In the end, you have to be the type of artist you want to be. Keep pushing, and you’ll get there.

The Boston Theatre Conference focused on the lively, lush and local aspects of our theatre community. What do you think? We have all of the right puzzle pieces, but we’re still figuring out how to put them together. The border pieces are in place, but we’re looking for those pesky squiggly pieces that go in the middle of the picture. The only way we’re going to finish the puzzle is by trying new things and learning each time a piece doesn’t quite fit perfectly.

YOUR TURN! Write to us here!


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