By Hannah Aslesen
I should be sleeping right now…I should definitely, without a doubt, be sleeping. But I can’t. We just wrapped a 12 hour tech rehearsal for the scripted play Lawrenceburg and my body is wiped, brain fried, and emotions drained. And yet, here I am, wide awake at my computer soaring with fulfillment at the life I live. Not long ago I moved to Atlanta, not knowing a soul and looking for a change. I took a leap of faith and drove my little Chevy Cruz the 1300 miles it takes to venture from Minnesota to the deep South. Three days later I took a class at Dads Garage and instantly fell in love. Fast forward two years and I’m doing a scripted play on their mainstage…wait what? How does something like that even happen?
When I think about Dad’s Garage, I find it hard to properly articulate the kind of meaning it has to me. How does one define a place that is professionally, intellectually and socially the most important institution in your life? I pondered hard on this one. I wanted to find a ground breaking word that both made me sound smart and did justice to its significance. Enchanting? No, too story book. Inspiring? Nah, too cliche. Breathtaking? Come on Hannah, it’s an improv theater not a sunset view. I was stumped. What is this place to me? Well quite frankly, it’s everything: it’s my place with my people and my passion. It’s my…family. Oh shit, that’s it! Dad’s Garage is my family. I am captivated and floored by the individual genius of each member of this company. There is so much life and vulnerability and zeal that ignites the magic we make on stage. Real people showing up and making real choices about meaningful things. Sure we still make a dick joke here and there, but what family doesn’t?
And you know what’s at the crux of making this family so incredible? The forefront of this creative empire stands on the legs of some dope ass women! I’ll never forget the first show I ever saw at Dad’s. It was a Saturday night TheaterSports and I was transfixed by the fervor and charm of Amber Nash and Megan Leahy. They were so seamless and bold, almost effortless in the way they carried themselves. It was unlike anything I’d ever seen, and it was lead by women! You hear me? WOMEN! That was the moment I knew I had to be a part of this world. I had to find a way to be immersed in this lifestyle that was being paved by trailblazing females. And now I’m there; surrounded by a cast and crew of powerful ladies with resumes that would blow your mind! Check this, the Lawrenceburg director, stage manager, assistant stage manager, lighting technician, set designer, prop designer, fight choreographer, dance choreographer, and lead actress are all – yep you guessed it – WOMEN! What a time to be a part of comedy, am I right?! Someone pinch me. Or don’t. If this is a dream, I don’t want to wake up.
So here’s to you Dad’s Garage. Thank you for empowering women and people of diversity. Thank you for setting the standard for art and community and for being the best decision I’ve ever made. And to the people who fill it our little haven of comedy, both audience and fellow creatives alike, thank you for your gusto and enthusiasm for life. I am so insanely proud to be apart of this adventure with you. Here’s the moments that will define our mark…and the dick jokes that shall forever accompany them.