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Meet Ann Garvin and Jerry Bisantz of Image Theater in Lowell

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ann Garvin and Jerry Bisantz.

On a crisp fall night in September, 2005, Jerry and Ann launched Image Theater Company with Mill City Minutes at Lowell High’s McDonough Freshman Academy on John Street.

The festival featured a selection of new 10-minute plays by New England playwrights, performed by local actors, plus original music, including the zany song “Keep It Brief” done vaudeville-style by showgirls.

It was a bright beginning for the small professional troupe, which was committed to bringing more theater to Lowell’s burgeoning downtown cultural scene.

Since then, Image Theater has survived and thrived, albeit without a permanent home.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
We are dedicated to producing the original works of local playwrights, authors, composers, and film makers. Selling an audience on an unknown can be difficult.

Not having a permanent space can be challenging. We are often searching for rehearsal and performance space.

We mainly perform upstairs at The Old Court Pub or The Whistler House Museum of Art. While both spaces are wonderful in their own respect we deal with the physical constraints of each venue.

Being homeless necessitates adaptability.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Image Theater story. Tell us more about the business.
We premier new full-length plays including Jack Neary’s The Big Apple, James McLindon’s Distant Music, Patrick Fenton’s Kerouac’s Last Call, and Karla Sorenson’s Tapped Out.

We annually stage our Keep Your Kids Home Naughty Readings, a fun evening of risque plays and songs. We also present City Stories, dramatic readings by local authors and poets. We have co-produced 2 short films, Memories for Sale, and Fred and Emile. We also have an evening of short original films by local film makers.

What I am most proud of is our festival celebrating the talents of local female playwrights, Fem Noire. I have produced Fem Noire since 2011. I love being able to give voice to female playwrights. Many female playwrights are still in search of a stage for their plays. I am proud Image Theater recognizes and showcases the talents of these women.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
It is not luck, it is hard work and determination and always wanting to keep it fresh and push to the limit.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Image Theater

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