Ensemble Interview: Jerry Perna


Photo Credits: Sarah R. Bloom Photography

Bright Invention is gearing up for the event of the year: The Improvathon. From December 6th at 7pm through December 7th at 7pm, our ensemble will be improvising for 24 hours straight. Why? Because we like a challenge. We also really would like to keep our home. Bright Invention’s 24 Hour Improvathon is a part of White Pines Productions’ capital campaign, Waiting For The Dough. During The Improvathon we will be raising money to help us stay in our theatre space in Elkins Park next year.

To prepare you all for this awesome event, we’re interviewing our ensemble members. What are they thinking about all of this? Who do they think will fall asleep first? We’ve got your inside scoop, and first up is the one and only Jerry Perna.

  • For those who don’t quite understand what it is, how would you describe Bright Invention’s Improvathon?

A display of how we have come together over the past year, grown as an ensemble and can take on anything! 

  • You’ve got credentials as long as my arm in theatre, film, and everything in between. Well, maybe my tiny arm is not the best comparison, but you know. Have you ever had a 24 hour experience like this before?

 No, I can't say I have. The closest I've come were a couple of film shoots that went to 17-18 hours. A sort of primal survival mechanism kicks-in, where you just dig down deep and do it.

  • The entire ensemble will be training and preparing for this event as best as we can. What do you imagine your strategy will be for staying awake to perform for 24 straight hours? Or do you have a strategy at all?

I don't know if it is a conscious strategy, but I plan to keep moving. From my own experiences under physical/mental duress, this seems to be my most effective coping skill. I plan to do lots of push-ups, sit-ups and stretching. Those 5-hour energy drinks were recommended by our Artistic Director, and though I've never tried them, this seems like as good a place as any to start! 

  • We’ve all seen or heard about other various 24 hour theatrical events, but what do you think Bright Invention brings that makes what we’re about to do different?

Since I've not attended other 24-hour events, I don't have much to draw on, but I believe it is to our great benefit that we have had the past year to build as strong a unit as we have. I have come to trust and believe in the members of our group. For me, this is our greatest strength!


 Follow The Improvathon on Facebook!


Interview by Rising Leader, Randi Alexis Hickey.