Shelby Maticic of Glendale's Brelby Theatre Company: 100 Creatives

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Phoenix is brimming with creativity. And every other year, we put the spotlight on 100 of the city's creative forces. Leading up to the release of this year's Best of Phoenix issue, we're profiling 100 more. Welcome to the 2014 edition of 100 Creatives. Up today: 89. Shelby Maticic.

"We're kind of the quirky underdog that folks are rooting for," says Shelby Maticic of Brelby Theatre. Maticic, who's a director, co-founded the West Valley company with her playwright husband, Brian, back in 2009.

The downtown Glendale-based indie theater has prided itself on producing original and quirky works, including a 2013 steampunk-inspired take on The Importance of Being Earnest, a holiday show called Non-Fat Soy Peppermint Mocha Latte . . . with Sprinkles: A Tale of Christmas Spirit that our theater critic Julie Peterson described as having a "near-cinematic quality," and Telemachus, Darling, which Peterson called "an affecting, spontaneous live stage experience."

See also: Phoenix Designer Chris Reed: 100 Creatives

"We've actually produced 11 world premières so far, with three more lined up in our 2014 season," Maticic says. "Our next MainStage, the AZ premiere of Qui Nguyen's She Kills Monsters, is a love letter to geeks, paying homage to Dungeons & Dragons and '90s pop culture."

Quirky, indeed.

I came to Phoenix with great aplomb, in a St. Joseph's Hospital delivery room. I came back with my husband Brian (after receiving my bachelor's degree in Theatre Performance at NAU) with the goal of bringing more original theater to the valley.

I make art because it has the ability to change lives. Theater can be an escape, an outlet, a passion, or even a way to give the voiceless a voice. I believe that every individual is inherently creative and deserves encouragement to foster that creativity.

I'm most productive when I have a dirty vanilla chai, a deadline, and Vitamin String Quartet playing in the background.

My inspiration wall is full of ticket stubs, inspiring quotes, production stills, far too many post-it notes, and candid photos with Brelby collaborative artists that have made an impact on my life.

I've learned most from getting my hands dirty. I've tried my hand at just about everything at Brelby (although directing is really my passion), and I always encourage our collaborative artists to do the same.

Good work should always leave an impact.

The Phoenix creative scene could use more advocates.

See the 2014 edition of 100 Creatives:

100. Bill Dambrova 99. Niki Blaker 98. Jeff Slim 97. Beth May 96. Doug Bell 95. Daniel Langhans 94. Nanibaa Beck 93. Nicole Royse 92. Ib Andersen 91. Casandra Hernandez 90. Chris Reed

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