Terri McGhee, the new manager of Peery's Egyptian Theater, likes a lot of drama in her life.
For that matter, she also likes music and movies and other live entertainment, and aims to bring a bit of all of the above to Ogden as she begins her tenure.
McGhee takes the helm as the previous manager, Sarah Bartlo, moves out of state. McGhee arrives at Peery's about a month into what is considered a typical season by such performance arts centers.
Several movies, such as "Warren Miller's Wintervention," "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" and selected works form the Sundance Film Festival, are already on the docket. So are several shows courtesy of Weber State University's Cultural Affairs series, including the Portland Cello Project in November and the Punch Brothers in March.
Community shows are a presence as well, including the annual Celtic Celebration in March. But there are certainly holes in the schedule that McGhee would love to fill with enticing entertainment.
"As I am coming in after what might be considered the official start of the season, I'll just have to see what I can still do to add to it," said McGhee.
She wants to bring a bit of her own flavor, as well as community ideas for programs, to the schedule by early next year.
"It looks to me that there are not quite as many things coming in the spring, so I am hoping I can get a few things in. Then we can really hit it hard for next year."
McGhee comes to Peery's from an event management position at Salt Lake Community College's Grand Theater. She also worked previously in a similar capacity with Abravanel Hall and the Capitol Theatre, both in Salt Lake City.
Upon graduation from Utah State University about 20 years ago, the Salt Lake City-born McGhee was hired for a similar position to the one she now takes on at Peery's, at Mohave Community College in Kingman, Ariz.
"That was what you might call my first official job out of college," she said. "It was a really good experience."
McGhee said she is excited about presenting programs once again, as she did in Kingman.
"Really, I have not been able to present since I was in Arizona in the '90s. I am excited about the opportunities to make some great selections of shows the community will enjoy. Of course, presenting has to be self-sustaining, making the money we need to stay open and vital. So it will be challenging to get the kinds of shows people will enjoy and support, so we can do more and bigger things as we go on."
Variety is key
In Kingman, McGhee said she focused on bringing in a variety of entertainment.
"Here, I hope to bring in a mix of film and dance and interesting rentals and music and drama -- even nonperformance events. The variety that is possible is appealing.
"In Arizona, we had quite a small presenting budget, but our series was very eclectic and I loved that within that community. In that part of Arizona, it tends to be very conservative -- a cowboy town, in a sense -- but we did all kinds of great stuff that was well-received in the community, especially after people got to know they could trust what we brought them.
"At the beginning, I think I brought some stuff that was out of people's comfort zone, but they got to love the variety. I loved that, and hope to bring an aspect of that same idea to Peery's, too."
One idea McGhee has is partnering with presenters in Salt Lake City, Logan, Evanston, Wyo., and other nearby communities to block-book -- meaning scheduling nights at Peery's that can piggyback with other regional stops by national artists and/or touring companies.
"That is where I am at right now, thinking where I can go to get performances that might cost me less if I am smart, by combining with others for shows."
She also wants to hear from community members, performers and organizations that have ideas or programs that might fit Peery's season.
"I want people to feel like they can stop by and give me their opinions," she said. "They can let me know what they want to see, what inspires them. Collaborations and partnerships will be welcome. I am hoping to get in there, get working with everyone and that that will get my creative juices to flow."