For Mr. Gardner, all that lightheartedness was getting heavy. He was shouldering a punishing load as artistic director and primary caretaker of a space that presented 40 to 50 weeks a year. “It hit me that the artist in me had been getting the raw end of the deal,” he said. “But I felt very conflicted. I didn’t want to close this beautiful thing that had built a community of its own.”
The Brick had a loving, stable community, but it had also lost a certain sense of danger.
Enter Ms. Buchheister, a longtime confidant, who was already a leading figure in the deep fringe scene. Mr. Gardner needed out; she’d just had a revelation about her life’s purpose. So while he and Mr. Honeywell will stay on the board of directors, come Jan. 1, the management will change.
Ms. Buchheister — an actor, writer and director with her company, Title:Point — is a throwback to the New York of 20 years ago. Inspired by her early Manhattan days interning for Richard Foreman (she was in his dadaist lumberjack comedy, “The Gods Are Pounding My Head!,” in 2005), she has done what few in experimental theater have dared to do in the post-9/11 era. She’s gone big.
Title:Point was a member of Silent Barn, the late, lamented DIY compound in Bushwick that included a functioning barber shop. At Silent Barn, Ms. Buchheister presented evenings that have proved to be lasting series, including Interrobang.
Most visibly, she started the widely flung Exponential Festival in 2016, which stands toe to toe with the big January fests like the Public Theater’s Under the Radar. For those interested in the bleeding edge, Exponential was the source, according to David Herskovits of Target Margin, the Obie-winning theater now in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
“Theresa is the best outsider curator-maker we could hope for,” he said. “Theresa doesn’t look under the radar; she lives under the radar.”
After leaving the imploding Silent Barn, Title:Point started a miniature basement venue in Williamsburg called Vital Joint. It was hard to use for anything other than comedy, though.