Ten actors, nine months, one play.
If everyone who visited this page gave $15, we'd meet our goal. It's that simple.
Kickstarter has been one of several fundraising sources for The Seagull Project. Through Kickstarter, and individual fundraisers held over the past year, we have raised over $48,000 for our production of The Seagull! And while we have met our initial Kickstarter goal, we have not met our overall goal of $20,000. You can still give to this Kickstarter and help us reach that goal! Time is running out. Please pledge today.
Read on for more details, or just click the "Back This Project" button now!
The Seagull is a play about passion - artistic passion, physical passion, and a passion for living that overcomes all obstacles. It's a play about love and art. It's a play that reveals the lengths that passionate people will go to in order to connect with one another. From serious to absurd, hilarious to tragic, it's a play that explores the fullness of life, in all its depth and beauty.
For nine months, we've been training like athletes, and focusing like monks, in preparation for opening night. We've been inquiring, challenging ourselves, taking tiny steps and huge leaps toward a more perfect understanding of this play and our roles in it. We've been calling into question everything we think we know as actors. And it's paying off. Each week we become more connected as an ensemble. A Chekhov play cannot be a tightly controlled and choreographed work of lock-step precision; it must be a canvas on which spontaneous ever-changing performances unfold, where actors can be bold, and where each and every night, new moments of vivid truth emerge, as surprising to the actors as to the audience. This is only possible with an ensemble that is deeply related both on- and off-stage. Through this amazing process, we are becoming that ensemble.
We've booked a well-known and respected theater. We've hired top-notch stage managers, an award-winning design team, and a celebrated director. And we have brought together an ensemble of some of Seattle's finest actors.
Our actors begin full-time rehearsals very soon, and will be working mostly on union contracts. We must honor those contracts.
Ensemble: Julie Briskman, Brandon J Simmons, John Bogar, Alexandra Tavares, CT Doescher, Peter Crook, Julie Jamieson, Hannah Victoria Franklin, Mark Jenkins, Tyler Polumsky, and John Abramson.
Production Team: John Langs (Director), Gavin Reub (Dramaturg), Robertson Witmer (Sound), Andrew D Smith (Lights), Doris Black (Costumes), Jennifer Zeyl (Sets & Props), Melissa Hamasaki (Stage Manager), Verhanika Wood (Production Manager).
The Seagull Lab
Our Lab Producer Gavin Reub has scoured the city in search of answers to one simple question: "How much art can we create on the themes of this fascinating play?"
Through the Seagull Lab we have led intensive workshops with students at the University of Washington. We have hosted a wildly popular series of readings of Russian literature at ACT Theatre (The Great Soul of Russia) that has explored works of Dostoevsky and Chekhov; Russian fables and ghost stories; Brian Friel's Afterplay; and the many works of Russia's female writers, including poet Anna Akhmatova. We've commissioned new translations for the reading series (as well as a limited edition thank you gift) from Russian-born Partner Artist Anastasia Armes. And we have partnered with artists Foster Turcott, Eric Olson, and Timothy Firth to create bold art installations that will be on display in the large windows at ACT Theatre along 7th Avenue and Union Street during the run of The Seagull.
Most recently, The Seagull Project has partnered with University of Washington professor Laura Chrisman, whose grandfather was Byron Randall, the prolific Pacific Northwest expressionist painter and printmaker. As a result of our respect for Randall's vivid work - much of which evokes the many themes of Chekhov's play, including a love of the physical environment, images of water (including seagulls), and country life - and Dr. Chrisman's admiration of The Seagull Project's commitment to an artist-driven process and local artistic talent, we will be curating a showing of Randall's work at ACT Theatre during the run of the play. Dr. Chrisman has also generously donated several of Randall's pieces as special thank you gifts at the $525 and $1000 level.
To learn more about Byron Randall, click here.
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Because we have been working on this project for many months, we have already faced and overcome many challenges. But of the many small challenges that still exist in bringing this play to life, the most urgent is paying our actors. The Seagull Project, for the most part, is not a conventional company. We have big ideas, and we make bold choices. But there are inescapable realities within the world of theater production, especially when working in a major professional theater space, with professional union actors. Because of the many complexities of theater production, it happens frequently that the actors are the last to be paid. And because there is no turning back - we've already begun selling tickets, and our director and designers are already on contract with us - if we don't make our payroll budget, it's the actors who take a cut in their pay. It's not ideal, and it's not pretty, but it's one of the realities of working in the theater.
This Kickstarter exists solely to rise to this challenge, and to pay our actors a living wage. This Kickstarter exists so that our hardworking actors can have health insurance, and pay their electricity bills, and eat healthy food. This Kickstarter exists to make the theater a place where everyone can practice their craft, and live a full, healthy life.
For a person who stands up for that, there are no words but thank you.
The Seagull Project has been funded primarily by individuals who have made donations at small fundraising events that we've hosted over the past year (over $40,000 was raised this way). Going into November 2012, we had $20,000 in expenses (almost entirely actor payroll) yet to be funded. We have attempted to reach that goal by continuing our traditional approach, as well as reaching out to our friends and family through Kickstarter. We set a modest goal for the Kickstarter, and we reached that goal in only two weeks. In an effort to reach our overall goal of $20,000, and pay our actors a living wage, we have continued to direct people to our Kickstarter to maximize the efficiency of this easy-to-use service. Anyone can still donate to the Seagull Project through our website (http://www.theseagullproject.org) or by sending a personal check to The Seagull Project c/o ACT Theatre, 700 Union Street, Seattle, WA, 98101.
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An authentic limited edition Seagull Project button!Estimated delivery:
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All of the above, plus a random, one-of-a-kind Polaroid taken backstage before a performance, with a personal note from an ensemble member.Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
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All of the above plus an authentic Seagull Project shot glass! All of our events feature a traditional vodka toast, and now so do yours! Za vas!Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
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All of the above, plus a prop from the show - a handwritten piece of paper from Konstantin's desk in Act IV, or a lip blot (with a handwritten love note) from the diva Arkadina's dressing room!Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
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All of the above plus a production photo of your favorite character from The Seagull, signed by the actor!Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
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All of the above, plus tickets to the show, a production poster signed by the cast, and an original translation of a Chekhov short story by Seagull Lab Partner Artist Anastasia Armes.Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
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All of the above, with tickets to opening night and access to the opening night party. PLUS: Access to our workshop sessions, rehearsals, a backstage tour, a tech talk; and an invitation to a Kickstarter-only edition of our infamous Zakuski parties, hosted by the Seagull Project producing ensemble and featuring readings by the cast, and authentic Russian delicacies.Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
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All of the above. PLUS: A limited edition woodcut print by Seagull Lab Featured Artist Byron Randall (1918-1999). Inquire at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.Estimated delivery:Add $25 USD to ship outside the US
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All of the above (through the $500 level). PLUS: a one-of-a-kind, original painting by Seagull Lab Featured Artist Byron Randall (1918-1999). Inquire at email@example.com for more details.Estimated delivery:Add $25 USD to ship outside the US
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