Keep costs down for Boston-area anti-bullying fundraiser-production of the original musical "ASHPET: An Appalachian Cinderella Story"!
As of now, we are completely self-producing the show but unfortunately, especially since we are trying to do the show as a fundraiser for anti-bullying efforts, admissions simply will not be enough to cover the costs of putting up a show, no matter how frugal we are. We plan to scour thrift stores and yard sales and rely heavily upon word of mouth. But that is not enough. At bare minimum our costs are:
Performance Venue Rental: $800
Total Minimum Goal: $1350
(And that goal doesn't even take into account the fees that Kickstarter and Amazon will charge us and take away from your donations)
Any donations we receive in excess of our goal here on Kickstarter will allow for better costumes & set and, if we make enough, give a stipend to the hard working actors and musicians who are volunteering their time to make this show happen! And don't forget, the greater portion of our production costs we cover in advance, the greater portion of admission donations can go towards anti-bullying efforts! Now don't you feel all warm and fuzzy for giving us a monetary helping hand?
"Ashpet: An Appalachian Cinderella Story" is a new musical written by two women who hail from opposite coasts of the US but now both call Cambridge, MA, home. "Ashpet" was first developed by Ruby Ross and Marika Tabilio in 2008 as part of Ross' Senior Music Major Project at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. It was produced through the university's student-run theater group Second Stage in April 2008, had a repeat showing at an area church in September 2008 as a fundraiser to fix the church's organ, and was produced with a new cast in Charlottesville, VA in August 2009, all to rave audience reviews. Now deep into rehearsals with a Boston-area cast, the show is set to go up in mid-November in Cambridge, MA at the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Harvard Square.
The story of "Ashpet" comes from the Cinderella fairytale brought over to the Shenandoah Valley by German immigrants ('Ashpet' comes from the German 'Aschenputtel', whereas 'Cinderella' comes from the French 'Cindrillon'), which was then adapted to mountain life and became a folktale. Set in 1860s Fort Defiance, VA, at the start of the Civil War, the story follows an indentured servant girl (Ashpet) who, with the help of the Old Witch Woman on the mountain, finishes up her chores, goes to the county-wide church meeting, falls in love with a newly-enlisted soldier, loses a shoe and, well, you know the rest.
The show runs about an hour and fifteen minutes, is family-friendly (though not only geared towards children), and centers around the music, much of which is Old Time- and Bluegrass-inspired (you can listen to some of it online at myspace.com/AshpetTheMusical or below). It also champions the ideals of equality, having faith in your dreams and taking your destiny into your own hands. This November's production will be a fundraiser for NoBully.com with at least $2 of each admission donation plus any net proceeds going towards anti-bullying efforts.
We have a fabulous cast lined up!
Listen to the Boston cast at the first rehearsal of the finale song:
MEDIA FROM PREVIOUS PRODUCTIONS:
The Sisters' Taunting Song (Watch out! It won't ever leave your head!):
Ashpet's lament, Darkest Hour:
Duet between Ashpet and the Old Witch Woman, Dreams Come True Reprise:
Video clip taken by an audience member of one of the shape-note hymns from the church meeting scene:
Video clip taken by an audience member of the first production's finale:
Press release from the Charlottesville Production:
Regional premiere of “ASHPET: An Appalachian Cinderella Story”
July 23, 2008 Charlottesville, VA- What do you get when you cross a classic fairytale, the Civil War and Old Time-inspired music? Answer: "ASHPET: An Appalachian Cinderella Story," an original roots-musical being presented at Live Arts on August 7 & 8 in the Upstage Space by Fiddlesticks Productions, a new theater production company started by Albemarle County resident Ruby Ross.
Set in the Shenandoah Valley at the start of the Civil War, ‘Ashpet’ tells the classic tale of an orphan girl who loses a shoe and falls in love, but with a local historical twist: this time the orphan girl is an indentured servant to an upper-class woman and her two spiteful daughters, and instead of hoping to go to the ball, Ashpet’s biggest dreams are to attend the county-wide church meeting. With the help of the ‘Old Witch Woman,’ a freed slave living up on the mountain, Ashpet finishes her chores and travels to the Augusta Stone Presbyterian Church, where she falls in love with a newly-enlisted Confederate soldier, loses her shoe, and the rest is fairytale history. With catchy Old Time-inspired music and messages of hope and working to make your dreams a reality, the show is a crowd pleaser for all ages.
Written by Albemarle County’s own Ruby Ross, ‘Ashpet’ is the result of Ross’s long-time desire to compose and produce a musical. With a first production in April 2008 through Wesleyan University’s Second Stage, ‘Ashpet’ received high critical acclaim from students, faculty and community leaders; Grace Overbeke’s theater overview for the 2007-2008 Second Stage season in “The Wesleyan Argus” praised, “Ross gives a fresh and interesting historical context to an old favorite story.” A second performance in September 2008 was commissioned by the board of Middletown’s South Congregational Church and raised funds for the Woody Foreman Fund for Music at South Church to help repair the church’s organ. ‘Ashpet’ has been featured in “The Wesleyan Argus” and “Richard Kamin’s See! Hear!” on Courant.com, the official website of the Hartford Courant.
“It’s really exciting to now be able to present ‘Ashpet’ in Charlottesville, less than an hour from where the show is set,” said Ross. “And ever since my involvement with ‘Once On This Island’ and LATTEhouse III and IV, I’ve always wanted to do another show at Live Arts—who knew it would be my own! For the Fiddlesticks Productions’ Charlottesville performance, we have a great cast of local actors, many of whom I’ve seen for years in productions at Live Arts, Tandem Friends School, and other local theaters.”
This August, Ross brings the show back home, presenting the regional premiere of ‘Ashpet’ for three shows only at Live Arts on August 7 at 7 PM and August 8 at 2 PM and 7 PM. Tickets are $12 for adults and $5 for kids and students, and are available at the door or can be reserved by emailing AshpetTheMusical@gmail.com. Visit www.myspace.com/AshpetTheMusical for extended information, musical previews and more.
THANK YOU FOR HELPING US MAKE THE BOSTON PRODUCTION A REALITY!
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