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A spectacular new site-specific work combining sculpture, costumes, music, sound, and theater. On a boat.
A spectacular new site-specific work combining sculpture, costumes, music, sound, and theater. On a boat.
442 backers pledged $25,740 to help bring this project to life.

About

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The Dreary Coast is an original site-specific immersive work that takes place on the Gowanus Canal. Imagine the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at night in the middle of a crumbling industrial neighborhood.

Our story centers on the character Charon, the boatman on the River Styx. It's got elements from Greek and Roman myths, pieces of Dante's Inferno, and blasts of black metal. 

It's a tragedy. And it's very funny.

Dreary Coast Show Poster. Handmade silkscreen with custom stamps. 18x24. By Jason Engdahl.
Dreary Coast Show Poster. Handmade silkscreen with custom stamps. 18x24. By Jason Engdahl.

Two small audiences will see our show every night, encountering actors and performers at bridges, docks, and buildings along the canal and throughout the neighborhood. Our crew will blur the edge between landmarks in the neighborhood and the mythic locations of our story. Audiences will complete that transformation themselves.

Black Metal Button Pack. Instant punk points!
Black Metal Button Pack. Instant punk points!

Our makeshift company makes shows in places where you don't expect shows. Because we think art and culture are too important to relegate to museums and galleries and theaters and rock clubs. 

There are still wild places in New York, and we think artists should be out there imagining them. We need your support to make that happen. Because you believe in do-it-yourself culture. Because you support the radical use of public space.   

Thank you so much for your help.

More Amazing Rewards:

Swoon Papercuts. Artwork by Dreary raft designer Caledonia Curry, also known as Swoon. NOTE: Reward is for one of eight designs.
Swoon Papercuts. Artwork by Dreary raft designer Caledonia Curry, also known as Swoon. NOTE: Reward is for one of eight designs.
Gowanus T-Shirt. Original design on organic cotton. By Jason Engdahl and Mikey 907.
Gowanus T-Shirt. Original design on organic cotton. By Jason Engdahl and Mikey 907.
Gowanus T-Shirt close-up.
Gowanus T-Shirt close-up.
See You at the Finish Line. By Duke Riley.
See You at the Finish Line. By Duke Riley.
Artist Print: Limited-edition silkscreen print. By Jeff Stark.
Artist Print: Limited-edition silkscreen print. By Jeff Stark.
Cocktails. Drinks on the Gowanus. By ND Austin.
Cocktails. Drinks on the Gowanus. By ND Austin.
    
         
Secret Dinner. Includes a portrait of the couple. By Jeff Stark.
Secret Dinner. Includes a portrait of the couple. By Jeff Stark.
            
Ice Queen. Signed screen print with painting. By Swoon. NOTE: This image is not the finished piece.
Ice Queen. Signed screen print with painting. By Swoon. NOTE: This image is not the finished piece.
Devouring. Signed block print. By Swoon.
Devouring. Signed block print. By Swoon.
Persephone and Hades. Epic paper cut. By imminent disaster.
Persephone and Hades. Epic paper cut. By imminent disaster.
Skull Patch. For jean jackets and burnouts. By Dreary designer Jason Engdahl.
Skull Patch. For jean jackets and burnouts. By Dreary designer Jason Engdahl.
Magic Compass Tarot Spread Reading. By Veronica Varlow.
Magic Compass Tarot Spread Reading. By Veronica Varlow.
Gowanus Canal print. By photographer William Miller.
Gowanus Canal print. By photographer William Miller.
The Design. A 25-hour consultation by a professional set decorator. By Sarah McMillan.
The Design. A 25-hour consultation by a professional set decorator. By Sarah McMillan.
         

Risks and challenges

There’s so much that could go wrong with a show like this. It takes place in public space. On a boat. Along one of America's most polluted waterways -- a superfund site with a much-needed clean-up in progress.

But we have the team to overcome whatever challenges we face. I’d like to use this section to introduce the team. Many of us have worked together on projects like this in the past. We have pulled off a period piece on the New York City Subway, and snuck into an abandoned building to tell stories. Some of these folks are new allies.

E. James Ford returns to our makeshift company as Charon, the center of our show. He is joined by the talented Ava Eisenson, Theresa Buchheister, Ryan Downey, Coco Conroy, Jo Firestone, and Zero Boy.

In Costumes, our lead is Sarah McMillan, supported by Tracy Gilman, Laura McMillian, Jade Brandt, Alita Edgar, Evelyn Fugate, and Duke Riley.

Our raft will be designed by Caledonia Curry (Swoon), with technical help from Stephan Von Muhlen, Mike O’Toole, and Porter Fox.

Props and Sets are being built by Chelsea Wagner and Nick Chatfield-Taylor (who also edited the Kickstarter video). Danielle Hlatky is brewing elixirs.

We have an ace technical and coaching team, with Interaction Designer Suchan Vodoor, Audio Experience Designer Justin Lange, and acting coach Ken Schatz. They’re building something we can’t wait to share with you. Our Lighting Designers are Ariella Axelrod and Dylan Uremovich.

Jason Engdahl is behind our graphics. George Graham is writing music and performing live. And we look forward to documentation by Tod Seelie, with help from Todd Chandler, Ben Mortimer, and Rob Macinnis, who shot the Kickstarter video.

Corinne Brenner is our stage manager, and our French assistant is Margot Hefez -- every production should have one.

There are so many more people advising at the edges, and we’re also working with various local groups in order to stay grounded in the neighborhood. And whether he knows it or not, the whole project can be traced back to the Urban Divers and Ludger Balan, who showed us the Canal in a way we’d never seen it before. We hope our show will pass along the experience.

Our show is self-funded and self-produced. We follow fair, open-book accounting. All of our artists and crew are paid with donations and proceeds from the show. Artists contributing awards to this crowd-funding campaign personally share income with the show.

There is always a chance that things could go wrong with work like this. But we are confident that we will be able to meet all challenges. Your support makes it possible.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    Thanks! We'll list your name as a backer on the show website and in the book documenting the show.

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    Pledge US$ 12 or more About US$ 12

    A Funny Thing Happened ... One joke told over the phone or left on your voicemail just for you. By Dreary Coast actor and New York comedienne Jo Firestone.

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    Pledge US$ 15 or more About US$ 15

    The Brooding Score. George Graham's original music: fitful, moody, and layered with decayed transmissions from another world. MP3s delivered by download.

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    Pledge $18 or more About $18

    Black Metal Button Pack. Three Dreary Coast buttons delivered to your home. Skulls! Owls! Hard-to-Read Type! Instant punk cred.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Another Day. A classic skull patch in high heavy metal D&D style. Suitable for jean jackets and burnouts of all ages. Embroidered. By Dreary designer Jason Engdahl.

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    Pledge $22 or more About $22

    Handmade Zine. The Dreary Coast collected. This self-printed zine by Jeff Stark features the original script, production notes, photos from the show, and a one-of-a-kind cover. Signed. Limited edition.

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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    Mind King: Two tickets to Title:Point theater company's upcoming show, The Mind King, at Brooklyn DIY venue Silent Barn. Title:Point includes Theresa Buchheister and Ryan Downey, two actors in the Dreary Coast. Any night between September 25 and October 4.

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    Pledge $32 or more About $32

    Swoon Papercuts. Laser cut artwork on a heavyweight, acid-free stock. Various shapes and sizes, 4-5 inches in diameter. Eight designs randomly awarded -- unless you want all eight.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Dreary Coast Show Poster. Designed by Jason Engdahl of Enamel Design and screen-printed by hand. Gorgeous!

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    Scum. Limited-edition handmade representations of real-life Gowanus filth. Crocheted by hand by prop-master Chelsea Wagner. Adorable.

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Dreary Coast Demon Pack: A grab bag of goodies, including the punk pins, the zine, the music, and your name in the credits.

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    The Garment. A Gowanus t-shirt. Super soft, preshrunk 100-percent organic cotton -- the perfect four-season shirt, built to last by a workwear factory. Hand printed in Brooklyn using formaldehyde-free discharge inks. Original drawings by Mikey 907, design by Jason Engdahl.

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Obols. Charon requires two coins to step on to his skiff. Artist Chelsea Wagner designed and created a custom set suitable for charming, key-chaining, or necklacing. The same used in our show.

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    Pledge US$ 66 or more About US$ 66

    The Oracle: One of humanity's oldest books, the I-Ching offers sublime counsel in response to one or two specific questions about your life. This reward is for a 30-45 minutes consultation anywhere in New York City. Hexagram divined using Chinese coin oracle. By Dreary Coast Audio Experience Designer Justin Lange.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Dreary Coast Demigod Pack: A grabbier bag of goodier goodies, including the silkscreen poster, the pressed coins, the punk pins, the zine, the music, and, hey, thanks!

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    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    Magic Compass Tarot Reading. Exclusively for the Dreary Coast, friend of the show Veronica Varlow reads your cards using her Grandmother's favorite tarot spread, the Magic Compass. A half-hour tarot session via Skype. Bonus: Includes one free admission to the Parlor online weekly reading.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Dreary Coast God Pack: The grabbiest bag of goodies, including the Gowanus t-shirt, the silkscreen poster, the pressed coins, the punk pins, the zine, the music, the pronunciation guide, and our eternal thanks.

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    Pledge $110 or more About $110

    Lethe. The Lethe is the pure spring of forgetfulness. Not of pain, but of its release. This reward delivers a vessel of home-brewed honey mead -- the Lethe as interpreted by the artist Danielle Hlatky. Comes in a nice bottle with a set of her custom glass-blown skull tumblers.

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Artist Print. Limited hand-printed fine art edition by Jeff Stark from his Dreary Coast research in 2012. Printed by Kayrock Screenprinting in Brooklyn. Signed limited edition.

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    Pledge US$ 150 or more About US$ 150

    Private Screen-Printing Class. A three-hour session for you at Aftermath Editions printshop at Silent Barn. Walk away with know-how, an instructions zine, and your unique artwork on paper, fabric, or t-shirt. With Arielle Avenia.

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    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    VIP Tickets. We think shows should be as cheap as possible. That said, we're reserving 14 sets of VIP advance tickets for this show. Right now this is the only way to get tickets for the Dreary Coast. The VIP pair includes special attention on the night of the show and a wicked takeaway. Limited availability, variable dates. We'll work it out via email.

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    Reward no longer available 14 backers
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    Pledge US$ 333 or more About US$ 333

    Tree-House Picnic for Six. Set-designer and sculptor Nick Chatfield-Taylor invites you and your friends to this handmade treehouse in Red Hook. Simple menu. Simple drinks. And hanging out in a one-of-a-kind place.

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    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    The Print: Gowanus Canal photograph by New York photojournalist William Miller, from his series of images taken from bridges across this polluted waterway. Custom printed for the Dreary Coast on quality 13 x 19" Hahnemuhle paper.

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    Pledge US$ 450 or more About US$ 450

    Hot Stuff! Audiobook erotica writer and narrator Pepper Laramie (the secret alias of one of our Dreary Coast crew), will write an erotic short story based on your desires, fetishes, and dreams -- and record it just for you.

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    Pledge US$ 475 or more About US$ 475

    Look Tough. A framed, medium-format square portrait of you taken along the picturesque Gowanus Canal. Shot by constant collaborator Tod Seelie, whose last photography book was called one of the best of the year by the NY Times. Are you a moody guy or a tough chick? You are now.

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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    Drink Deeply. Cocktails for two served on a raft on the Gowanus Canal. The proprietor behind the Night Heron water tower speakeasy, ND Austin, will be your bartender. Enjoy tippling on a raft designed by the artist Swoon. (Note: Raft access is October 2014 only; later delivery of this reward will be scheduled for another watercraft.)

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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    The Design. 25 hours with a professional set decorator. Sarah McMillan (Shortbus, Kill Your Darlings, Last Days) consults on the design of your apartment, dock, rooftop, grotto, or illicit speakeasy. Includes her dedicated time and a field search for the objects you need.

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    The Manuscript. Custom printed and hand-bound by book artist Shannon Kerner. Featuring Jeff Stark's original script, production notes, and photos from the show in a luxurious, one-of-a-kind handsewn book with a leather cover and gold tooling. Signed. One of a kind.

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    Pledge US$ 800 or more About US$ 800

    Dreary Feast. Dine like the king and queen of the underworld at a delectable five-course meal for two inspired by the play and served at Hades' regal table -- the same one used on set in our show. Dinner prepared by Chelsea Wagner and served by demons. Includes a live performance from the brooding score. Tailored to your dietary needs.

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    See You at the Finish Line. Signed and dated silkscreen printed on newsprint and backed on archival handmade paper. 18 x 24." By New York artist Duke Riley.

    http://tinyurl.com/kl58j3e

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    In Memory. The Dreary Coast features lavish pageants for two dead souls. Chip in 1K and one of them will be you. Specifically, we'll cast a mask or make an altar representing you. After the show, you get the mask or the altar to keep. Mask by Tracy Gilman. Altar by Chelsea Wagner.

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    Secret Dinner. Secret dinner for two in a spectacular, off-limits location. Includes a portrait of the couple. By Jeff Stark.

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    Ice Queen. Screenprint with hand painting on paper pasted to found object. By Dreary Coast raft designer Caledonia Curry, also known as Swoon. Signed. 2013. NOTE: This piece is currently in progress. The finished piece will be roughly 20" x 30"

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    Pledge $6,000 or more About $6,000

    Devouring. Hand-printed block print on paper with hand painting, pasted to wood. By Dreary Coast raft designer Caledonia Curry, also known as Swoon. 2013. 36” x 44.5”

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    Persephone and Hades. Epic-scale paper cut out. Scrupulously hand cut over two months from a single sheet of black paper, mounted to muslin backing. 12' by 25'. By New York artist imminent disaster.

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Funding period

- (25 days)