Stephen Feigenbaum is a composer at the Yale School of Music. His work has been performed and recorded by ensembles including the Cincinnati Pops with Erich Kunzel, and he wrote the music for Independents, a New York Times Critic's Pick last summer. Charlie Polinger is a director graduating from Yale College this spring. In addition to directing Independents in the NYC Fringe Festival, Charlie has directed over a dozen productions at Yale, including the Yale Dramat's Commencement Musical, and a handful in New York, earning him the title of "wunderkind" in the New York Times. Matthew George is a playwright who graduated from Yale in 2011. Matthew received runner-up for the National Student Playwriting Award at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival for his play Cow Play, which was also part of the NYC Fringe Festival. His work has been produced around the world, most recently at the Pleasance Theatre in London. Together, they aim to explore the intrinsic ties between music and theater by collaborating on this culminating project in both composition and direction.
We are developing a spectacular event that focuses on theatricalizing classical music and therefore reinvigorating it. Inspired by shows like Stomp, Blue Man Group, and Cirque du Soleil, we plan to create an accessible and immersive experience to provide present-day audiences with the same sense of catharsis people experienced 200 years ago, at the premiere of a Beethoven symphony. We want to tap into the unexplored capabilities of classical music and its relationship to live performance.
Our show will center around an ensemble of musicians, dancers, and actors who recount the story of the Apocalypse. Like the film Fantasia, our show will employ innovative storytelling techniques to uncover the music's underlying themes and emotion.
We hope to produce a professional show, accessible to not only Yale students, but also to a broader New Haven audience. We believe that this show could break through many existing boundaries, making it an ideal production for a more diverse audience than a typical Yale production.
We plan to stage the show in a non-traditional, commercial space in or near downtown New Haven. We want to build an immersive show, where the action occurs all around the audience. Although our ideas are ambitious, we know can accomplish something that's exciting and more importantly, new. We just need your support to afford this unique space, materials to integrate media, a professional sound system, and fully- fleshed-out design elements.
There will 8-10 performances of the hour-long show, all occurring late in February. We sincerely hope you'll support us and help this dream become a reality! Thanks!
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge we expect to face is that of securing and revamping a performance venue. We will need to install lighting, sound, a set, and rehearse extensively to make the space work for our show. Sound will be difficult, because the, but with the use of extensive amplification and the help of our pro sound-designer from the Yale School of Drama, we hope to be able to accomplish this.
Every parameter of our show is pushing extreme boundaries, but resourcefulness is a key part of our show. In every performance we've done, things turn out different than initially planned, and almost always for the better. This is why we're not worried about any particular component of our challenging design for the show--everything will be in flux until the show meets our standards and is ready to open to the public.
With respect to publicity, if things don't go our way and we have difficulty getting a real sizeable audience from adults in and around New Haven, our hope is that we will still be able to attract plenty of Yalies from undergrad and grad schools who we know (or who are friends with people we know) and fill seats that way, as well as from neighboring colleges like Gateway and Quinnipiac. We don't expect this to be a problem, however, as we have a talented and hardworking staff just for publicity.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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