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Playwrights Lynn Rosen, Peter Gil-Sheridan & Susan Bernfield driving their own processes and producing their ready-to-go plays!
Playwrights Lynn Rosen, Peter Gil-Sheridan & Susan Bernfield driving their own processes and producing their ready-to-go plays!
285 backers pledged $26,400 to help bring this project to life.

About

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Hey there!  Special alert! The Pool got to #25Kin25days a little early!  3 days early, to be exact.

We are so grateful to our friends and colleagues.  But since there's some time, we're not stopping.  As you'll read below, our fundraising (and spending) fall into 2 categories: for the group, and for our 3 individual productions.  We've made our group nut, and now every $ over it goes to individual expenses like costumes!  And projections!  And is split in 3!!  If you're still thinking of giving: we hope you will.  

The Pool is a pop-up theater company, a temporary consortium formed by playwrights Lynn Rosen, Peter Gil-Sheridan & Susan Bernfield to drive our own processes and produce our ready-to-go plays.

The Pool gives us agency as writers. It frees us from relying on the structures and gatekeepers of institutional theaters and encourages us to take artistic risks we might not take in other contexts.  

Banding together, we give ourselves a built-in system of support -- structurally, financially and artistically -- that encourages us to succeed.  With the same goals and the same timeline, we're our own checks and balances to ensure that every task gets done.  With the new and long-time collaborators who’ll direct, design, and act in our plays, we create a Pool community to realize our visions. And promoting our plays all at once, we share and expand our audiences.  We can't wait to mix all our people up, especially on rep weekends when you can see two or three shows in one day! 

By producing ourselves, we’re really producing each other. And once we're done, we hope to pass our name and model along to a new team of intrepid playwrights. 

Seizing the day and diving off into the deep end!  You dive in with us.
Because now, we need to raise $25K in 25 days!  And we need your support.

What's gonna pop up, exactly?

Three plays. Rotating repertory. A spanking-new theater! 

This November and December, we’ll present our plays in rep at The Siggy, one of three theaters in The Flea’s new complex in Tribeca. Three plays happening pretty much all at once, sometimes all in the same day, makes for a festival – and festive! -- environment that’ll not only maximize our resources, it’ll create a nifty conversation between our works.

Susan: My play Tania in the Getaway in the Van is directed by Portia Krieger and will open first. It starts in 1975 with 11-year-old Laura, whose mom, caught up in the women’s movement, is going back to school, to become – okay, really my mom went back to school and to work and became all liberated and tried to pull me along.  Just about everything I believe or value or have become has roots in that experience, but I never thought I'd write about it (women's movement, eww!). Until I found a way in, and her name was Patty Hearst.  Watch Susan chat up her play!

Lynn: My play Washed Up On The Potomac is directed by Jose Zayas and opens second. In this eerie and playful comedy three proofreaders learn that an ex-coworker may have washed up dead on the Potomac. This makes them question their own lives and even dare to change course. This play sprang from my years of proofreading in windowless offices where no one knew my name outside of my fellow proofers. In Washed Up, like in that job, it's small acts of generosity and camaraderie that keep us afloat.  Watch Lynn chat up her play!

Peter: my play The Rafa Play is directed by Morgan Gould and will open third. It's about my imaginary marriage to Rafael Nadal. There was a time where I was just obsessed with Nadal. He's kind of amazing. I decided to write about my fantasies, how powerful they can be but also how painful. The play is deeply personal (they all are, anyway) but explores the universal issues of what it is to work and compete in a world obsessed with winning.  Watch Peter chat up his play!

How'd you get here?

Two winters ago, inspired by her friend Andy Bragen, who is producing his own work as Andy Bragen Theatre Projects, Lynn decided to produce her own play. Unlike Andy, she knew she couldn’t do it alone, and that she didn’t want to create an ongoing producing entity to do it. She invited Susan and Peter to join her in what’s pretty much a temporary theater company: do our three plays all at once, then boom! We’re done. 

We were on Andy Bragen's Playwrights as Producers podcast, part of New Dramatists' ND: In Depth series. That's Andy, third from left. Listen to it this fall!
We were on Andy Bragen's Playwrights as Producers podcast, part of New Dramatists' ND: In Depth series. That's Andy, third from left. Listen to it this fall!

We called it The Pool because it’s a mechanism for pooling our experience and resources. And because we're choosing to dive right in, scary as that may be, to produce our unproduced plays because they’re ready and the time is right. 

The Pool is a participant in New Georges’ Supported Productions program, in which the company provides resources, mentorship and an institutional platform to its affiliated artists who are producing their work independently (Susan, Lynn, Portia and Morgan are all New Georges affiliated artists). New Georges is an Anchor Partner in residence at The Flea in the 2017-18 season, and they offered up one of their producing slots there (though they’re not paying for it!). We’re proud to be one of the first productions in The Siggy! It’s beautiful!

We created a website, thepoolplays.org. We’re ready to communicate via MailChimp. And we’re all set up on Facebook, Twitter (@Pool_Plays) and Instagram (@playwrightspool) – follow us!

New Georges is also our fiscal sponsor (so your contribution here is tax deductible -- they'll send you an official tax receipt). We are a recently-minted LLC, we even have a bank account. And a producer – he’s Aaron Rossini, an independent producer and co-artistic director of Fault Line Theater.

We drafted a rep calendar (bit of a toughie, but we accept the delightful challenges of rep!).

In May, we launched The Pool with The Pool Party, our first fundraiser – well, second attempt at a first fundraiser, we were snowed out of our original date, in March. The event met our fundraising goal; even better, a great time was had by all and we felt a whole lot of super-inspiring energy and excitement swirling around our idea. Let's keep it going!

At The Pool Party, we all read chunks of our plays.  Here's Peter!
At The Pool Party, we all read chunks of our plays. Here's Peter!

What happens next?

Through August, we're continuing to cast and hire designers, and we’ll focus on fundraising and marketing. And communicate a lot with you!

In September, we’ll finalize our teams in advance of first rehearsal, begin production meetings and start to get rolling.

In October, rehearsals begin. More production meetings…

The day before Halloween we start to load in to the theater. All three shows will tech in rotation during the first two weeks of November. Susan’s show starts previews November 15. Lynn’s show on November 16 and Peter’s on November 17. This is where you come in -- see shows!!  We officially open right after Thanksgiving, and close December 16, in time for some well-deserved holiday parties.

Your plays can't all be the same size! How does the budget work?

We've structured our projected budget in an unusual way. We'll fundraise together for common expenses (about $50,000): stuff like theater rental, rep personnel, and set materials. THAT’S the money we’re raising through this campaign.

Your contributions directly support:

  • Rent The Siggy for 7 whopping weeks, the time we need to tech three shows and for each to have a full 14-performance run (The Siggy comes extraordinarily well equipped – which saves us money!) 
  • Hire all rep personnel, including our producer, rep designers (set, lights and costumes), press agent and technical staff 
  • Materials and labor to build our set(s), hang our lights, and more! 

We’ll also all have individual expenses for budget lines particular to our own plays ($15-17,000 each, depending on cast size, etc.): actors, additional designers, stage managers, costumes, props. We’ll each raise that money through personal appeals to our own lists.

$25K in 25 summer days.
Dive in with us!  You make it happen!

Risks and challenges

With theater space and collaborators secured, we're feeling very confident about realizing our project. Running plays in rep, changing over scenery and more in between them, is its own special challenge. We've hired an experienced producer and our team is absolutely on board with the multi-show, collaborative nature of the project. And it's not the first rodeo for at least one of us -- Susan has many years of indie theater producing experience, crazy rep included!

What's most important to us is raising the funds to pay our incredible collaborators, and the only risk is that we might fall short.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Dip your big toe

    One playwright sends you a personal thank-you postcard!

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    Wade past your knees

    You come to a Pool play, we will reserve you some great seats!

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    Deep end, feet first!

    One playwright tells you a deep, dark secret AND we reserve you some great seats!

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    Cannonball!

    One playwright writes you a haiku or two OR a funny birthday card you can send a friend on their birthday!

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Racer dive!

    One playwright writes you your very own customized one-minute play OR poem OR toast... your choice AND 2 tickets to one Pool production AND we reserve you great seats!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Swan dive!

    Pre-show date with the Pool playwright of your choice AND invitation for two to celebrate opening night AND Pool Pass for 2 for all three productions AND we reserve you great seats!

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

    Inward dive tuck!

    Pre-show date with ALL THREE Pool playwrights AND invitation for two to celebrate opening night AND Pool Pass AND great seats AND special out-loud thank you every single night in our nightly curtain speech!

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    Back triple somersault, 2 1/2 twists!

    You're a producer!! Producer credit in The Pool program and website AND pre-show date AND opening night invitation AND Pool Pass AND great seats AND out-loud special thanks every single night​ in our curtain speech!

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Reverse 4 1/2 somersault pike!

    You're an EXECUTIVE producer!! Executive producer credit in The Pool program/website AND pre-show date AND opening night invitation AND Pool Pass AND great seats AND out-loud thanks every single night​ AND a poem or toast from ALL 3 PLAYWRIGHTS!

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Funding period

- (25 days)