Close your eyes. (well, not literally, ‘cause then you couldn’t read this, but… just roll with it.) Imagine going to the theatre not just to see a show but to attend a party with your friends and neighbors, coming together with good food, good music, and good conversation. Thinking hard? Okay, open your eyes: what you saw in your mind’s eye is the mission of Walterhoope, realized in our inaugural production, The Macbeths.
On July 28 and 29, 2017, audiences will be welcomed to Baker Hunt Art and Cultural Center in Covington, Kentucky, with food specially prepared by celebrated chef Kristen St. Clair, inspired by our production of The Macbeths, a collaboration between Shakespeare and Walterhoope that reimagines the title characters as working class, everyday folks. As the audience comes together as a community over food, art, and music, the play will begin. Our guests won’t just be spectators, but co-creators in the experience. How? You need a ticket for that one, we can’t give everything away!
After the play, the party continues over dessert. We'll be excited to hear your thoughts!
Central to all that we do at Walterhoope is sustainability, and we intend to honor that commitment with our inaugural project. All of our food will be locally sourced and sustainably prepared and served. Our set and costumes will not only be minimal but consist of reused, recyclable, or compostable materials, to make our footprint as small as possible. We’re all inheritors of this planet, and Walterhoope is committed not only to doing its part in being responsible stewards, but to being a leader in this field.
The event on July 28 and 29 won’t be our only interaction with the community, either. Beginning the Saturday before the event, we’ll be running a series of workshops at Baker Hunt to introduce ourselves and our unique way of producing art. Three separate youth and family workshops will be offered: Food Heritage taught by Kristen St. Clair where students will explore our traditions surrounding food and their origins.; Playmaking taught by the artists of Walterhoope, in which students will learn how to put on an event like The Macbeths; and Family Feast, also taught by Kristen St. Clair, where students will learn how to make and then prepare the actual food to be used at our event. Our hope is to get the community involved in our production not just as audience members but as artists in their own way.
WHAT IS WALTERHOOPE?
Walterhoope is a new arts organization, whose mission is to produce high-quality art that cultivates authentic relationships with audiences and the community by investing in innovative work, arts education, and our artists’ passions. We’re committed to enriching our community and the environment through sustainable practices and to reinventing our art in the pursuit of our curiosity.
The three of us of believe in taking action. And this goes beyond our commitment to sustainability and into the art we create. We as artists have something to say and we are ready to say it.
We are interested in work that celebrates humanity and embraces imagination and eccentricity; work that fosters a space to listen and to be heard; work that tests limits and boldly tries new things! In our execution of this mission we care about the details, we care about creating the highest quality work in every aspect of who we are, and we care about you!
We believe everyone can be an artist, and that the arts don’t have to be separate disciplines but can work together to create even more brilliant art. As multi-disciplinary artists ourselves, we find inspiration in music, visual art, culinary art, photography, and more to bring people together and create something truly unique. Evolution and exploration are central to our mission, and we’re committed to reinventing our own process, work, and vision in the future.
HOW ARE WE DOING THIS?
We’re achieving our vision and our first event, The Macbeths, we hope with your help. Though we’ll be charging a small fee to enter the event (we’re committed to affordable tickets and accessibility), this won’t cover the entire cost of producing the event. In addition to our commitment to sustainability, we are also committed to reasonable compensation for our artists. Too often, particularly in the theatre, “exposure” or “the joy of it” are the only compensation artists see. Though these are great things to have, we believe artists are deserving of a living wage, and we’re committed to eradicating the “starving artist” stereotype. We plan on paying our artists up to union standards for rehearsals and performances. In addition, supplies, marketing, and fees make up a large portion of our budget.
Beyond this project, we are also seeking funding as seed for Walterhoope’s growth. We plan on becoming a non-profit (we’re not one yet!), and with that comes extra expenses. As well, we wish to employ union-affiliated artists in the future, and setting up that possibility will require money now to begin that process.
Our budgeting breakdown is as follows:
The Macbeths (approximate)
- Materials and Props $300
- Food Supplies $300
- Marketing $500
- Artist Compensation $1750
- Fees $570
- Contingency $275
Other Walterhoope Expenses (approximate)
- Incorporation/501(c)3 status $500
- Insurance and gov’t fees $500
- Seed to allow Union talent $500
- Seed to allow future productions $500
This brings us to a bit over our $5,000 goal, but we plan that ticket sales will make up the difference.
WHO IS WALTERHOOPE?
We’re a group of artists who are committed to reinvention: reinvention of our our vision, reinvention of our own art, and reinvention of theatre and its place in a community. The principal artists of Walterhoope are Audrey Bertaux, David Mavricos, and William Vaughan. Our collaborators for The Macbeths are Kristen St. Clair and Kaleel Skeirik, as well as Baker Hunt Art and Cultural Center.
Audrey Bertaux - Actor, Writer, Teacher
Audrey Bertaux has been a professional actor in Washington DC, New York, Chicago, and throughout the Midwest for the past 10 years where the span of her work has run the gamut from classical theatre to new play development. Audrey has performed at The Clark Studio Theatre at Lincoln Center in NYC, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Olney Theatre Center, Mosaic Theatre, Theatre J, 1st Stage, The Welders, Adventure Theatre, National Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, Annapolis Shakespeare Company, and The Filament Theatre Ensemble in Chicago, to name a few, and understudied for Folger Theatre and Studio Theatre. Audrey has also workshopped plays with The John F. Kennedy Center, Arena Stage, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Fords Theatre, Theatre J, and Mosaic Theatre. Audrey has been hailed by the Washington Post as “warm” and “funny”, the Baltimore Sun as “heart-breaking”, and Broadway World called her performance in The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe “a master class in acting.” Audrey has been a part of two Helen Hayes Nominated productions with Adventure Theatre and The Welders and DC Metro Theatre Arts named her performances in The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe and Girl in the Red Corner on its list of best performances in professional theatre in 2016. Audrey is classically trained and holds an MFA from The Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Academy for Classical Acting at George Washington University. For as long as Audrey has been an actor, she has also been a teacher, working with students of diverse backgrounds and ranging from 3 years old to adult. She teaches acting, playwriting, literacy through the arts, English as a second language, and special workshops in a variety of disciplines. Recently Audrey taught a special series of workshops for Xavier University on sustainability, the arts, and the economy. A lover of music, Audrey trained as a musician from a young age and plays the French Horn. As an artist, Audrey is dedicated to speaking the truth that is in her own heart to tell stories that move the hearts of others. Audrey is a strong believer in a good cup of coffee, cats, sunshine, and true love.
David Mavricos - Director, Actor, Writer, Teacher, Photographer, Musician
David Mavricos has been training and performing as an actor since childhood, in New England, New York, Washington, DC, and abroad. He has performed regionally with the Shakespeare Theatre Company, the National Theatre of Scotland, Round House Theatre Company, the Washington Stage Guild, the New London Barn Playhouse, MaineStage Shakespeare, Constellation Theatre Company, Annapolis Shakespeare Company, Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, Quotidian Theatre Company, and Solas Nua, understudied with the Folger Theatre, and has received accolades for his work from the likes of the Baltimore Sun and the Washington Post. He has also workshopped plays for the Shakespeare Theatre Company, VoxFest and the Inkwell, as well as for the New York Theatre Workshop’s Dartmouth residency. David is a graduate of Dartmouth College, where he founded the college’s first Shakespeare company, the Dartmouth Rude Mechanicals, and studied physics in addition to theatre. He received his MFA from the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Academy for Classical Acting at the George Washington University. He has also trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts and with Shakespeare & Co. In addition, he has worked with the prestigious Cape Playhouse, where he built the foundation for his principles on theater management and mission. David is also a teaching artist, having worked with Round House Theatre Company, Northern Stage, and MaineStage Shakespeare to teach acting, speech, Shakespeare and more to students of all ages. David considers himself above all a creator, and strives to bring beauty into the world through the creation of art. He is a writer, and blends narrative story with poetry to uniquely quantify his view of the world, and as a photographer he celebrates the beauty of the natural world and humanity’s place in it. Synthesis is David’s primary interest, discovering new and unique ways to combine artistic forms and expressions into engaging and exciting media. As David sees it, there are only two pursuits of any real substance in this world: love and creation. And David hopes to always pursue both.
William Vaughan - Actor, Writer, Teacher
William Vaughan has spent the past five years working professionally in the Washington, DC area. Some of his DC credits include: Three Sisters and No Sisters at Studio Theatre; District Merchants, Julius Caesar, Twelfth Night, and Romeo and Juliet (u/s) at Folger Theatre; Miss Bennet and Ironbound (Broadway World; Best Supporting Actor) at Round House Theatre; The Flick and Tender Napalm (u/s) at Signature Theatre; and a number of readings, workshops, and new play developments at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Signature Theatre, and Theatre Alliance, to name a few. He has also worked regionally along the East Coast: The Lost Colony at Waterside Theatre; The Three Musketeers at Theatre Carolina, and Psittacus Productions’ A Tale Told by an Idiot produced through Lincoln Center in NYC. William’s film credits include: AMC’s Turn, Dreadful Sorry, and Colonizing the New World. He was born in Atlanta, Georgia and bred in Lexington, South Carolina. William has always found joy in art whether it was sketching portraits on his homework, weaving together napkins at restaurants, or teaching himself to juggle at baseball practice. Growing up heavily involved in athletics, it wasn’t until late high school that he realized his love for theatre and that the same things that attracted him to organized sports also drew him to acting and, now, act as a foundation for Walterhoope: community involvement, engaging performance, and teamwork and collaboration.
Kristen St. Clair - Chef
Born in Cincinnati, Kristen St. Clair is a graduate from The Midwest Culinary Institute. She has a diverse background in food based job experiences: Trader Joe's (Manhattan and Cincinnati), Take the Cake and Nectar Restaurant (Cincinnati). Kristen served as the Educational Culinary Director at Gabriel's Place, a garden to table food education non profit located in one of Cincinnati's most disadvantaged neighborhoods. She also has a background in Theater Arts where she developed a great interest in communicating ideas to diverse groups of people. Kristen focuses her abilities on food education with a community based approach. Shrinking the gap between finding locally grown food and forming those ingredients into a nutritional meal is what she strives to accomplish. Kristen emphasizes in her teaching, ways to reconnect a community, food heritage and cooking as a therapeutic art form. She believes utilizing cooking as a stress free tool encourages the ability to grow, heal, and smile more.
Kaleel Skeirik - Composer
Kaleel Skeirik, Professor of Music at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, has a B.M. and a M.M. in piano performance and a Ph.D. in music theory from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. Much of his work has focused in the area of social justice and his most recent newly composed work, "The Armed Man 2016" is no exception. This work was sponsored by multiple organizations at Xavier University and was part of the Ethics Religion and Society series that focused on excessive force in policing as it relates to Blacks in Cincinnati and in the United States. He was recently awarded the Xavier University Faculty Jesuit Fellowship for 2017 to compose a new modern dance focused on Integral Ecology and Sustainability . The work explores new tuning temperaments, incorporates multi-media elements, and challenge us to rethink the economy, consumption, the environment and our spiritual relationship with each of these .For many years, he toured as a pianist throughout the eastern and mid-western United States, giving over a hundred concerts, often performing his own solo piano works on those concerts. He has commissioned works for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Lima Symphony Orchestra. He has received several numerous grants and awards, severed as a chair of the music department at XU, and is a published author on music. His works have been formed throughout the midwest including the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Lima Symphony Orchestra. Some have referred to his music as cognitive music or music that makes you think. He is comfortable with that thought. Kaleel is a lover of the great outdoors, adventures, and is an expert gardener.
Risks and challenges
With all art, there are obvious risks and challenges in the way of producing it. Besides financial support, do we have the people and the skills necessary to overcome those challenges? Fortunately for us, though we may be new to Kickstarter, we’re not new to producing theatre. The three of us have experience working on both the artistic and administrative sides of theatre companies, both large and small, and our collective expertise is our biggest asset. In addition, we already have our partnership with Baker Hunt Art and Cultural Center secured and our dates set, so barring any natural disasters, we’ll have a place to produce this event, and with your contribution, we’ll have the financial means to do so.
Of course putting together any sort of event has it’s challenges. Besides what logistical support our Baker Hunt partnership affords us, we also already have partnerships in place with chef Kristen St. Clair of Cincinnati to help us with the food aspect of the event, as well as with composer Kaleel Skeirik to cover our sound needs. Our other design needs are minimal, and marketing, though a challenge, is one that we are facing through the use of social media, word of mouth, and sustainable paper campaigns.
And lastly, it’s hard to put on a play without a script. And since this won’t be an improvised piece, a script is going to be necessary. We have, of course, its basis in Shakespeare’s text, but our unique collaboration will require extra work. We’ve already been hard at work writing and editing the script for months now, and the final touches will be complete in the next few weeks. We have plans for rehearsals, the play is cast, and all our ducks are in a row to get this event off the ground.
- (30 days)