About this project
"Can tickle. Can tickle. He can tickle her. Can tickle. Can tickle. He can make her purr." -Saints and Singing
One of Gertrude Stein’s lifelong projects was to capture the rhythms and sounds of American language. In our quest to further elucidate her project, we have recast her saints librettos in quintessentially American music. The original score developed by fifteen incredibly talented performers has become a joyful landscape of rap, rock n' roll, gospel, a New Orleans parade, a sermon, spoken word, bluegrass, folk, Shaker, jazz--and now we are asking for your help to bring this opera to The New York International Fringe Festival!
Playing at La MaMa: Friday, August 9 @ 10:15, Saturday, August 10 @ 4:45; Monday, August 12 @ 7:30; Tuesday, August 13 @ 7:30; Wednesday, August 14 @ 4:45
"Around is a sound and around is a sound and around is a sound and around." -Four Saints in Three Acts
Our initial investigation into Stein's work began with an all-male production of Four Saints in Three Acts at Carnegie Mellon University in February of 2013. Stein's libretto offers no plot, no characters, and no conflict; it is a non-narrative text that can best be described as linguistic gymnastics. In all this absence, anything becomes possible and what we have discovered is a Theatre of Joy. The response to the original production was overwhelmingly positive and became an invitation for more. We have since added an all-female Saints and Singing, also featuring an original musical score inspired by American music created by insanely talented performers. The two works are combined to create Gertrude Stein SAINTS!, a powerhouse that explores gender, a theatre that replaces conflict with joy, and America.
"What?! That was SOOO fierce!"
"Very brave, very unique, and full of life."
"I cannot describe WHAT I saw, but I can tell you what I FELT- and that was sheer joy."
"The production was truly American in sound. It captured a range and diversity that resembles America and amplifies our heritage."
SPECIAL ONE-TIME-ONLY ORIGINAL ARTWORK REWARD: At the $750 level we have an awesome reward donated by illustrator, indie art star, and generally awesome person Lisa Congdon. It is an original artwork from the illustrations she did for the recently published Tender Buttons: Objects book by none other than Gertrude Stein.
"It is hard to imagine ever growing tired of this book. The more time you spend with both Stein's text and Congdon's illustrations the deeper you want to dig." - Imprint
The reward also includes a copy of the book signed by Lisa Congdon as well as all of the rewards in preceding levels.
This is an exceptional reward for a collector of Stein memorabilia, art fans, and people who looooooooove alpacas!
Huge thank you to Lisa for this very awesome contribution.
NEW REWARDS: Three posters have been exclusively designed for this Kickstarter project, all based on quotes by Gertrude Stein. The fantastic designers are Kyle Durrie (powerandlightpress.com), Michael Buchino (buchino.net), and our own producer/media designer Jordan Harrison (jordanharrisonprojects.com).
At the $35 reward level you will be able to select one of the three prints, while at the $90 level you get all three (in addition to the other bundled rewards). If you have already pledged at a level above $90, don't worry, you automatically get all three prints! When the Kickstarter is over, we will send out a survey to confirm which poster you want. NOTE: The images you see here are digital drafts of the prints, which in the final design may look slightly different.
Funding will cover:
- A small stipend for each cast member - Everyone on our team is volunteering his and her time to this production, including paying for his and her own transportation and housing. It really is a labor of love, but the performers work HARD every night and we honor their dedication with this small gesture.
- Marketing - We're not shy but we need help getting the word out!
- Costumes - Our performers are honestly some crazy beautiful people on their own, but wait until you see what Erik (costume design) has in store for them.
- Rehearsal space in NYC ain't cheap!
- Set - In the last show Joey (scenic design) worked on he made a mud hut look like a place you’d be willing to spend some time. What will he do with a 15 min between-show changeover? Bear rug?
- Application fees - Necessary evil, but if that money is paying the salaries of people at FringeNYC we are happy to hand it over because they have been incredibly helpful and generous.
Stretch Goals & Rewards!
We made it! $9000! Phew! Thank you!
But we're not done yet!
Watch this new video with our director Michelle to see how we'll keep this up!
We want to maintain this momentum until the end of our campaign so that we can really make waves when we get to FringeNYC next month. So we've introduced some stretch goals and more rewards!
If we can reach 200 backers total, we will give every backer their own special moment with Gertrude Stein. What!? Well, as you all must know, GS was born in the Pittsburgh area, right where we're located. If you help us find 200 backers, Michelle and some of our cast will go to the house she was born in and take a picture with your name in front of the plaque commemorating her. We will do this for EVERY SINGLE BACKER.
If we can reach our stretch goal of $13,000, we will give every backer a beautiful set of postcards of the 3 original poster prints created for this campaign.
Can we kick it? Yes we can!
A massive celebration of theatre, of joy, and of America needs a massive amount of people to make it happen. Our team is huge:
Director: Michelle Sutherland
Producers: Michelle Sutherland/Theatre Plastique, Taylor Speegle, Jordan Harrison
Featuring: Chante Adams, Daniel Bellomy, Deneé Benton, Veladya Chapman, Molly Griggs, Amanda Leigh Jerry, Johari Mackey, Mitch Marois, Jimmy Nicholas, Jordan Phillips, Carter Redwood, Cara Ronzetti, Kelsey Tarantino, Joe Ventricelli, Jacob Vine
Assistant Directors: Lauren Adleman, Jordan Harrison Dramaturgy: Emma McFarland Costumes: Erik Larson Scenic: Grace Min Lighting: Justin Keenan Miller Media: Jordan Harrison Stage Management: Rachel Piero
For more information contact The New York International Fringe Festival , a production of The Present Company @ (866) 468-7619 or visit www.FringeNYC.org.
Michelle Sutherland: http://michellesutherland.org/
Risks and challenges
Bringing any show to an international theatre festival is rife with potential pitfalls; bringing a theatre EVENT (always in development, fluid, organic) of 23 artists magnifies the danger exponentially.
But the potential of this work is enormous and so, the risk is worth it. While it is challenging to be with work that continues to grow and grow (and will grow and will change even through our performances at NYC Fringe), we have been running with this project for almost two years now. We understand this work and each other very intimately and are incredibly excited to share what we have come to love about Gertrude Stein's theatre with the New York audience and we are also very excited to see what this encounter will bring.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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