Amiche - Our Company
Amiche (http://www.amiche.org) is a company that is made up of Lara Lynn Cottrill and Sarah Carleton. We have been in existence since May 2013. During our first year as a company we created and produced two unique shows that have been performed in a variety of locations in Western, PA. Along with our productions we also ran a two day artists festival in June 2014 that was held in Beaver, PA.
As a company our dream is to create and perform meaningful stories. Through our creative process and the work we do, we also strive to be a bridge between communities, bringing together creatives and others from diverse backgrounds.
As we enter into our third project we are deepening our commitment to excellence and our passion for sharing stories through performance.
This piece also touches on a subject that we feel passionate about - our need to speak out against and work to end violence towards women. It is our hope that this piece will help create a sense of empathy towards survivors' stories and the complexities they carry. We also want to acknowledge the many people who work on a daily basis to help those who are victims and survivors, and we want to honor them and the courage they have to fight against the wrong they see. We believe that this is an issues that impacts all of us - men and women. And our hope is that in some small way we can be a voice against the violence that impacts our communities.
The Story of "The Heart of Shahrazad"
Our current project, "The Heart of Shahrazad", began to form during one of our many brainstorming sessions. We both love stories and the ways that stories can weave into our hearts and help us empathize with those who may be different than us. Both of us had grown up enjoying the stories found in The Arabian Nights, and as we talked about the stories and our memories of them, we were again drawn to the character of Shahrazad. The more we explored her character, the more we saw a woman who was changed by the power of stories, and in turn used her stories to change the world she lived in. Her courage in the midst of violence, is a story that spoke to us, and we believe is relevant in our current world.
During the Summer of 2014 Sarah worked on developing and writing the script. The script and story focuses on the personal journey that Shahrazad takes, as a story teller and as a woman, who is living in the midst of violent times. The audience will watch as Shahrazad takes us into a personal wrestling with betrayal, forgiveness, and love.
For the performance itself the part of Shahrazad will be played by Sarah. And her guide through her journey will be played by Lara, who will embody the idea of Story. As a representation of Story, Lara's character helps Shahrazad reflect on what path she will take with her life, and helps her see the way stories can gently soften our hearts towards truth and healing.
The show will be about an hour in length, filled with music, acting, and movement.
The music for the show will be original music created by Eliane Aberdam (http://www.composer.aberdam.com/), who is currently working on composing the music.
The music will be played by harpist Marissa Knaub (http://www.soundofeleganceharpist.com) and sung by Lara Lynn Cottrill.
We believe that everyone has a story to tell. Yet often those who have experienced violence in their life hide their stories in shame. We hope that our performance can fight against the shame so many live with.
We currently live in a world in which 1 in 5 women will experience rape or attempted rape in her lifetime (statistic taken from the International Justice Mission IJM.ORG). It is our hope that with this piece we can give a voice to those who fight against violence, as well as provide a space for those who have experienced violence, to have their stories represented. We want to be a voice that says that those who have experienced violence are not alone.
Artists Involved in "The Heart of Sharazad"
This project is currently being developed by Sarah Carleton and Lara Lynn Cottrill, who make up the company Amiche.
Script - written by Sarah Carleton
Music - composed by Eliane Aberdam http://www.composer.aberdam.com
Harpist - Marissa Knaub http://www.soundofeleganceharpist.com
Performers - Lara Lynn Cottrill http://www.laralynncottrillsoprano.com
Sarah Carleton http://sarahcarleton.org
Our Past Work at Amiche
Amiche has produced and performed two previous pieces which have been performed at various locations in PA.
Why We Are Turning to Kickstarter
As a company we are excited about this piece and want to spread it to as many people as we can. We are starting this Kickstarter campaign with hopes that supporters can help us provide unique performance venues that will reach out to various communities and bring a wide range of audience members to our performance. Our plan is to work to get three venues in Pittsburgh for August 2015. We are looking for non-traditional performance venues that will bring art to the city in new and interesting locations.
As an additional part of our performance experience we are working to create a panel of experts who will be there following our first performance. The panel will be there to share their experiences as social workers, doctors, and counselors on what their work has been, as well as what we can do as individuals in the community to work to end the violence that so many woman face.
Expenses for this Project
The money raised from Kickstarter will go to help pay for venues for us to perform our piece. We are also working to find grants and other financial support to help pay the composer and harpist as well as purchase costumes, props, and provide marketing material for the shows.
If Additional Funds Are Raised
If we exceed our initial request we will put the money towards additional venues and performances, including working to perform this piece in other cities and locations.
Risks and challenges
There are always risks in producing new work. Having previously produced and performed two original works, we feel that we have the experience and the understanding of what it takes to put a new performance on the stage.
We are committed to this piece and have already put in a great deal of time and work into getting this piece ready to be performed.
Risks we acknowledge we will face as we work on this project:
Getting venues to perform in and reserving the spaces for our time frame of August 2015 is one of the biggest obstacles we are facing at this time.
Managing time and production, so that the piece is completed with in the deadline we have set is also a risk we acknowledge, as all new pieces face unexpected hurdles during the development process.
Knowing these risks we feel that we have set good parameters and space to help us create the best performance we can with the resources we have. Having gone through the process twice already has helped given us a great deal of insight into producing our own work as well as providing a solid foundation for our collaboration.
We are also passionate performers who believe strongly that this story needs to be told.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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