What is The Framework? Who are 'Chad and Dylan'?
This project - our 'theatre initiative,' The Framework - has been in the works for almost exactly a year. When Chad moved to Chicago in the summer of 2011, he took up residence on Dylan's couch in Edgewater, and that's when the 'let's start our own theatre company in Chicago' wheels started turning. Having studied together at the University of Wisconsin - Parkside, we've been friends for years. We've been roommates, acting partners, colleagues, road trip buddies and everything in between.
The Framework became the name of our initiative (we're not a 'company' yet -- ain't got no business degrees in this house. Still learning, still growing, project to project). We're dedicating ourselves to exploring classical scripts and new stories at their most basic level, uncovering the truth of the stories and focusing on a development and process-based approach to the work while enabling other young artists to pursue challenging work that is gratifying, satisfying, and electrifying.
Now neighbors in the city (we're living a mere two blocks from each other), this venture marks our first endeavor as artistic associates in Chicago; it's a new facet of our relationship that we're fleshing out day by day, with the support of each other and a handful of wonderfully talented friends in the city.
So... King Lear?
Yes. King Lear. We're excited about this project for thousands of reasons: yes, King Lear is a great play. These are timeless, ruthless, and sometimes lawless characters, and we're thrilled to be bringing them to life in this new way.
But what we LOVE about this particular project, this way of presenting King Lear, is this: we've set a challenge for ourselves and for every member of our creative team. Our director, Juliana Kleist-Mendez, is a brilliant movement and ensemble-based director from Iowa City. We wanted to give her the challenge of building an ensemble based solely on use of voice and the words of the play that move the story forward.
Our sound designer, Phil Wooding, isn't just creating sound effects/mood music that takes the audience from one scene to the next; he's faced with developing a three-dimensional soundscape that equals the dramatic heft of Shakespeare's language, keeping everyone in the story without taking away from the dialogue that moves us all forward.
The actors are faced with pulling off this incredible script in only a few short weeks, from first reading to final recording and performance. And as for Chad and Dylan? Well, every step of the process has been a challenge, from navigating the logistics of putting up a project of this scope to avoiding distractions like Oreo cookies during our production meetings.
We really like the Oreo cookies.
What is all this money for?
We're glad you asked. The budget we've created for ourselves covers a variety of things, including: rehearsal space rental, transportation to and from our recording location in the suburbs, an artist stipend for our director (who is taking leave from her Iowa City residence to stay with us for four intense weeks of Bard-tastic theatre madness), marketing the performance, keeping the actors' bodies hydrated and their tummies full during recording, and creating the actual audio CD versions of the radio play which will be available at the one-night-only performance in Chicago.
What happens if you raise more money than you've asked for?
First and foremost, we'd be thrilled to give our actors (and all other members of the artistic team) small stipends for their time, efforts and talents. Working in the arts can sometimes feel like a thankless endeavor -- and while very VERY few of us have entered into the arts, especially into theatre, for the money, it's nice to receive that kind of compensation. Everyone's got bills, right?
Extra money also means creating a nest egg for future projects, which would be nice for us, too. We don't want to be a one-hit wonder -- we hope to keep creating new and exciting projects for years to come that can challenge artists and audiences alike with new perspectives on old stories and provide outlets for entertainment, empathy, or any other form of catharsis in which a human being might take interest.
Do you want to know more about the project? Do you want to know more about The Framework? Did you want a piece of Dylan's chest hair, or a lock of the illustrious mane atop Chad's head? Contact us any time! We'll get back to you, we promise:
We'd love to hear from you. Yes, you!
Please support The Framework and King Lear: A Radio Play! We'd be honored to have the support of a global community of theatre artists, patrons and advocates.
- (21 days)