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WHF conjures the primal magic of a living island using only the bodies and voices of an eight-actor ensemble - and Shakespeare’s words.
WHF conjures the primal magic of a living island using only the bodies and voices of an eight-actor ensemble - and Shakespeare’s words.
54 backers pledged $3,876 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$3,876

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What's past is prologue

We Happy Few was founded by Hannah Todd and Raven Bonniwell in early 2012. Our mission is to present stripped down, small cast, ensemble productions with a group of talented artists, providing unique perspectives on classic texts. We Happy Few’s first show was the acclaimed six-person, 90-minute Hamlet, produced as part of the 2012 Capital Fringe Festival. Hamlet  was hailed by the Washington Post as "interesting and hyper-watchable," and as "a play worth seeing and a production worthy of its namesake" by DC Theatre Scene. Both DC Metro Theater Arts and Maryland Theater Guide proclaimed Hamlet "not to be missed."

And now I pray you, your reason for raising this sea storm? 

The most difficult part of staging The Tempest has always been making it truly magical. Sure, you could throw hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of special effects onstage, but, well, we don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars. What we have are artists and imagination. 

At WHF, we believe there is nothing more magical than watching actors on a stage creating a world. As such, our Tempest continues our tradition of stripped-down productions, focusing on using actors themselves to create the entirety of this world and its magic – not with sleight-of-hand, but with actors' actual hands. And feet. And the rest of their bodies. And also their voices - not only for sound effects, but to sing original a capella music composed for the production by John Todd (better known to many of you as Hannah’s Dad). And of course, along with all of this, we’ll continue our signature focus on saying Shakespeare’s words good. 

We are re-imagining The Tempest set on a living, breathing island, its primal magic conjured in the bodies and voices of an eight-actor ensemble. The omniscient Prospero stands apart, wielding the island’s power to manipulate monsters and spirits, kings and drunkards, a treacherous brother and a daughter in love. But is harnessing the magic of the island for one’s own ends really worth the isolation it brings? 

But release me from my bands with the help of your good hands 

The Tempest will be produced at The Shop at Fort Fringe in May 2013. This is where we need your help. We need money... money for space rentals, insurance, marketing materials and the design elements for the show. We hope to raise our full budget through fundraising, because we are committed to returning the entire box office proceeds for the production to the artists involved, as we were able to do (thanks to our donors) with Hamlet. Being an artist is hard work and we’d like to keep ours from starving. Any amount helps, no matter how small. 

The clouds methought would open and show riches ready to drop upon me... 

To make donating even more enticing, take a look over at the right hand side of this page. You’ll see that we have a series of pretty rad rewards. You’ll also notice that for the higher level rewards, we have two options. We have rewards for those who are able to come see the show and take advantage of DC-based activities. And for those of you who can’t make the performances (we’re sure you have a really good excuse), we have alternative rewards that we can mail to you wherever you may be. Once funding is complete, we will send out a survey to all our backers in which you will be able to indicate your preference! 

Flout ‘em and scout ‘em, scout ‘em and flout ‘em, thought is free 

We know that many of you are probably as impecunious as we are. So if you really can’t manage even a $10 donation (hey, that can be a week’s worth of lunch!) but want to help in another way, you can! If you have any space where we can rehearse a few evenings a week, we’ll take it! Do you have a website or business where we can advertise for free? Maybe you’d want to cook our production team dinner one night. Seriously, it all helps and we’d love your support.

I invite your highness and your train to my poor cell 

To keep up with this exciting project on the world wide web, find us at http://wehappyfewdc.wordpress.com/, on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/WeHappyFewProductions) or follow us on Twitter (@wehappyfewdc). If email’s more your speed, feel free to drop us a line at wehappyfewproductions@gmail.com. 

O brave new world that has such people in it 

Many special thanks once again to Matt Genebach for lending his fantastic filmmaking and editing skills to this project, and to John Todd for composing the beautiful song for the video.

I prithee now lead the way without any more talking!

Risks and challenges

Any live theater event can face myriad potential challenges - trouble with casting, rehearsal scheduling, finding space, selling tickets. However, We Happy Few commits itself to putting together a team of consummate professionals who have the experience, competence, creativity and expertise to overcome the challenges inherent in staging a show. With this same sense of commitment to professionalism, we were able to overcome any and all challenges we faced with our summer 2012 production. Now, upon embarking on our second full production, we have an even clearer sense of the challenges we may face, and of how to overcome them.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    The Drunkards: Special Thank You in The Tempest program

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    The Schemers: Special Thank You in The Tempest program AND on WHF's Facebook page, PLUS an official Tempest sticker

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    5 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    The Lovers: All of the above PLUS MP3s of cast recordings of three original songs composed for the show.

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    12 backers
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    The Monsters: All of the above PLUS two tickets to the show (DC Local reward) OR All of the above PLUS a poster of the show signed by the cast and crew (Out of Towner reward)

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    The Spirits: All of the above PLUS a Limited edition Tempest Mug and a poster signed by the Cast.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    The Sorcerer: EVERYTHING above PLUS a drink with the cast if you're in DC OR, if you're not in DC, a full cast recording of all the original music composed for this show.

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

    The Island: All of the above PLUS attend a rehearsal (DC folks) or receive two professional photos from the production (non-DCers)

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Funding period

- (31 days)