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What SMASH is to Broadway, BACKSTAGE DRAMA is to Community Theater.  Join us in helping community and independent theaters!
What SMASH is to Broadway, BACKSTAGE DRAMA is to Community Theater. Join us in helping community and independent theaters!
211 backers pledged $12,825 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$12,825

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NEW GOAL:  $12,500

That's right, we've upped the ante.  Why?  Because our goal has always been to make a minimum of $10,000 and with 38 hours left, we have a chance to exceed our goal.  Details below!  

And, we STILL have the opportunity to MEET BETTY WHITE!!!

Thanks for considering support of the Backstage Drama Web series!!

STATUS UPDATE:  January 18 / Noon

"On that great come and get it day, Won't it be fun when worry is done and money is hay. That's the time things'll come your way . On that great, great come and get it day" from Finian's Rainbow.

Today could be that day!  Hours to go! Won't you consider making a pledge today? We see the goal line and now we're eager to both meet AND exceed that goal! 

Every dollar we raise past our $10,000 goal means more production, more marketing and more support for community and independent theaters across the country. Rewards from $5.00 to $7500.00. From music and exclusive footage, to a meet and greet with Betty White. This is the moment. Don't delay! Thanks for considering support.

Best, Teresa and Patrick

VIDEO UPDATE:  January 16 / 5pm

Campaign appeal - ALMOST TO GOAL!
Campaign appeal - ALMOST TO GOAL!

An Introduction 

Backstage Drama is a web series with a mission. Nearly two years ago, we (Teresa Thome and Patrick Ziegler) co-founded Fubble Entertainment, LLC to provide engaging entertainment, produced and created locally, but with a national appeal. At the same time we opened our doors we saw that community theaters were struggling with keeping their doors open. So we thought perhaps we could develop a project that provides quality content, supports and raises the visibility of community and independent theaters and creates jobs in production and the arts! Less than a year later we started filming. 

Our awesome and talented cast and crew on location!
Our awesome and talented cast and crew on location!

Working with more than 145 volunteers, some minor start-up capital and a whole lot of our own money and sweat equity, we produced the first five episodes of the series, developed a website and secured some promotional videos. We even won a national Telly Award, local Eclipse award and regional Emmy® award for our work. 

Why Kickstarter? Why now? 

While we have received some critical success, we haven’t reached the tipping point. Not yet. We are told we are doing good work: 

“Backstage Drama is beautifully shot, well-presented and gives you a sense of what community theater can give to you.” Ed Asner, Actor of Stage and Screen

Backstage Drama Producers with Ed Asner (click through to his supporter video here)
Backstage Drama Producers with Ed Asner (click through to his supporter video here)

“I found the work (Backstage Drama) very Emmy® worthy and I wish you all the very best with pushing onwards to Primetime!”  Brent Stanton, Director Daytime Emmys®

So we need to keep our website and content fresh to draw new audiences and keep our existing audience engaged. With a successful Kickstarter campaign we can go in to production for 4 days, create lots of new content (at least 6 new scenes and one awesome music video), fund a marketing strategy AND... PAY OUR TEAM! (They deserve it!) 

Kickstarter will help us with another Musical Number and more great scenes!
Kickstarter will help us with another Musical Number and more great scenes!

About the Production

You asked for it. We want you to have it!  "We want to hear Justin (Shawn/Sandy) sing."  "More Gloria and MScott, please."  "More funny, please."  "More everybody, please." "What happens next?"  And on and on the questions have come our way.  Meeting our goal allows us to tell more of the story and gives our talent the opportunity to showcase their mad skills.  We have something in store for Shawn and Maggie, Gloria and MScott, Vernon and Gus and Drake and, well, Drake.  These "featurettes", as we are calling them, are small scenes that will be created to further the story or simply provide an entertaining way to see more from the quirky cast of characters in the show.  All of these featurettes will enhance our Backstage Pass, adding much needed content.

About the Goa

We are raising $10,000. We would like to raise more (this is a fraction of real costs – we have really nice friends who are willing to give ridiculously reduced rates). Any additional dollars raised will be used to secure a celebrity AS A GUEST STAR. Money beyond that? More content! This campaign is about creating new content and paying our people, renting equipment, feeding our cast and crew and raising marketing dollars to tell our story

It’s also about giving you, the donor, some cool rewards… but we’ll talk about that in a bit.   

Talent by fabulous community theater actors.  Music by Tony Award winner, Levi Kries.  Choreography by Mark Anthony Lord.
Talent by fabulous community theater actors. Music by Tony Award winner, Levi Kries. Choreography by Mark Anthony Lord.

The Team 

Patrick and Teresa met at Grand Rapids Junior College (now GRCC) in the theater department. Teresa went on to be an award-winning Children’s Museum Director and Patrick went on to live a creative life producing, writing and directing in New York, Los Angeles and now Chicago. Eventually the two would cross paths again as Emmy® award winning executive producers of the children’s television show, "Come On Over”. A few years later the two opted to develop their own creative works, founding Fubble Entertainment to develop “contemporary media with nostalgic appeal”. Visit this website to learn more. www.fubbleentertainment.com or check out our bios on this page.

A small fraction of the team with our Eclipse Award!
A small fraction of the team with our Eclipse Award!

When you visit http://backstagedrama.com/cast-crew/ you can see all the amazing people who helped create the first five episodes of Backstage Drama. For round two we have turned to many on the team who helped us launch this project, along with welcoming back many featured performers. Our long term goal as a company is to ensure we are consistently providing paid work for both cast and crew.   

Gus, the lighting director & Vernon, the consummate actor share a moment after rehearsal.
Gus, the lighting director & Vernon, the consummate actor share a moment after rehearsal.

The Rewards 

We did our best to come up with some really great perks at every level. For example, we are eager to have you visit our set (we have loads of fun with our talented cast and crew). We can't wait to hear about your time in Los Angeles with Ms. Betty White, a lover of community and independent theater (she used to do Summer Stock with Alan Ludden - the love of her life!) is ready to meet you after a visit to her show "Hot in Cleveland".  

"Backstage" goes Backstage with Betty White!
"Backstage" goes Backstage with Betty White!

We are excited to see how many $5, $10 and $25 supporters are able to step up. We aren't just creating a series to support community & independent theater; we are making great entertainment that will help build a community of people that support community & independent theater. 

Stretch Goals 

Like we said above, our goal is $10,000. With those dollars we can create more content, execute our marketing strategy and PAY OUR PEOPLE. We'd like to exceed our goals. At $15,000, we will shoot more and pay more. At $20,000 we will bring in a celebrity. At $35,000 we will enhance our celebrity support circle, build more features to our extras page and add to the marketing budget (which will, in turn, gets us more episodes and more support for theaters!) At $50,000 we're looking at shooting full EPISODES! More EPISODES, more story line, more viewing enjoyment, more paid people, more happiness in the world!

Final Thoughts

Our dream has been and will continue to be to create quality media through great storytelling... and to pay people a good wage along the way! We seek to raise the collective value of community and independent theaters across the country.  That’s not the kind of thing that venture capitalists fund. That’s why we are turning to Kickstarter. That’s why we are turning to our friends and friends of friends. As artists, storytellers and production craftspeople, we have to create.  We have to support our own. We don’t believe we could function any other way. 

It takes a village to create a web series about community theater!  Thanks for your support. (Filmed on location at Grand Rapids Civic Theater)
It takes a village to create a web series about community theater! Thanks for your support. (Filmed on location at Grand Rapids Civic Theater)

Thanks for joining us on this journey!

Risks and challenges

"Stop worrying if your vision is new. Let others make that decision . They usually do! You keep moving on." from “Sunday in the Park With George”

We've been told repeately that our vision is new and innovative. You can also read that as "challenging" and "risky". We certainly recognize those challenges and have done our best to head them off - most specifically by putting together a great team. Before we even decided to launch a Kickstarter campaign, we brought members of our team together to say, "Will you do this for reduced fees?" They gave a resounding yes - so we pushed on! That was their answer last month. Lives change and hopefully they are getting great jobs that pay really well. If they do, that creates challenges for us. Luckily, we scheduled enough flexibility in to our scripts and shooting schedules to manage any potential conflicts (consider... last time we shot 17 days with 145 volunteers. This time its 4 days with paid crew and talent... we are very optimistic this time around to stay on schedule!) If we do run in to major timing challenges, a visit to the set (as listed in the rewards) might be pushed back, but we don't expect anything pushed later than March.

Two other potential challenges are timing issues on our larger rewards. We must meet deadlines quickly to fulfill the $5000 reward and you must be able to travel without our assistance to get either the $5k or $10k reward (or live in NYC or LA where it will be easy to get to for you).

As entrepreneurs and creative production people, we know there are challenges and risks inherent in every project. Yet, with years of improv training we have learned to say YES! to everything. With years of production under our belt, we have learned to problem solve any challenge. And as lovers of theater committed to making great entertainment that celebrates community and independent theater we will, in the words of Mr. Sondheim, "keep moving on".

FAQ
If you have questions, please send them to info@fubbleentertainment.com.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Our deepest appreciation for your wonderful (and much needed) support and a shout out on our Facebook page.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    An awesome Backstage Pass (exclusive membership) for one year to www.backstagedrama.com and a shout out on our Facebook page.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    All of the above + 3 FREE songs (MP3 downloads) of your choosing from the Backstage Drama repertoire.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    All of the above + 3 MORE FREE (MP3 downloads) songs of your choosing from the BSD repertoire (6 TOTAL SONGS from our uber-talented cast!) + a Backstage Drama recurring theme ringtone + a written thank you from the producers.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    All of the above + a supporter credit on the Backstage Drama website.

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    Pledge $91 or more About $91

    It's the Betty White Birthday amount. She's 91 years young this week. All of the rewards at $75.00 and above, plus we're sending Betty a thank you card and your name will be listed!

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    All of the above + a thank you on the CREDIT ROLE of one of the featurettes.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    All of the above + a signed postcard from performers of the songs you choose (for your MP3 downloads) + personal autograph from Levi Kries (Tony Award winner of "Million Dollar Quartet" & BSD composer).

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    All of the perks at $100 and above category + invitation to the set of Backstage Drama as we film the upcoming featurettes.

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    All of the perks at $100 and above category + an autographed postcard from select BSD celebrity supporters (visit www.backstagedrama.com to see the fabulous list - choose 3 and BSD cast members - choose 3) That's 6 awesome autographs on 1 swanky postcard.

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

    All of the perks at $100 and above category + your image (or the image of someone you love) featured creatively in an upcoming featurette + an invitation to the set.

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    All of the above + an Associate Producer credit on the credit role of the upcoming featurettes + your first or last name added as a character to one (or more) of the featurettes + dinner with the producers (in Grand Rapids or Chicago).

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    Pledge $7,500 or more About $7,500

    All of the above + an EXECUTIVE PRODUCER credit on all featurettes + a featured thank you on the website + a private, on-line, pre-screening of completed work + dinner for 2 in Los Angeles + 2 tix to a taping of "Hot in Cleveland" in Los Angeles + a meet and greet with Betty White after the taping! (Note: date must be mutually agreed upon and transportation not provided)

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Funding period

- (30 days)