OC@OC (Original Content at Off Center) is an unprecedented collaboration of Vermont theater companies and artists joining together to present a year-long season of completely new work in 2015. OC@OC's mission is to incubate brave, original theater and to grow the breadth and scope of Vermont's artists, audiences, and enthusiasts.
Original work isn't new to the Off Center for the Dramatic Arts. Since its launch in 2010, the OC has been home to over 40 new works, as well as published plays, cabarets, festivals, music events, storytelling, stand-up comedy, readings and the theatrical-work-in-progress series Playmakers.
OC@OC will include new works by 13 of the region's most exciting and creative groups and individuals. This diverse collection of original work will include plays and musicals, movement pieces, sketch comedy, storytelling and much more. You'll meet many of the season participants and experience some examples of what they'll offer in the days and weeks to come.
One of the most daunting and expensive tasks involved in making theater in our region is finding accessible and functional space. Since 2010, the Off Center has provided artists with an affordable and supportive facility, ensuring that dozens of theater pieces which would otherwise not have had a home were able to see production.
Presenting any sort of theatrical work can be a risky proposition...and even more so with original work without the benefit of a recognizable title or creator. Even with the advantages which the Off Center provides artists, staging new work is a financially daunting prospect.
Our goal is to cover the operating costs for the Off Center for 2015 (rent, utilities, speed boat*) and pass the saving on to the artists...providing free performance space to the 13 companies and individuals who have committed to creating original work for the OC@OC season. Without the expense of renting a performance space, theater artists will be encouraged and supported to take bigger risks and experiment together to push the boundaries of their art. In addition, by building a season of new work we hope to bring in audiences that are excited to see new plays grow from conception and to contribute to the process of theater-making.
* we will not buy a speed boat...but we do have our eye on an old unicycle
We're located in the historic and diverse Old North End neighborhood of Burlington, Vermont. For our specific location, take a look at our friend Nathan Hartswick's video directions:
Risks and challenges
The obvious biggest challenge is that $25,000 is a lot of clams to come up with. And, if we don't, there's always the chance that some of our participating artists won't be able to produce their work during the coming year. It's an all or nothing proposition for us...and if that's not risky then we don't know what is.
But! We have a lot going for us. We're part of a community, region and state where local and original is celebrated...and that goes for the arts as much as anything. And we believe that there's strength in numbers. The list may include 13 companies and individuals, but that number multiplies exponentially when you factor in the legions of performers, designers, technicians and volunteers with whom we all work. We're going to mobilize those legions to get the word out about what we think is maybe the most exciting project the local theatre community has ever undertaken.
We've got a lot of work ahead of us, but we believe it's for a worthwhile, unprecedented and (dare we say?) important project! (Yeah, we dare say.)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (34 days)