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Wendi Kaufman's story of  loss, longing and acceptance is brought to life by Nicole Kempskie (book & lyrics) and Robby Stamper (music).
Wendi Kaufman's story of loss, longing and acceptance is brought to life by Nicole Kempskie (book & lyrics) and Robby Stamper (music).
217 backers pledged $16,926 to help bring this project to life.

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Helen on 86th St. A New Musical

$16,926

217

YES! IT'S TRUE--WE ARE FUNDED!
But, the cost of putting on a showcase is actually closer to $30,000. (Yes, it was shocking to me, too, until I actually did the budget.) So, every little bit over the $15,000 we get helps, since we are going to be looking for other sources to make up the difference.

GET YOUR TICKETS NOW--BY PLEDGING!
This show is going to sell out fast. If you make a donation of $25 you are guaranteed a ticket to our show. $50 guarantees you 2 tickets. Your chances of getting a seat at the performance of your choice are pretty much guaranteed if you get them this way, since there aren't going to be many tickets left to the general public. (Our theatre only seats 99 people per show.)

ABOUT THE SHOW
Based on a story that was published in the New Yorker Magazine, reprinted in Scribner's Best of the Fiction Workshops, and that has been taught in 10,000 high school classrooms across the country over the past decade, Helen on 86th St. follows Vita Calista, a vibrant and unique 12-year old girl, as she learns to cope with an absent father, a single mother, a disappointing role in the school production of The Trojan Horse, and the daily pressures of being a tween growing up in New York City. It’s a story of loss, longing and acceptance, as seen through the eyes of a young girl wise beyond her years, which like the epic Greek stories it interweaves, carries a message of hope and redemption that will resonate with people of all ages.

THE SHOW IS HAPPENING!
We've booked the theatre!

The last week of April and the first week of May, Helen on 86th will have its theatrical debut at the historic Chernuchin Theatre in the American Theatre of Actors Complex on 54th St.--in the heart of the theater district. Robby and I put down the deposit, and now it's up to us to raise the remaining funds so that we can share this wonderful piece of musical theatre with you, come spring.

THE CHALLENGE
To say that we basically emptied our savings to pay the theatre deposit wouldn't be much of an exaggeration..or an exaggeration at all. The reality is, folks, we can't take this next step without your help.

Robby and I both work multiple jobs and use every cent that's leftover after our monthly living expenses to pay for Helen's development. So far, we have funded every aspect, from the snacks and pizza for the cast during rehearsals, to the rehearsal and performance space fees, to the website and blog that I keep up with 5 days a week. (Check it out: www.helenon86th.com!) We are also doing all the jobs involved in getting this show up and running, from child wrangling and public relations, to directing and musical directing. We deeply believe in our show, but unfortunately, our belief won't pay for the remaining theatre rental fee or production expenses.

HERE'S WHERE YOU COME IN
By 11:59PM on December 31st, we need to raise the money to cover all the expenses of getting our show up and running, and get our application in for an Equity Approved Showcase (a show open to the public with Broadway actors). Equity caps a showcase budget at $35,000, but we know we can make it happen for less--so, we've set a goal of $15,000.

HERE'S WHAT YOUR DONATION WILL HELP PAY FOR:
Theatre Rental
Rehearsal Space Rental
Actor Stipends and Travel Expenses (for a cast of 19)
Insurance
Lights, Sound, Costumes
Minimal Sets
Food (Our cast has 15 growing bodies that we like to kept fed and happy.)
Advertising and Publicity

WHO IS THE SHOW FOR?
Well, YOU for one. One of the big reasons we want to get this up and running with our current cast is that a.) we love them and b.) they've developed quite a following throughout the development stage and lots of their friends and family (that's YOU) are eager to see them play these roles.

And, I'm not going to lie to you--we also hope that every investor and producer in the area has the chance to see what we've been working on, so that they can help us get to the next stage...and the next stage...and eventually, The Great White Way. Because we really believe that there's a place on Broadway for Helen on 86th St. (And just think--you can say you were a part of making that happen!)

So, watch our video, go to our website (www.helenon86th.com), listen to the music, read my blog, check out Wendi's short story online, read about who we've got working with us creatively, and follow the amazing progress we have already made so far, on a very teeny-tiny budget. Become a Helen Benefactor and help us make this dream a reality.

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Ten drachmas in your karma bank, our warm thanks, and the burning of a wish of your choice.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    25 drachmas in your karma bank, many thanks, and 1 ticket to our showcase.

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    40 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    50 drachmas in your karma bank, our utmost thanks, 2 tickets to our showcase and a Helen on 86th St. refrigerator magnet.

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    84 backers
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    100 drachmas in your karma bank, our heartfelt thanks, and 2 tickets to our showcase, a Helen on 86th St. refrigerator magnet, a Helen on 86th St. demo signed by the authors and a listing in our program and on our website as a MORTAL.

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    35 backers
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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    250 drachmas in your karma bank, our humble gratitude, 2 tickets to our showcase, a Helen on 86th St. demo signed by the authors,a Greek Restaurant Take-Out Ceramic Cup, and a listing in our program and on our website as a SATYR.

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    9 backers
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    500 drachmas in your karma bank, our loving thanks, a demo recording of Helen on 86th St. signed by the writers, a Greek Restaurant Take-Out Ceramic Cup, 4 tickets to our showcase and a listing in our program and on our website as a PEGASUS.

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

    1000 drachmas in your karma bank, our deepest gratitude, a box of homemade baklava, the “Vita” cartoon signed by artist Joey Docil, 4 tickets to our showcase, a small bottle of Ouzo, and a listing in our program and on our website as a DEMI-GOD.

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

    2500 drachmas in your karma bank, our absolute thanks, a box of homemade baklava, 4 tickets to our showcase, an autographed copy of Wendi’s short story and a year’s subscription to the New Yorker magazine, an original song, written for you by Nicole and Robby, and a listing in our program and on our website as a GOD/GODDESS.

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Funding period

- (67 days)