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Support creating a DVD of Curio Theatre's controversial lesbian-themed production of Shakespeare's _Romeo and Juliet_.
Support creating a DVD of Curio Theatre's controversial lesbian-themed production of Shakespeare's _Romeo and Juliet_.
142 backers pledged $5,182 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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West Philadelphia's Curio Theater began its 2013-14 season with William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Since the season was oriented on issues of gender, many of the roles in the play were switched from men to women.

Juliet's only parent was her mother, Lady Montague. Tybalt was a very different kind of character. And the play was now about a lesbian romance between Juliet and a woman named Romeo.

But there was controversy. Philadelphia magazine's online article about the production attracted over 1200 responses. People around the country objected to the production's gay content. They objected to the play being staged in a Methodist church. Some of them objected to doing Shakespeare in modern dress. And there were threats of violence made against Curio Theatre.

Within a few weeks, the story went national on the Drudge Report and Free Republic.com. The New York Times did a special article about the production artwork, including the striking poster by renowned photographer Kyle Cassidy (Armed America, War Paint, Who Killed Amanda Palmer?).

(ADDENDUM 3/23/2014: Two versions of Kyle's poster can be viewed, at http://kylecassidy.tumblr.com/post/61025769460/poster-for-romeo-juliet-coolest-thing-ive-done and http://kylecassidy.tumblr.com/post/61117966436/one-more-romeo-juliet-poster-because-love-is-a)

A lot of people did not want you to see this play. But a lot more people supported the production. They felt the play was very important, and that the approach spoke to them. People who couldn't come to Philadelphia to see the play wrote in asking about tours. So I decided that this play needed to be preserved and shared with a wider audience.

My name is Brian Siano, and I'm a video director and producer based in Philadelphia. I've been doing work with Curio for the past few years, and this is a Kickstarter to fund a DVD version of Curio Theatre's Romeo and Juliet.

I organized a camera crew and a sound engineer, and we captured a performance with seven cameras. Now it's time to turn all of that video into a professional quality DVD package for people who wouldn't be able to see this performance otherwise.

Over the past ten years, Curio Theater's productions have been among the best in the Philadelphia theater. They've produced versions of Twelfth Night, Equus, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, and Slaughterhouse-Five. They've performed adaptations of Great Expectations and The Iliad, and created original plays such as Madville by Paul Kuhn.

Our first goal will pay for the post-production work, like editing, sound mixing, and manufacturing the DVDs. We want to get the DVDs out to supporters by mid-May of 2014. We're also planning for two stretch goals. If we can raise a thousand dollars above our first goal, we can pay the actors and technicians extra for being involved in the production: they did a lot of hard work on the play, and if the video takes off, they deserve a reward. If we can raise a thousand dollars above that, we can create a documentary about the production, and interview the creators about the play, the controversy, and more. (Or we can do a second bonus.)

So that's the project. You get a DVD of a terrific production of one of Shakespeare's most famous plays. You contribute to Philadelphia theater, by encouraging productions such as these, and by encouraging the creation of video versions of these plays. So please contribute, and spread the word so we can provide a lot of talented people with a bonus for being part of this. Thank you.

Risks and challenges

The play itself has been recorded, so no additional shooting will be required. Most of the post-production can and will be accomplished with resources I already have. Two months to edit a multi-camera shoot is more than enough time. Some sound effects and cues may require re-recording and some added expense; the Kickstarter goals include a budget for this.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    ONE copy of Kyle Cassidy's poster for Romeo and Juliet.

    Kyle Cassidy is an internationally renowned writer and photographer whose works include Armed America, War Paint, and Who Killed Amanda Palmer? Kyle's striking and provocative poster was partly responsible for sparking much of the controversy over the play, and caught the attention of the New York Times. And you can have a copy for $20.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    You receive the Culmination of Our Labors: the DVD of Romeo and Juliet, with the best quality we can achieve, in a Digibook case.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    You receive the Culmination of Our Labors: the DVD of Romeo and Juliet, with the best quality we can achieve, in a Digibook case.

    (Note: This Reward was added because several people wanted to support the project from Europe.)

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    ONE copy of the DVD, plus ONE copy of Kyle Cassidy's wonderful poster!

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    26 backers
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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING: ONE copy of the DVD, plus ONE copy of Kyle Cassidy's wonderful poster! (Note: This Reward was added because several people wanted to support the project from Europe.)

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    The Culmination of Our Labors, Doubled. You get TWO copies of the DVD of Romeo and Juliet. Keep one for yourself, and give the spare to a friend, family member, acquaintance, neighbor, or passersby.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    FIVE copies of Kyle Cassidy's poster for Romeo and Juliet.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Be a Producer! You'll be given a Credit of Prominence as a Kickstarter Producer in the video! We'll send you TWO DVDs as well, so you can enjoy the play and show someone else that you're a Patron of the Arts!

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Reseller Package: Five DVD's At this level, you get 5 copies of the DVD. Give them out as gifts!

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Reseller Package: 9 Copies
    For $250, you get nine copies of the DVD. Give them out as gifts! Sell them in your place of business! Mail them out to random strangers!

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $270 or more About $270

    Reseller Package with Poster! You get nine copies of the DVD, plus a copy of Kyle Cassidy's poster! And if you were to place this poster somewhere near a stack of nine or so DVDs, just to draw attention to them...

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Reseller Package with Posters! You get 40 copies of the DVD and five copies of Kyle Cassidy's poster!

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

    Grand Reseller Package: one hundred copies of the DVD, plus ten copies of Kyle Cassidy's poster.

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Funding period

- (30 days)