In Of Farms & Fables, ghosts haunt today’s farmers, worlds intersect in the fields, stories are shared along with ipods, dreams for the future collide, collapse and are reborn. Farmers and actors share the stage as they examine the competing pressures on farms and farming and their fallout on the farming community.
In the summer of 2010, our artists and farmers completed the first stage of this innovative project. Over the course of twelve weeks from June through August, we conducted thorough research and built valuable relationships with farmers through the Of Farms & Fables Work Exchange. Rotating through residencies on each farm, a team of four artists spent 12-15 hours each week engaged in practical, hands-on farm work. In exchange, the group held weekly lunch meetings with farmers that provided an opportunity for formal inquiry about the life of each farm. These conversations were recorded to facilitate the process of writing an original play. A careful written and visual chronicle of the 2010 Work Exchange was maintained by the artistic team and posted to a project blog: http://farmsandfables.blogspot.com/.
With the play written, we are excited to begin rehearsing, designing, and producing. By casting farmers in our production and by presenting it to the greater community of southern Maine, we aim to broaden the dialogue of Maine’s agricultural future that we began last June.
Funding for Of Farms and Fables has to this point come from The MAP Fund, the Ella Lyman Cabot Trust, the Maine Arts Commission, the Maine Humanities Council, and from generous donor contributions. Our goal with Kickstarter is to raise $5,000 which while a small part of the project’s overall budget would allow us to pay our artists fairly, to develop superior scenery and costume designs, and to undertake broad outreach efforts. If we are lucky enough to raise more than our target, all the better!
- (60 days)