About this project
***STRETCH GOAL REVEALED!***
We're so excited to have reached our initial goal! Thank you to everyone who has supported so far. Now we're reaching for $5000 so that we can make a filmed version of the 10th Anniversary show and share it with YOU. See Update #4 for more details.
Mad King Thomas is the award-winning choreographic collaboration of Tara King, Theresa Madaus, and Monica Thomas. For ten years we've been making dances that live at the intersection of pop iconography, critical social discourse, and glittery vulgarity. To celebrate, we're staging a two-part show of epic proportions called Unearthing the Family Jewels.
PART ONE: Inverting a false gender dichotomy with dick jokes
Our work is a chaotic mash-up of Madonna impersonations, suffragist speeches, and Molotov cocktails, which is to say messy, feminist, post-modern, and deeply rooted in our personal identities. So we've asked 15 of our favorite male performers to step into our roles and reinterpret 5 old Mad King Thomas dances. (Binary inversion is an outdated concept, but it's still a fun way to mess with gender.) We're delighted to see how these dances change when performed by men from very different dance and life backgrounds.
PART TWO: Honoring our choreographic family
We've also asked Judith Howard, Emily Johnson and Hijack (Arwen Wilder and Kristin Van Loon) - the 3 choreographers who have most influenced us - to make new dances for this show. We practically peed our pants when they all said yes. They are some of the pivotal characters in making Mad King Thomas who we are, and we're so honored and excited to include their work.
Furthermore, we'll be premiering a brand new work of our own--the first since we've spread across the country and started rehearsing via Skype. It will be an experiment in distance, technology, and longevity. Or another chance to put on sparkles... no one knows yet what it will look like.
All of this will come together June 18-21 in Minneapolis at the Tek Box Theater of the Cowles Center. One part retrospective, one part future-rama, all parts awesome party, this show is a chance to re-imagine our past, experiment with our on-going process, play with societal constructions of gender, look at the confluences of influence, and CELEBRATE the amazing community that has nurtured us.
Obviously the glow of pride you will feel while watching the show is a reward in and of itself. But since our motto is "Too much is never enough!", we're delighted to offer some fabulous rewards. After dreaming of them for so long, we're particularly excited to have Mad King Thomas t-shirts! (See Update #1 for images.) And we've been experimenting with different media, so we're stoked to include you in our artistic process by including your dream idea in our next dance film. Check out the array of rewards and let us know what excites you.
Risks and challenges
Mad King Thomas is drawing on an immense number of cast and crew from various corners of the dance community. Obviously a production of this scope requires a hefty budget. We are pleased to announce that this project is supported by a $10,000 MRAC Arts Activities grant. We've already raised additional monies during last fall's Give to the Max campaign. Your support will help balance our budget and will provide the required match to the MRAC funds.
Mad King Thomas has also undergone a big transition in the last year. We were formerly all based in Minneapolis; now Monica is in Boston and Tara is in Los Angeles. This distance has given us an opportunity to experiment with our collaborative process, and we've continued our weekly rehearsals over skype, met up in L.A. for a mid-winter retreat, and learned a little more about film as a medium for dance.
Monica and Tara are both flying back to Minneapolis for a month before the show to help with the back-to-back rehearsals, production organization, and generally enjoy being back on familiar turf. Theresa has already begun the logistical work and, as she is handily located in Minneapolis, is the point person for all things local. We've already recruited a number of stunning dancers (to be revealed to backers during this campaign!), are working with the incomparable Heidi Eckwall as our lighting designer, and have the wonderful Aaron Schoenrock on board to wrangle all things stage-managerial.
Mad King Thomas is excited to mark this momentous occasion honoring ten years together. Here's to the next ten! We're looking forward to strengthening our connections with our roots, our community, our past, our continually evolving process, and best of all, YOU!
Thanks for your enthusiasm, for your support, and for backing this dance extravaganza!
Love and glitter,
Mad King Thomas
“This activity is funded, in part, by an appropriation from the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the State’s general fund.”
Photo credits: Cameron Wittig (Splash page and profile picture)
Video includes photos by Megan Mayer, Sean Smuda, Cameron Wittig, and others who have contributed to the Mad King Thomas Archives. Additional videography by Paul Schulzetenberg.
Music credits: "The Cannery" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com), "Marty Gots a Plan" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
Support this project
- (30 days)