About this project
Freefall Frostbite is a show that challenges its creators, performers, and audiences alike to figure out what is real and tangible, and what is only a perceived notion of what one is suppose to think. We are ecstatic to bring this piece of art to life and share it with the world once again in a fresh and unique way, with a completely new score.
When Michael Fixel was studying English at Columbia University in the early 70’s he wrote many plays. His play Salamander Stew won numerous awards, but was never put into production because it was deemed too difficult to stage. Fast forward 30 years when Michael decided to submit his play to the Strawberry One Act Festival and have his daughter Juliet produce and direct it. After several award winning productions of Salamander Stew Michael decided to take a look back at his script for the sequel titled Snowdrift. After several rewrites Snowdrift was renamed Freefall Frostbite and became a play with music. He then submitted Freefall Frostbite to the NYC International Fringe Festival in 2013. Since that production people from that show along with other artists that have joined along the way have collaborated with Michael to create a script of which everyone is extremely proud.
The next step was to create music that elevated the complex text and connected to the characters’ intentions. David and AJ met Juliet at karaoke and the rest was history. The three became a music writing team that was able to build on the inspiration started by a group of the original cast members. Xylina and Janette, each with their own areas of expertise, joined in on the project to help make this a reality. Already so many people have begun to get involved and put their own imprint on this project. The following line is said in both Salamander Stew and Freefall Frostbite, “Touch me and be forever changed.” Well that is what happens when you experience the words, story, music, and movement of Freefall Frostbite.
We had hoped to submit the show to the NYC International Fringe Festival this year, but with the hiatus of the festival, we plan to bring our production to life with the help of Kickstarter. The budget for the show will go towards helping us find a venue as well as supporting the wonderful actors and musicians.
Synopsis of the Play
Steven is a mildly successful playwright in his late 20's. He and his girlfriend, Sharon, have been together for 5 years. As the two of them are waiting in line to get into a club in NYC on New Year's Eve, it becomes apparent that all is not as it seems. The homeless population a few feet away from the line are being kept warm by a fire in a trashcan while the others are freezing. The homeless try to persuade the people in line to join them in their warmth. Through this we see the truth about Steven and Sharon's relationship and the eventual toll Steven's "art" has taken on both of them, as well as Steven's psyche. Steven has to face what is his actual reality and what is purely part of imagination.
Here's a recording of one of the songs in the show, "Way Back Home."
Want to see more? Here are some videos from the scenes we filmed to produce our sizzle reel. Enjoy!
Meet the Team
After graduating from Columbia University, Michael spent two years in India and Nepal, and then lived in Boulder, Colorado, where he studied with Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, and Michael McClure. His career as a playwright took off again in 2012 when his verse play Salamander Stew had four productions, including the New York International Fringe Festival. Freefall Frostbite had its first incarnation in the mystically charged space of the Ellen Stewart Theater at LaMama. His long poem The Freedom of the Dreamer was recently choreographed and presented by The Sandbox Theater in Minneapolis. He can be contacted at paralleluniversetheaterresources.com.
Juliet Fixel graduated from the University of Florida with a BFA in theatre performance and minor in dance. With the constant inspiration of her tremendously talented family Juliet pursues her passion of creating heart-based art on a daily basis as a professional choreographer, performer, and educator. Career highlights include: choreographing for twenty one pilots on the Late Show with Seth Myers, playing Lane in The Clean House, and winning the Best Director Award at the Strawberry One Act Festival for Salamander Stew. Juliet is a proud redhead, devoted Hanson fan, and has never lost at a board game…or so she says.
AJ Biggers graduated from Duke University with a BA in Psychology. He is currently pursuing a career in recruiting at a very successful startup in New York City. Having had a taste of the stage through his college a cappella group, Rhythm & Blue, and being cast in the Duke production of Ragtime, he wanted to have that feeling of creating amazing art once again. AJ enjoys nerding out to Game of Thrones while relaxing in his Wolverine onesie.
David Oberst graduated from Duke University with a B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering and minor in Music. While his day job has always been in the tech sector, David enjoys every opportunity he gets to flex his creative muscles. Favorite past projects have included Lippa's The Wild Party (Music Director), Company (Conductor), and Chess (Music Director). When he isn't working or making music, David enjoys escape rooms, singing karaoke, and watching the Game Show Network.
Janette Lynott has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Marymount Manhattan College and is a life long supporter of the Arts. She's spent much of her time involved in Music and Theater and remains a supporter while also pursuing a career in film and television production. She has worked on projects across MTV, The Food Network, PBS and CNN and is currently a Unit Manager across various television programs. Janette is also a taco enthusiast and specializes in setting off the fire alarm while cooking- just ask her roommates.
Xylina Golding graduated with a Bachelor Arts degree in Theatre at the University of South Florida. She staged managed for 10 years including being the company stage manager for Jobsite Theater based in Florida. She now works in post production for film and television and has been in this industry for over 6 years, with projects including Warner Bros, Marvel, Netflix and is currently working on an HBO show. "X" can often be found drinking margaritas and listening to the smooth sounds of Kenny G... you know, because nothing says margaritas like Kenny G.
Melanie Mednick is a graduate of Emerson College with a BA in TV Production (a degree that she definitely does not use as a Recruiting Manager in the Fashion Industry). Melanie has had a true passion for theatre since beginning voice lessons and acting classes at the age of three. Throughout her life, her love of music and theatre only grew. Melanie went on to study at Grammy Camp, where she sang background vocals for Earth Wind and Fire and performed with Brandi Carlile. After Grammy Camp, Melanie was accepted into the vocal program at Berklee College of Music where she attended for two years before making the switch to Emerson. Melanie continues to sing her own original music and is also a singer in Buy Us Beer, an party band that performs throughout the NYC area. Melanie is a lover all of things comedy, a grownup Emo kid, and a master of Jewish guilt.
Josh Kusmierz is a native of Rochester, New York and he currently studies in Jacksonville, Florida. Josh is a music composition study with a piano and voice focus. He is on the Jacksonville University sailing team and is a director/founding member of JU's a cappella group VOX. Josh is an avid supporter of stuffed crust and self-deprecating jokes.
Wondering what your donation will go towards? Here is a breakdown of how we plan to spend the money!
Stretch Goal- Now that we have raised our initial ask of $11,500 we can set our sights on our actual budget for the entirety of the project which is $18,500. This pie chart is actually based on our full planned budget of $18,500.
Risks and challenges
One of the biggest risks we are facing with this project is securing a venue for the performances. We'll face constraints with venue availability around our targeted dates as well as finding a space that will fit our technical needs for the production. In order to minimize this risk, we are already exploring alternative spaces beyond theaters. There's so much out there and we want to make sure that we're utilizing all that New York City has to offer. We're also being very flexible with our performance dates.
As with any production, we're also facing the risk of attracting an audience to see the show. How we plan on facing that is by making sure that we promote the show in an interesting and unique way. This is going to be more than a play with music. This will be a multimedia project with elements for everyone to enjoy.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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