ABOUT THE PLAY:
Trapped for 5 days in a limbo-like hotel, a recently deceased couple must convince Fate to change their destinies granting them an eternity together. But when Death proves disinterested in striking a deal, the two find themselves counting the days until one of them returns to Life while the other stays behind.
Sam & Erin form a two-lady operation dedicated to producing full length original musicals that challenge the current stream of theater.
Movie-musicals, jukebox musicals, and revivals seem to dominate the theater scene in New York. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with any of those shows, the “boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy finds girl again, happily ever after” is not really for us.
In terms of fairy tales, our shows tend to be more Brothers Grimm than Walt Disney.
The music is reminiscent of things we like to listen to- rock, punk, and alternative- and the plays themselves are provocative and challenging.
Our team consists of Sam, the front-lady: the playwright, the director, and the face of our operations, and Erin, the lady behind the curtain: the designer, the technical half, and the person who you should never see if she’s done her job right.
Samantha Boyd (Oberlin ‘11) is a Brooklyn-based playwright, actor, and musician originally from Texas. Despite being a classically trained pianist and violinist her true musical fascination is rock. After years of pursuing her passions for theater, writing, and music separately, she began creating rock musicals culminating in a production of her first original piece at LaMama’s Ellen Stewart. Since then, Samantha has written several one act musicals, a collection of monologues, and two other full-length musicals.
As half of a two lady team, Sam is heavily involved in all aspects of the production. In addition to being the author and composer, she also directs, music directs, and acts in some of her shows.
Erin Joenk (Oberlin ‘12 (technically Winter ‘11, but lets not split hairs)) is a freelance theater tech, scenic painter, and set designer currently based in Brooklyn. She enjoys working on both standard theater sets as well as more abstract projects. She was employed by the Oberlin Scene Shop while in school and was also a member of RTC Studio, a student design collective, where she helped to produce art installations and large scale music events on campus.
Most of Erin’s work on the shows takes place before the piece opens. She is the technical director, responsible for coordinating all of the tech aspects of the performance, as well as designing and building the set. She is also the stage manager and runs backstage during the performances.
WHY WE NEED YOUR (5 days in) HEL(L)P:
Space rental, lights, sound, props, sets, musicians, actors, technicians, rehearsal spaces all cost a great deal of money. The money we are trying to raise is crucial to successfully executing our multimedia musical.
Almost half of these funds will go towards the cost of rehearsal and performance space. Around one quarter will go towards a sound system, lighting equipment, video production, and camera equipment. The rest will be budgeted out for the remaining expenses including the purchase of construction materials, props, costumes, publicity materials and advertising (i.e., programs, posters, postcard flyers), and compensation for technicians and musicians.
The success of 5 Days in Hell is heavily dependent on the multimedia aspects of the show, mainly the almost feature length video that runs in the background and supports the live action.
In this sense, our show is really two productions- the video which must be filmed and edited before the show opens, and the show itself. We have complicated and ambitious ideas regarding what we want to do with the space to transform it into the existential playground that will serve as the backdrop for this show.
Risks and challenges
This is the first of our musicals that we are producing on our own, and our second here in NYC. We have rented our own space and we are responsible for every aspect of the show- from fundraising to publicity to run crew- something we haven't really done before.
There were some difficulties when we first started this project - problems finding a theater, the uphill battle of two young female theater producers/artists being taken seriously by theater managers, the huge initial investment of securing a space, and some devastating technical difficulties. Thankfully, the dust has settled on many of our road bumps but the fact still remains that we had to spend a lot of money we didn’t have to even be able to consider doing the show.
Currently, we are dealing with several technical complications, including a limited lighting plot for a complex show and a very problematic audio situation.
We recently realized that the sound equipment available to us is not designed for the type of sound needed for a rock musical, thus necessitating the rental and setup of an entirely new system. We are also currently toying with the pros and cons of a live band versus recorded sound, as we need a whole new setup anyway.
This is the second time we are running this fundraiser as we were unable to complete our goal the first time around. This setback had little to do with the actual show. Rather, there were outside circumstances that limited our ability to promote our page to the extent necessary to achieve our goal. We are not discouraged and are relaunching our fundraiser with a lower goal.
This lower goal is possible, not because we need less money than before, but because we have removed the expenses we have already incurred since the launch of the last page. We have decided that, due to time constraints we are going to cover those costs out of pocket as a lower goal will hopefully allow us to raise all of the money we still need.
There have been a number of hiccups and we have no doubt that there will be more. However as frustrating as that thought is, somehow we always manage to pull everything off with spectacular end results. We have dealt with larger problems with less time before and I have total faith that we will be able to work out any challenges we come across, with hard work, perseverance, and lots of Red Bull.
- (30 days)