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An original play for adults with puppets, masks, songs and multi-media created by Rogue Artists Ensemble.
An original play for adults with puppets, masks, songs and multi-media created by Rogue Artists Ensemble.
An original play for adults with puppets, masks, songs and multi-media created by Rogue Artists Ensemble.
293 backers pledged $22,029 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Rogue Artists Ensemble's PINOCCHIO

$22,029

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Rogue Artists Ensemble's PINOCCHIO is a world-premiere Hyper-theatrical performance event, based on the original text by Italian writer Carlo Collodi. After nearly ten years of development, the completed production will premiere in Fall 2013 and will be the most incredible Rogue project yet! Note - All donations are tax deductible!

After Walt Disney released the now-famous animated film Pinocchio in 1940, copies of the original book were pulled from shelves and dumbed down versions were released instead, rehashing the simple saccharine story that Disney made. This first major example of revisionism made it nearly impossible to find an unedited version in America for nearly 50 years. Gone were the meat and potatoes of the original story and in its place was a near consequence-less story; a pet fish, a whale, a completely virtuous Blue Fairy and a wisdom-spouting cricket. The Rogues’ PINOCCHIO project will finally shed light on the real story and create an adult-minded retelling of this tale of lust, desire, death, birth, madness and ultimately hope. This is our true passion project. The show will represent a return to form for the ensemble in creating a large-scale work of epic Hyper-theater reminiscent of our past projects like Mr. Punch and Gogol Project.

Since our inception in 2001 Rogue Artists Ensemble’s work has been seen by nearly 30,000 audience members in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Seattle and Atlanta. We are at that critical junction where we either go big or go home. We don’t want to go home and need your help to ensure that the Rogues stay around in the years to come! Please read on, find out more and click on the “BACK THIS PROJECT” button to offer your support.

Between 1881 and 1883, Italian writer Carlo Collodi penned The Adventures of Pinocchio as a serial for children, but with a knowing wink to adults. Its simple surface lessons urging young boys to behave and go to school belie deeper issues of a free spirit and its place in society. The Adventures of Pinocchio was written when Italy was a newly unified nation and dealing with great economic and social disparities, similar to the America of today. The parallels between the Pinocchio text and our own world are uncanny. Our PINOCCHIO project will be a dark, brooding tale, set in a collapsed Wall Street punk world, creating a modern take on the Great Depression and Dust Bowl mythology. Rogue Artists Ensemble plans to tackle this tale with a keen eye towards the modern relevance of its central message: The great struggle between free spirit and morality, duty and more selfish pursuits.

Rogue Artists Ensemble’s PINOCCHIO will be a visual feast, combining masked and unmasked actors, highly expressive physical performance, dance, interactive sets, multiple puppetry traditions, projected media, sophisticated special effects and illusions. Original music and songs are being composed byRogue Ensemble member Ego Plum who is well known for his award-winning score to Rogue Artists Ensemble’s 2009 original production Gogol Project. Video and Puppet design is being supervised by Brian White who created the incredible puppet designs for Gogol Project. Joining the puppet design team are Greg Ballora, Cristina Bercovitz and Christine Papalexis. Scenic Design will be created by Joel Daavid who last collaborated with the Rogues on the Mr. Punch project. Costume design by Kerry Hennessy, Mask Design by Katie Polebaum, Lighting Design by Haylee Freeman, and Sound Design by John Nobori. Special guest artist Erin Keller is tackling Prop Design. The production will be directed by Rogue Artistic Director Sean Cawelti with a script written by Megan Owings with contributions from many.

In preparation for our world-premiere in Fall 2013, we will stage a workshop production this December 8th and 9th in Downtown Los Angeles at LA Mart, culminating in two public sharings in an old ballroom. The workshop will combine puppet, mask and video elements, allowing the ensemble and guest artists to engage in collaboration critical to the success of a project of this nature. The completed production will begin rehearsing in August 2013 with an opening scheduled for the following October. PINOCCHIO is a highly sophisticated adult piece of theater. Never has there been a better match of company to material. We hope you will take a moment to join in supporting the development of PINOCCHIO.

Our Mission:
Rogue Artists Ensemble is a collective of multi-disciplinary artists who create Hyper-theater, an innovative hybrid of theater traditions, puppetry, mask work, dance, music, and modern technology. Through a collaborative development process, with an emphasis on design and storytelling, the Rogues create original, thought-provoking performances. We cultivate unique audience experiences that appeal to multiple generations of theatergoers in order to expand the boundaries of contemporary American theater.

History:
Since 2001, Rogue Artists Ensemble has created groundbreaking and genre bending works of live theater driven by collaboration and innovation. Founded by theater designers and artists at UC Irvine, our productions have received numerous awards, critical praise, including the esteemed UNIMA Citation of Excellence from the International Marionette Association, the highest honor in the puppetry community.

RAE has a strong commitment to community outreach and education led by our all-ages shows, The Story of Frog Belly Rat Bone and Zen Shorts. These shows have toured Southern California including The Geffen Playhouse, Inner City Arts, Skirball Cultural Center, schools throughout California and a three-week run at the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta. We have also conducted residencies at University of California Irvine Trevor School of the Arts, California State University Northridge, Hawthorne Elementary, and Jordon High School in Long Beach.

Our 2012 season began in February with our world premiere production of Zen Shorts at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. A residency and performances of a new commission from the Getty Villa Theater Lab: Songs of Bilitis at the Getty Villa occurred in March. We presented an encore presentation of D is for Dog as part of Hollywood Fringe Festival at the Hudson Main Stage Theater in June. In August, Rogue presented an encore presentation of Zen Shorts for free to the public at the Ivy Substation and partnered with Watts Village Theater for Meet Me @ Metro III.

Make a tax deductible donation to help create the PINOCCHIO project and support the work of the ensemble. Rogue Artists Ensemble is a Not For Profit 501(c)3 and your donation is tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. We have already received a grant from the Jim Henson Foundation and your support will join theirs in covering the cost of the workshop rehearsal and performance space, building puppets, masks, set pieces, and much more. 

Visit the Rogue’s website
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10-10-12 - We've added some new rewards and adjusted the funding level for others. Check out the new hand water-colored mask designs of the donkey mask. Don't miss this opportunity to own a piece of gorgeous, ready to be framed Rogue art! 
10-11-12 - NEW - We've added NEON MINI GOLF as a reward option for donating just $600! What a deal! 

Risks and challenges

There are always risks involved in creating any large scale collaborative project. Without robust funding, the project cannot be completed as envisioned. However, if funding is not at its optimal level, the production will still take place and still be successful. But with your support we can bring this production to heights unprecedented. Since 2001, Rogue Artists Ensemble has been creating innovative, original work and we are ready to tackle our most challenging project yet.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Your name listed on the Rogue website as an official Pinocchio supporter!

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    EVERYTHING ABOVE + Advance digital downloadable ‘sneak-peek’ song from Pinocchio written by Ego Plum!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    EVERYTHING ABOVE + Set of 3 Pinocchio buttons mailed to your door!

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    EVERYTHING ABOVE + Advance digital downloadable copy of the complete Pinocchio play soundtrack with music and songs written by Ego Plum before it’s released to the public!

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    EVERYTHING ABOVE + Hand-drawn original, signed and numbered ‘Pinocchio Concept Doodle’ by Artistic Director Sean Cawelti with a note of thanks! + A pair of tickets to the Pinocchio workshop with special meet and greet with members of the production team.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Black and White signed and numbered limited edition print of the official Pinocchio character by puppet designer Brian White + 2 tickets to the Fall 2012 workshop + EVERYTHING at the $50 Level.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Hand-made custom Sock puppet created in any likeness you desire. Great gift idea! You send us a photo and bam! + 2 tickets to the Fall 2012 workshop + EVERYTHING at the $50 Level.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Hand water-colored signed and numbered limited edition print of the official Pinocchio character by puppet designer Brian White + 2 tickets to the Fall 2012 workshop + EVERYTHING at the $50 Level.

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    Reward no longer available 5 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Hand water-colored signed and numbered limited edition print of the official PINOCCHIO Donkey Mask Design by designer Katie Polebaum + 2 tickets to the Fall 2012 workshop + EVERYTHING at the $50 Level.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Hand-made Donkey Ears Mask inspired by the masks in Pinocchio created by designer Katie Polebaum + 2 Free tickets to the completed Pinocchio performance in Fall 2013 that you can wear your donkey ears to + 2 tickets to the Fall 2012 workshop + EVERYTHING at the $50 Level.

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    Pledge $600 or more About $600

    EVERYTHING at the $100 Level + Neon Mini Golf Match (Burbank CA only) OR a special coffee date with Rogue Artistic Director, Sean T. Cawelti and a 2nd mystery Rogue member where they will thank you for supporting the Rogues, tell you all the answers to the Rogue mysteries and present your Pinocchio doodle to you IN PERSON. If you aren’t in Los Angeles, a Skype meeting will be arranged. + 2 tickets to the Fall 2012 workshop + 2 tickets to the Fall 2013 performance.

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

    THE PRODUCER PACKAGE! Package includes Producer Credits on program and preferred seating at a performance of your choice, 2 Gala Tickets to the opening night performance of Pinocchio in Fall of 2013 with a special toast in your honor, 4 tickets to the completed Pinocchio performance in 2013, 2 tickets to the Fall 2012 workshop, a signed show poster from the cast and creative team, and EVERYTHING at the $50 Level.

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    THE PRODUCER PACKAGE + A FREE trip to Disneyland for 2 people with the Artistic Director, Sean Cawelti where he will be your guide.

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    THE PRODUCER PACKAGE + Ego Plum private Pinocchio concert in your living room with refreshments provided. (Greater Southern CA only)

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    THE PRODUCER PACKAGE + Your own Pinocchio puppet inspired by the actual Pinocchio puppets created for the production.

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    Pledge $6,000 or more About $6,000

    THE PRODUCER PACKAGE + A private performance of the completed Pinocchio project for you and your guests with a party and mixer with the Rogues and cast. We will provide food, drink and mayhem and you provide the audience!

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Funding period

- (23 days)