Thank you for getting us to our goal!
- Our NEW STRETCH GOAL is $8,000 - it's not that far away!
- Reaching $8,000 would mean paying every performer and every designer an additional $150 for their participation. This is huge. So many of the people involved have signed up to do this project for far less than they normally make. How great to be able to reward that act of sacrifice.
- Who's involved, you say? It's a jaw-dropping group of all-stars: Meredith Balderston, Kelli Bland, Zac Crofford, Rachel Dendy, Ia Ensterä, Noel Gaulin, K. Eliot Haynes, Joey Hood, Connor Hopkins, Rob Jacques, Tamara Klindt, Ellie McBride, Annie Bradley McCall, Monica Pasut-Gibson, Stephen Pruitt, Caroline Reck, Ben Taylor Ridgway, Gricelda Silva, Adam Sultan, Katie Van Winkle, Zeb L. West, and Tammy Whitehead. I'm truly in awe of this team.
- PLUS, a new STRETCH REWARD: If we top $8,000, we'll send a show poster to all pledges over $10.
What is it?
"Adam Sultan" is a play slated to open in Austin on March 28th - just about two months from now.
The play centers around a real person in the world named Adam Sultan. Great guy. Lives here in Austin. He's a musician, composer, dancer, storyteller, actor, and teacher.
We imagine Adam's life about forty years in the future. It's the year 2052, and Adam is in his eighties. Many of his dearest friends have died, including his wife -- and much has changed. Including Adam. Over the years he's gone from happy and adventurous to cranky and withdrawn, in large part because the community he was once a part of has disintegrated around him. That's where we begin.
One day, seemingly at random, an exact puppet version of Adam arrives at his apartment. It can't see Adam and can't hear him, but it is definitely alive. It walks, eats, drinks, and sleeps. And it's living some version of Adam's own life....
Where will your money go?
Outreach for mementos. As described in the video and in the next section of text, we're reaching out to the community in a very active way to ask people to lend us objects that speak to their lives in theater in Austin. That sort of community involvement effort naturally comes with its own expenses, in this case for printing, postage, jars, paint, recording equipment, space rental, food, drink, and more. Our budget for those expenses is $4,150. On top of that we have to account for the costs of the campaign rewards and the fees we pay to kickstarter and the credit card company. That means we need to have a campaign target of $4,900.
Again, that's just a part of the whole budget for the show, which also includes things like paying all the folks involved, materials for sets and costumes, expenses for renting the theater, expenses for posters, and more.
If we raise more than our goal... We'll put anything extra toward those various general expenses and toward creating a great archive the project - which we've dreamed about. Anything you can contribute will be a huge help.
What's the story with the jars?
[[We've got a second jar party scheduled for the last day of this kickstarter campaign: February 11, 2013 at Salvage Vanguard Theater. We'd love for you to join us. Complete details about the party are here.]]
Over the decades to come, Adam has developed the habit of collecting mementos to remember his dead friends and fellow theater-makers. For each person who dies, Adam collects an object that was dear to that person and which the person felt said something important about their lives as a member of this community. Adam seals each object into a glass jar and - in his apartment on stage - we see that he's collected hundreds of these jars over the years.
Because the character of Adam collects these personal objects in the context of the play, we decided to mirror his efforts. We mailed a nice, hand-printed postcard to over five hundred people...
We asked each person to lend us an object that says something about that person's connection to the world and to the community. It's worth saying that we considered "theater community" very broadly, from directors and designers to people who just love to see shows. Anyone who feels a connection to theater in Austin is welcomed into the tent.
The response has been tremendous. In July of 2012, we threw a "jar party" where we collected hundreds of objects..
At the same time, we recorded hours of people describing those objects and why they matter to them.
Here are a few great samples... (In parentheses are the various roles the person described playing in the community.)
Noah Neal (actor, student, theatergoer):
Babs George (actor)
Mical Trejo (actor, patron, playwright, producer, student, theatregoer):
Jarrett King (actor)
Patti Neff-Tiven (actor, board op, box office manager, director, dresser, electrician, lighting designer, marketing director, patron, performance artist, playwright, producer, production manager, props manager, running crew, scenic artist, scenic designer, sound designer, stage manager, student, teacher, theatergoer)
We'll seal each object in a jar and during the run of the show, we'll display the jars in the lobby at the theater - with direct links to the audio for each jar so that audiences can hear each person describing his or her object.
Is this just some lark?
It isn't. Underneath a surface light-heartedness is a very sincere effort to consider what happens over the next several decades to people we know and love. Austin has a national reputation as a vibrant place to make theater. In my opinion, that reputation owes an enormous amount to the warmth, generosity, and openness of the theater makers. I'm convinced this place and these people make this a remarkable era.
Strange as it sounds, one way to celebrate that era is to speculate about how it ends -- and to think about the hole it would leave behind.
Ultimately the play is a celebration of (and a love letter to) the theater community in Austin in all its various forms.
What's in it for you?
In addition to becoming a real collaborator and making the project a reality, we've put together some great rewards. From Adam heads to extended condolences to a chance to join us behind the scenes as an "interviewer of the dead", we've got a host of ways to say thank you.
As one of our rewards, we've various created plaster casts of the head of the puppet that appears in the play. Choose from one of three options...
We've also got a great t-shirt designed by Jennymarie Jemison...
Share the project
Almost as valuable as a contribution is your willingness to share this Kickstarter project with friends and family. If you think this project is interesting, pass it along! Show people what you're backing! The more contributors we have, the more likely we are to reach our goal.
Risks and challenges
Live theater is always surrounded by risk - from the risk of a sick performer on opening night to the risk that comes from staging work that really provokes a reaction from the audience. This project is on steady ground in all the ways it can be: the team is assembled and committed, the space is booked for the next jar party and for the performances, and the majority of the funding is in the bank. From here we execute on a detailed plan to bring together the many elements into a memorable experience for our audiences.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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