About this project
"To have a 2014 theater season or not to have a 2014 theater season, that is the question."
Shakespeare in Detroit brought nearly 500 people of all races, ages, backgrounds, economic levels, from the city and from the suburbs, together in Grand Circus Park for its production of "Othello" in August 2013. That's the wonderful thing about art -- it creates a bridge and builds community among people who may not otherwise engage with one another.
It is human nature to, typically, hang out with the people we grew up with, our families, our colleagues our school mates and others from our immediate circles. Art widens our scope.
At this time in Detroit's history, we need art more than ever. Art unites us. It inspires us. It ignites our cognitions. It evokes hope.
We need more experiences like "Othello" at Grand Circus Park -- reminders that we are all in this together and everything will be okay.
Our city's municipality is not a reflection of the people, community and the rich creative sector in Detroit.
Shakespeare in Detroit needs people from the city, people from around this country and folks from around the world to help produce more experiences in 2014. This project needs its community to make it possible for us to continue our work as a roving group of theater artists who perform in the places where people live, work and play.
Please check out this Q&A in the Huffington Post for more details on our intentions for next year:
Shakespeare in Detroit also has been featured by
Shakespeare in Detroit hopes to create three more memorable shows in 2014 beginning with "Antony and Cleopatra" at the recycling center, Recycle Here, in New Center. The building is the home of the original Lincoln Motor Company.
The theater company will use recycled materials from the center to create many of the show's set pieces and costumes. There will be no stage as the intention is to embrace the rich heritage and art featured on the walls of the facility and become a creative extension of those things. "Antony and Cleopatra" will recycle Shakespeare's play and create something new and fresh for those who enjoy the story, those who have never heard the story before and those who love visual art but don't necessarily look at themselves as fans of Shakespeare, yet.
Shakespeare in Detroit also plans to produce the family favorite, "A Midsummer Night's. Dream." We hope that we are able to work with the Detroit 300 Conservancy to bring this show to Grand Circus Park.
The last show will be "The Tempest" which we hope to do on the place where it makes the most since -- Belle Isle, of course. Where else would we do a play about a storm and water in the city?
Please note: Both "Antony and Cleopatra" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream" are intended to be free performances. The production of "The Tempest" will not be a free show as it will be our largest show. Tickets will start at $30 per person for the show, but are available at a less expensive rate via this campaign (you can get two tickets for $50).
Risks and challenges
There are many risks and challenges associated with operating a creative entity. However, Shakespeare in Detroit was a company formed at Tech Town in 2012. That experience has given our Artistic Director the training to operate as a company of artists, but with the same sensibilities similar to what you might find at a tech company or financial institution.
We are a very strategic, for-profit theater company. Although, in the spirit of full transparency, we probably won't make profit until our third or fifth year of operation. But, there is a well-planned mission of engagement at Shakespeare in Detroit.
One of our biggest challenges after our project is funded will be to get people who don't normally come into the city to come to Detroit to see a show. We have to clearly communicate why our shows are worth the trip, what makes them different and why they matter. Shakespeare in Detroit plans to do this through persistent engagement efforts which include the following:
* Intensive social media campaigning
Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
* Mailing lists
* One-on-one meetings with other creative entities for their advocacy
* Advertising in other productions' playbills
* Media outreach
* Networking events and other activities by the artistic director on behalf of
Shakespeare in Detroit
Shakespeare's works are reflective of the personality, dynamics and challenges of our great city. For example, one of the reasons Shakespeare in Detroit chose to do "Othello" at Grand Circus Park was because in the tragedy there are many similarities to what the city is currently experiencing. While "Othello" is a well-respected general, there is still some discomfort that he is different and not a native Venetian. We felt that the sentiment was shared in Detroit during the heated mayoral race and the question whether or not one of the candidates was qualified -- his residency was in question.
Shakespeare is also important and matters -- not only to Detroit, but to the world -- because while the costumes and language may be different, the things that make us who we are remain. We all desire to be loved, we all experience loss of that love at some point, we cope with illness, death and we all are in a discovery to find ourselves. All of these subjects are things that the author explores and that we all can relate to. That's what art does -- it reflects the truth of who we are.