About this project
Many people have been asking if they may still back The Origin(s) Project on Kickstarter now that we've met our goal (thanks to YOU!). Yes, of course, We have 24 HOURS REMAINING so feel free to keep spreading the word! We are discussing how to share the show with a wider audience. We are now looking into creating professionally filmed DVDs for distribution among educators, social workers, adoptees abroad, adoptive families, etc., streaming the plays online, publishing the scripts, etc. The additional funding will go towards costs of music rights, editing, copying, and distribution. We are humbled and blown away by all this. You all AMAZE US!!
In June 2012, Korean adoptee artists Sun Mee Chomet and Katie Hae Leo collaborated on The Origin(s) Project: Memoirs in Motion, an evening-length pairing of two one-woman shows about the adopted Korean experience. As experienced performers and writers, we had never before attempted to tackle such deeply personal subject matter on stage. We had no idea how it would be received. Lucky for us, the response was overwhelmingly positive. The entire run sold out, we added an additional show that also sold out, the critics loved it, and best of all our audience did, too. So, here we are, ready to remount it, with your help!
What is The Origin(s) Project?
The Origin(s) Project: Memoirs in Motion is comprised of two separate one-woman shows.
Leo's "N/A" uses narrative storytelling and speculative mythmaking to explore her body and personal health, reconciling her present with an unknown genetic past:
Chomet's "How to Be a Korean Woman" recounts her reuniting with her birth family using text, music, and movement, exploring how this affected her sense of what it means to be a woman. Together these pieces present two points on the spectrum of adult adoptees' continued search for identity and closure. From the beginning, The Origin(s) Project received an unprecedented amount of advance press, generating preview articles in every major and community-based media outlet in the Twin Cities, including Star Tribune, Pioneer Press, City Pages, Lavender, Asian American Press, and Minnesota Public Radio. And the good news didn't stop there. Our show was called "moving and beautiful" by playwright and critic John Olive, "evocative" and "compelling theater" by Star Tribune critic Rohan Preston. Our audiences spanned the range of the adoptive community: domestic and international adoptees, adoptive parents, social workers, adoption agency workers, and friends and loved ones of adoptees. It also included theatergoers from all walks of life. Because of this amazing press and overwhelming community response, we sold out completely! Many people were left on the waiting list or turned away at the door.
So, we're bringing it back!
But, we need your help. For our first run in June, we were lucky enough to receive a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC). We absolutely could not have produced The Origin(s) Project without this funding. For the remount, we are relying entirely on this Kickstarter campaign.
What will your donation go towards?
Your donation will go towards the following:
1) Administrative costs:
marketing, fundraising, financial management
2) Artistic costs: rehearsal and performance time for performers, director, stage manager, sound board op, musician, and music royalties
3) Space rental for rehearsals, performances, talkbacks, press interviews, etc.
4) Mileage (Katie drives up from Rochester--160 miles roundtrip)
5) Printing: postcards, programs, posters, scripts
6) Lighting equipment (our show requires lights beyond what our space possesses) and projector rental
7) Photography, videography, and graphic design
8) Updating costumes
9) ASL interpretive services
10) Outreach into adoptee and dystonia communities
11) Materials and postage for sending rewards
12) Kickstarter fees
The actual cost of the first run of The Origin(s) Project was almost $8,000. In fact, despite our sold out first run, we both ended up contributing money from our own pockets to cover costs. For this remount, we are adding an additional show and more outreach, which drives up our admin, artistic, and rental costs. For this reason, we are asking for $10,000.
What will you get in return?
In addition to the fabulous prizes listed to the right, you get the satisfaction of knowing that you've contributed to a truly groundbreaking and unique work of art. We know that times are tight for everyone. We have seen firsthand the power of this show to move people, spark conversation and reflection, and open up new avenues for audience members to communicate their own experiences. We firmly believe in and support this work. We hope that you will, too.
What happens if we go over our $10,000 goal?
If we happen to be lucky enough with your support, to exceed our goal, the additional funds will go towards widening the audience for our work. For example, we are exploring options to create DVDs of the play, Origin(s) Project t-shirts for supporters, publishing copies of the scripts, and possibly future performances of one or both of our pieces (throughout the US, Korea, and abroad). We want adoptees, adoptive families, and birth families to have access to the show wherever they are in the world. Many people simply want to be connected to the show and rest assured, your financial support will sustain the global community-building for The Origin(s) Project.
About the Production Team:
SUN MEE CHOMET (playwright/actor, "How to Be a Korean Woman") is a St. Paul-based actor, dancer and playwright. As an actor, Sun Mee has worked with the Guthrie Theater (The Burial at Thebes, Macbeth, Tony Kushner’s world premiere: The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Naomi Iizuka’s world premiere: After 100 Years); Mu Performing Arts (WTF, Cowboy vs. Samurai, Asiamnesia, Circle Around the Island, Mask Dance); History Theater (100 Men’s Wife); Penumbra Theater (Upcoming: Kara Lee Cothorn’s world premiere: Holly Down in Heaven, for colored girls…) and many other theaters locally and nationally. As a playwright, Sun Mee’s first play, Asiamnesia, was voted Best New Script of 2008 by Minneapolis Star Tribune. Asiamnesia was recently published in the anthology: Asian American Plays for a New Generation.
KATIE HAE LEO (playwright/actor, "N/A") is a playwright, poet, essayist, and performer whose work has appeared in journals such as Asian American Literary Review, Water~Stone Review, Kartika Review, Asian American Poetry & Writing, and Midway Journal. Her chapbook Attempts at Location was a finalist for the Tupelo Press Snowbound Award and is available through Finishing Line Press. Her produced plays include Four Destinies (Mu Performing Arts), Bride/price (with MaMa mOsAiC) and adaptations of Baseball Saved Us and A Single Shard (Stages Theatre Company). Her solo performance pieces include N/A, which debuted at Asian Arts Initiative in Philadelphia, and Cane Girl, a humorous piece about disability. She has received The Academy of American Poets James Wright Prize and a Gesell Award for nonfiction, as well as support from The Loft Literary Center and MN State Arts Board. She holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Minnesota.
The gorgeous music of GREG HERRIGES is featured in Katie's show! To find out more about Greg, visit www.gregherriges.com.
BRI HEU is the featured awesome musician in Sun Mee's show and in our Kickstarter video! Thanks, Bri!!!
ZARAAWAR MISTRY (Director and Dramaturg) Born in India, Zaraawar Mistry is an actor, writer, director, teacher and producer in the Twin Cities. He was co-founder of the Center for Independent Artists (2001-2005), and an Associate Artistic Director at Theater Mu (1997-1999). His one man play Sohrab and Rustum was selected by City Pages as one of the year's 10 Best in 2002. His play Indian Cowboy, also a solo performance, was presented at Mixed Blood Theater in January 2006 and selected as "Outstanding experimental theater work" in the Star Tribune's Best of Twin Cities theater in 2006, and has been published in Asian American Plays for a New Generation. Both plays have been presented at Asia Society in New York and at Stages Repertory Theatre in Houston. Zaraawar regularly performs a storytelling program Children's Stories from India at schools and libraries in the Twin Cities. His newest solo play, The Other Mr. Gandhi, premiered at Dreamland Arts earlier this year and was presented as part of Illusion Theater’s Fresh Ink series in July. Zaraawar has an M.F.A. in Theatre from UC, San Diego and a B.A. from Bennington College in Vermont.
• I see if I donate $100 or more to The Origin(s) Project Kickstarter, I will receive the 2 ADVANCED TIX TO THE REMOUNT + more rewards. Does that mean that tickets to see the show are now $50?
No, absolutely not. We want the show to remain affordable to EVERYONE, so IF we're able to raise $10K, the general public will still be able to purchase tickets for $15 or pay-as-able beginning on Sept. 15th. However, we are expecting the tickets to sell out fast. Donations of $100+ go toward the remount costs listed above as PRODUCERS of the show. The 2 ADVANCED TIX REWARD is one of our ways to express our gratitude.
Yes, it seems like a lot, but EVERY CENT of the $10K is accounted for in our budget. For this remount, we are adding more outreach efforts into the dystonia community and adoptee communities outside of the Twin Cities. In addition, we are absolutely committed to NOT asking our artist friends to VOLUNTEER their time to help us out. We believe that artists must be fairly compensated for their hard work. For this reason, we are paying our videographer, photographer, sound board op, box office manager, graphic designer, light board op, director, musicians, outreach helper, etc. (all of whom are friends) for their dedication and artistry. In addition, we are paying ourselves a modest artist fee for the 30+ hours a week we will put into marketing, fundraising, rehearsing, and managing the show, on top of our other jobs. Trust us, theater ain't cheap. Its a labor of love and you are easing our way. Thank you.
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