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Outstanding theater from across America on PBS! All donations are tax deductible! For more info, visit www.onstageinamerica.org
400 backers pledged $141,420 to help bring this project to life.
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OnStage in America was recently mentioned in the Wall Street Journal Christmas Edition! (http://on.wsj.com/1hIurmk) Here is the excerpt:

"More encouragingly, PBS recently ordered up a pilot episode for a series called "OnStage in America" (www.onstageinamerica.org) devoted to actual regional-theater productions taped in performance. It won't happen, alas, unless the producers can raise enough cash to shoot the pilot, to which end they've launched a Kickstarter campaign. I think that's a wonderful idea." - Terry Teachout (Wall Street Journal)

PBS and OnStage In America, a new nonprofit venture, are joining forces to put the best theater productions from across America on prime-time national television, in a fresh and exciting format. This will be the first series to focus on the more than one thousand stages nationwide that have originated 36 of the last 38 Pulitzer-Prize-winning plays.

PBS has ordered a pilot for the series and is providing a portion of the budget. OnStage is seeking $250,000.00 to complete the budget, hoping to raise more from Kickstarter than our $125,000.00 target.

THE PROGRAM

After funding our budget we will shoot a pilot program in spring of 2014 that will air on PBS primetime.

We have reviewed more than 300 productions scheduled for next spring in theaters around the country. We've narrowed that list to fifty of the most interesting, including Pulitzer Prize winners, comedies, and powerful new dramas. Once they're in performance, we will select one that is truly exceptional.

We will go onstage with lightweight high-def cameras, moving with the actors to capture drama with freedom and intimacy. Unlike the usual theater on tv, performances will shift toward the cameras (and television audiences). Skilled directors and cinematographers will capture close-ups, traveling shots, inserts, high angles, low angles etc. to transform live theater into innovative and exciting television. It's unlike anything PBS has attempted before.

THE SERIES

If the pilot succeeds, PBS will order a full series, bringing four of the best stage productions from across America to primetime television each year. Almost a thousand stage productions will be reviewed annually to find the most exciting, the most entertaining, the most unusual and surprising, and the most relevant to issues of contemporary life in this country.

Following their broadcast, the plays will become part of a digital library, accessible for on-demand, streaming, and other digital distribution.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

American theater is absent from the landscape of electronic media, yet in America's towns and cities theater audiences number in the tens of millions. Regional theater nurtures many of this country's best writers, actors, and directors. It has freedom to be more experimental, more daring, more focused on contemporary issues than most feature films and television shows.

The creative core of American theater is in the network of more than a thousand not-for-profit theaters in every one of the fifty states. Our series will turn a well-deserved spotlight on their freshest, most surprising, and most illuminating performances.

WHAT ARE WE ASKING FOR?

We want to raise more than $125,000 from our Kickstarter campaign. This, together with the money promised by PBS and a little more than $100,000 from private donors, will fully fund our pilot and blaze the way for the series.

OUR COMMITMENT

The producers have been preparing this series for five years, working long hours without pay. They have had extensive conversations with theater professionals, television executives, and union and guild representatives, successfully building support for the series and clearing away potential obstacles. PBS' recent commitment to help produce a pilot is THE crucial step toward making the series a reality.

When the pilot is completed we will use it to secure financial support for the full series from individuals, foundations, and corporations.

OUR TEAM

John Fox, Executive Producer. Emmy and Peabody Award-winning writer, director, documentary filmmaker, and multimedia producer. Mr. Fox has directed for Saturday Night Live and has worked as director under contract for most of the major Hollywood studios. He produced “Heritage: Civilization and the Jews,” a nine part PBS series that won both the Christopher and Peabody Awards and three prime-time Emmys. His other awards include: top honors at the Los Angeles Digital Video Festival, several Telly Awards, and the Golden Davey Award from the International Academy of the Visual Arts.

Mary Salter, Executive Producer. Independent producer of film and television; former program executive and producer at MTV, Paramount Television, Broadway Video, VP for Production at Comedy Central, Film Producer for Saturday Night Live for almost a decade. Honors and awards include: two Broadcast Design Awards, the Monitor Award, 12 Ace nominations, a Venice Film Festival Golden Lion CM, the Sundance Festival Sloan Prize.

Joe Grifasi, Producer. Veteran actor, director, educator; has performed in over 60 plays on and off Broadway and at regional theaters nationwide. Involved in new play development in New York, Chicago, and at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. Appeared in more than 50 feature films and made more than 100 television appearances. Conducted master classes and workshops at The Yale School of Drama, The Strasberg Institute, Oberlin College, Tulane University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Brown University, Bowling Green University, SUNY at Buffalo, Williams College, UCSD La Jolla; faculty member, The New School for Drama.

Gordon Thorpe, Digital Content Manager. Gordon graduated from Trinity College with a BA in economics and a minor in film studies. He has been with OnStage in America for over a year and has played a key role in developing our online content.

OUR PARTNERS

Public Broadcasting Service - PBS’ mission is to create content that educates, informs and inspires. PBS offers programming that expands the minds of children, documentaries that open up new worlds, non-commercialized news programs that keep citizens informed on world events and cultures, and programs that expose America to the worlds of music, theater, dance and art. A private, nonprofit corporation, founded in 1969, PBS' members are America’s public TV stations -- noncommercial, educational licensees that operate more than 350 PBS member stations and serve all 50 states, reaching a broadcast audience of 120 million people.

Oregon Public Broadcasting - Our "Presenting Station", OPB will handle station relations, final packaging, and technical delivery of the program to PBS. OPB is one of the top four producers and presenters of national programming among all PBS stations nationwide. Recent OPB National Productions include History Detectives (now in its tenth season on PBS), Great Lodges of the National Parks, and programs for PBS prime time series including Frontline, Nova and American Experience.

Public Media, Inc. - Our Fiscal Agent – While OnStage In America Inc. applies to the IRS for official certification of its not-for-profit status we have partnered with PMI, a New York not-for-profit that assists independent video and filmmakers who qualify for grants that require offical IRS status as “not-for-profit” under 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. Established in 1976 by the eminent documentary filmmaker Robert Richter, PMI has administered grants for dozens of independent media projects, many of them award-winning.

Risks and challenges

We hope to shoot our pilot this coming spring, but we could be forced for scheduling or other reasons to shoot in summer or fall of 2014. While PBS has expressed their intention of airing our pilot they are not contractually obligated to do so. The decision whether to move forward to produce a full series lies entirely with PBS and will depend in large part on how successful the pilot is.

If our Kickstarter campaign raises $125,000 we still need to raise an additional $125,000 to fully fund the budget for our pilot. We already have pledges for about $25,000 from private donors and hope to be able to close the funding gap once our Kickstarter campaign succeeds, but there are no guarantees.

What happens if Kickstarter succeeds but we fail to get the next $125,000? PBS will decide. They can release the money they have promised us so we can move into production while continuing to raise money, or they can stop us. If we are stopped we will return all the Kickstarter pledges less 10% (the 5% fee charged by Kickstarter plus the 5% charged by our fiscal agent).

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    - You'll receive special "thanks" on our website donor wall. (95% tax deductible)

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    - Get access to premium online content such as bloopers, out-takes, and interviews with cast and producers. Also receive special "thanks" on our website donor wall..

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    - Get a colorful flyer signed by a leading member of the cast.
    - Also get access to premium online content such as bloopers, out-takes, and interviews with cast and producers.
    - Plus receive special "thanks" on our website donor wall.
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    - Receive a DVD of the final pilot program as well as a flyer signed by a leading member of the cast. Also get access to premium online content and special "thanks" on our wesite donor wall. (approx. 85% tax deductible)

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    - Receive a DVD of the final pilot program signed by the director and a cast member as well as a signed flyer. Also get access to premium online content and special "thanks" on our website *homepage*
    - (approx. 85% tax deductible)

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    - Receive a DVD of the final pilot program signed by cast member, a flyer signed by a leading cast member, premium online content, and special "thanks" on our website *homepage*. (approx. 85% tax deductible)

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    - Receive a signed photo of the entire cast, plus a DVD signed by Lewis Black or David Hyde Pierce, premium online content, and website *homepage* "thanks" (approx. 90% tax deductible)

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    - You and a guest will be invited to the premiere screening event in NY - You'll receive Blu-Ray and DVD copies of the program with one copy signed by a cast member - plus premium online content and website *homepage* "thanks" (approx 90% tax deductible)

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

    - Your name will be included in the thanks section of the credits on the broadcast program. You and a guest will be invited to the premiere screening event in NY, and you'll receive
    Blu-Ray and DVD copies of the program with one copy signed by the director or a cast member. You'll also get premium online content and website *homepage* "thanks" (approx. 93% tax deductible)

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

    - You and guest will be invited to a private dinner with the producers in NY. Menu recommendations are welcome. You'll also be invited to the premiere screening event in NY and receive Blu-Ray and DVD copies of the show with one copy signed by the director or a cast member. Plus online content and website homepage "thanks" (approx. 90% tax deductible)

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

    - Bring a friend to the premiere screening event in NY and come to the after party (with producers, backers, and surprise celebrity!) - Receive credit on-air as funder in the opening and final credits of the program and in credits on all future releases of the pilot program including DVD. Get Blu-Ray and DVD copies of the show with one copy signed by director or cast member. Plus online content and website homepage "thanks" (approx 94% tax deductible)

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

    - Have a private meeting with ONSTAGE board member Debby Beece on how to program a network (former president of Comedy Central and Oxygen Channel) - You and a guest will also be invited to the premiere screening event in NY and the after party (with producers, backers, and surprise celebrity!). You'll receive credit on-air as funder in the opening and final credits of the program and in credits on all future releases of the pilot program including DVD. Plus you'll get Blu-Ray and DVD copies of show with one copy signed by the director or a cast member - (approx. 94% tax deductible)

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Giving is its own reward. Make a gift of any amount to help us launch this new venture, bringing theater to new audiences, without asking for an award. We will give you credit according to the level of your gift. (95% tax deductible)

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    ** New York Culture Vulture **
    - The ultimate insider's package, a high quality sampler of NY's edgier cultural opportunities for you and a guest.
    - Spend the weekend in the Tribeca loft of ONSTAGE producer, Mary Salter, and on Saturday tour Chelsea galleries with Mary and her husband, renowned sculptor, Mel Kendrick.
    - Be their guest for lunch in Chelsea, where the art world wines, dines, meets, and greets.
    - Take a backstage tour of an off-Broadway show with veteran actor and ONSTAGE producer, Joe Grifasi.
    - Enjoy Sunday brunch with dance legend and ONSTAGE board member, Carmen De Lavallade.
    - You'll receive signed DVD or Blu-Ray discs plus credit as a featured funder in the opening and final credits of pilot program on air and in all future releases. And of course you're invited to the premiere screening event in NY and the after party (with producers, backers, and surprise celebrity!). (approx. 80% tax deductible)

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    - Receive a DVD of the final pilot program signed by Lewis Black or David Hyde Pierce, a flyer signed by a leading cast member, premium online content, and special "thanks" on our website *homepage*. (approx. 85% tax deductible)

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    Ships to Only United States
    Reward no longer available 25 backers
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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    - Receive a copy of the hand-drawn story-board signed by the director, plus a DVD signed by Lewis Black or David Hyde Pierce, premium online content, and website *homepage* "thanks" (approx. 90% tax deductible)

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    Ships to Only United States
    Reward no longer available 10 backers
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  17. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    - You and a guest will be invited to the premiere screening event in NY
    - You'll receive Blu-Ray and DVD copies of the program with one copy signed by Lewis Black or David Hyde Pierce
    - plus premium online content and website *homepage* "thanks" (approx 90% tax deductible)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 10 backers
    $

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    ** Hamptons Getaway! ** - A heavenly week in the Hamptons during the Hamptons International Film Festival. Bring three friends, enjoy an autumn week in the Hamptons at the home of ONSTAGE producer, Mary Salter. Your own private spacious accommodations in a chic, luxe bungalow in Sag Harbor. Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the new Parrish Museum. ONSTAGE producers will consult with you about film festival screenings if you choose to attend. Finally, after the shows are over, enjoy a sumptuous catered (cooked by the producers) dinner at home. Dates TBD per festival schedule in mid-October - a gorgeous time of year when the Hamptons are still buzzing. You'll receive signed DVD or Blu-Ray discs plus credit as a featured funder in opening and final credits of the pilot program on air and in all future releases. And of course you're invited to the premiere screening event in NY and after party (with producers, backers, and surprise celebrity!). (approx. 80% tax deductible)

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    ** An Actor's Life ** - A Rare Behind-the-Scenes VIP Experience for you and a guest. - Peek into a rehearsal of a Broadway or Off-Broadway show with ONSTAGE producer and veteran actor, Joe Grifasi. Later, take a backstage tour of an off-Broadway hit with Joe. - You'll also receive a personal coaching session with Joe followed by a personally arranged audition and performance critique by a major NY casting director. - One of our board members will take you on a tour of the Players Club, an historic Gramercy Park mansion frequented by Mark Twain and a century of celebrities. - Joe Grifasi will also guide you on a visit to Hudson Scenic, the largest scenery and set building shop for plays on Broadway and around the world. - You'll receive signed DVD or Blu-Ray discs plus credit as a featured funder in the opening and final credits of the pilot program on air and in all future releases. And of course you're invited to the premiere screening event in NY and the after party (with producers, backers, and surprise celebrity!). (approx. 80% tax deductible)

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    Reward no longer available 2 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)