FUNDING TIMELINE AND GOALS
By October 14th - $1200 ----> construction of large-scale music box and manufacture/translation of compositions to Porter Music Box
By October 28th - $2600 ----> lighting design, lights, scrim and sound effects
By November 4th - $3100 ----> venue and piano rental
The ultimate goal would be to raise $8200 to pay the performers, production team and designers a fair stipend for 10 months of focused development.
Inspired by mechanical ballet and automata, Orkestriska's Box is a literal title for a piece that is centered around a human-scale music box containing the dancer Orkestriska (pronounced Orca-stritz-kah). Moira Shearer as Olympia in The Archers' 1951 operatic-film 'The Tales of Hoffman' is an express reference for the character of Orkestriska.
In fact, the whole aesthetic of the piece is much like 'Tales of Hoffman' and also The Archers' 1948 film 'The Red Shoes', both designed by our muse Hein Heckroth. The setting is fantastical, surreal and has a technicolor sensibility. In ours, there is a folk or outsider art influence in constructing such a gaudy tuppence-coloured spectacle.
Conceived and directed by Trish Denton, the production is an ensemble piece set to a score by Burlington-based composer and musician, Randal Pierce. The original compositions will be played live on a Porter Music Box, by Pierce on piano and classical percussionist Jane Boxall. At times the operatic voice of lead actress, Jane Beaumont-Snyder accompanies the music box.
Classical dance, street theater, animation and silent acting portray the mythical life and dreams of our music box dancer. Orkestriska prefers the repetition of her reflection of technical perfection to that of the world outside –the streets outside her window. The street scenes are brought to life by an ensemble comprised of dancers, circus artists and physical actors. The current cast is Laura Wolfsen, Tony Briefcase, Pamela Formica, Amanda Franz, Ryan Gillard, and Ethan O'Hara.
In the abstractions of persistent, prodding dreams, Orkestriska struggles to realize what threatens her about her desire to live freely in the din and grit of the world outside her box. These bizarre manifestations are brought to light by stop-frame animation -- the mystical creations of Meghan and Gahlord Dewald of Thoughtfaucet Studios.
The show has mature emotional content, but is suitable for younger audiences. It has a loose narrative that takes its viewers through a deeply imaginative experience that promises to incite and excite shared symbols of the collective unconscious.
These funds will be used to manufacture the music box parts, build the sets, design lighting and sound. It is mainly the technical aspects of the show that require support.
Risks and challenges
Independently funding and mounting a theater production of this scale is always a risk. We live in a culture that does not regard theater as a standard form of entertainment. And here we are in Vermont! A culturally rich environment with low resources within the creative economy.
The production team is willing to do more than our share for the love of art making and community building. We will roll-up our shirt sleeves and put in the labor required of this feat to present the story as a suitable gift to our adored audience. The merit of the piece as a work-in-progress is fueling the group of designers, makers, performers, musicians and animators to push through, knowing that it is a worthy endeavor.
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- (41 days)