Funded! This project was successfully funded on May 7, 2010.


We want to release the CD cast recording of the How to Survive the Apocalypse: A Burning Opera. Please join our experiment in collaborative culture!

We are the Burning Opera ( ), a group of San Francisco-, LA-, and Seattle-based folks who recently produced How to Survive the Apocalypse, a successful rock opera about the origins and evolution of Burning Man. (Imagine a cross between Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Rocky Horror and you are halfway there.) After finishing a critically acclaimed (and sold-out) run at San Francisco's 350-seat Teatro Zinzanni, we began recording the soundtrack in the Hollywood Hills at a magical home studio run by David Bergeaud and the show's own amazing Renfey. We are now in post-production, and need to raise $8000 to finish the CD in style, design complete artwork, get the book printed, pay for CD duplication costs, and get CD in the hands of reviewers. is a very practical way for us to accomplish these basic needs. Our huge and glorious network of friends, plus the extended Burner community, know how to help, and because of the clamorous demand we're experiencing for this CD we know it will happen.

Today's clip from the show.. Aaron Taylor as the Cop, Steffanos X as Mustachio and Christopher Fulling as Stetson.

WHY YOU? Ideally we would not need to tap our friends and fans for this help, but if we don't ask now it just won't happen. Here's why:

• We don't have a single sugar daddy or angel. • The recording industry is in redefinition mode and labels are not right for what we are doing. • This approach to funding projects--at once more independent and more community-based--is most in line with our fundamental values.

Since our show is partly about transformation through community and volunteerism, it makes perfect sense to use The kind of "barn-raising" strategy that Kickstarter facilitates is totally in line with the grass-roots Burning Man approach, one that our fans and supporters know can really work.

REWARDS: We plan to give our Kickstarters the following treats:

• for $30 - one (1) CD • for $50 - two (2) CDs • for $100 - two (2) CDs signed by "the Bunny" (Erik Davis) and Mark Nichols (composer) • for $200 - two (2) CDs signed by the above, plus one (1) DVD of the full LIVE show shot at Teatro Zinzanni • for $500 (and above) we'll give five (5) CDs plus three copies of the LIVE DVD signed by the creators of the show and as many cast members as we can rally within reason • for $4000 - not only will you get all of the above goodies, but we'll list you as Executive Producer on the CD, and we'll rally as many cast members as we can to come to your house to perform songs from the show for you and your friends. (Tell us what you envision and we'll do our best to put together something truly special!)

MORE INFO: "How to Survive the Apocalypse” premiered in workshop form on Jan. 16, 2009 at Stage Werx to an enthusiastic, sold-out audience, and to great reviews. We then finished writing the show, and performed nine sold-out performances at Teatro ZinZanni in San Francisco in October, 2009, again to great community acclaim.

Driven by the desire to bring the Burn off the playa, “How to Survive the Apocalypse” aims to communicate the culture of Burning Man to wider audiences. The main action follows three newbies, each with their own baggage of fears and expectations, as they make their way through the erotic, psychological, and apocalyptic minefield of the temporary festival. On a larger level, the show aims to explore the inherent conflicts and painful paradoxes of the event, from its tangled origins to its ongoing mutation. On an even larger level, however, the evening is completely aimless, or at least shoots from the hip in your general direction with a furry thong over its eyes.

The vibe is a Burning Man-inspired theatrical freak-out that combines rock opera, vaudeville, and a Dionysian revival show. After being dazzled by the show, audience members reported that the music stuck with them for weeks afterwards. With music by Mark Nichols and words by counterculture writer Erik Davis, these songs reflect a variety of Burning Man subcultures while resonating with zeitgeist-wide concerns about identity, sexuality, technology, hopelessness, and apocalypse. Given our exceptional performers, we are convinced that these songs will work just as well on CD as in live performance. At the very least, far more people will be able to hear them!

REVIEW: "..It’s hard enough to describe an event as personal, massive, contradictory, multi-faceted, and ever-changing as Burning Man (believe me, I’ve tried), much less distill it down into a cohesive musical. But the geniuses behind this show have done the damn near impossible with their soon-to-be roadshow" ~San Fransisco Bay Guardian


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  • Pledge $30 or more
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    65 backers

    A $30 pledge entitles you to one (1) CD

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    17 backers

    Two (2) CDs

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    6 backers

    Two (2) CDs signed by the Bunny (Erik Davis- also lyricist) and Mark Nichols (composer)

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    9 backers

    Two (2) CDs signed by the above, plus one (1) DVD of the live show, shot at Teatro Zinzanni in San Francisco 10/09

  • Pledge $500 or more
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    1 backer

    Five (5) CDs plus 3 copies of the live DVD, signed by the creators of the show and as many cast members as we can muster.

  • Pledge $4,000 or more
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    0 backers

    All of the above, plus Executive Producer credit on the CD. We'll also perform songs from the show at your home -- let's talk about what would be fun!

Funding period

- (40 days)