The Fishtank Performance Studio celebrates our first birthday this June. Your participation has already helped show that Kansas City needs and wants a place where performing artists can take risks, experiment with new forms, and respond rapidly to current events and pressing issues.
We’ve also bent over backwards to show that big imaginations don’t require big bank accounts. We think like most people do these days: spending less, looking for good deals, and re-assessing what’s really important. And why not share a free beer along the way?
It’s the active support and enthusiasm of our artists that’s our main source of subsidy: most work uncompensated, all for very little material reward. We take the “low cost” part of our mission very seriously. (We know you can make magic by covering the walls with $40 of aluminum foil from Costco!) And we totally agree with the recent New York Times article about K.C. when they said, “…it’s the city’s unvarnished grit that may be its best asset.”
Still, we do need money to do this -- not a lot, but enough to support the cost of the space and productions and still keep admission affordable for artists, students and the under-employed. Here’s where we hope YOU can help!
To celebrate our One-ness, we’re launching a summer series of “home grown” projects showcasing Kansas City’s eclectic performance community. Like all Fishtank projects, we aim to help local artists realize their visions, cultivate and serve up fun, fresh theater experiences to hungry audiences – the arts equivalent of fruit-and-vegetable stands that pop up all around us each summer, allowing us to buy cheap, fresh produce and shake the hand of the person who grew it.
Despite our cost-cutting, we do need real dollars to maintain the space, market the shows, and present them as professionally as possible. Can you afford to give us a little extra help?
Trust us: we’ll take every dollar you contribute and we earn this summer and re-invest in the space and the artists who contribute their time and talent to create new worlds for us to explore and enjoy. Check out this summer’s “HOME GROWN” Series, and see what a bumper crop your contribution will help to produce.
The “Home Grown” Series starts off with First Friday in June, and our NEW Singer/Songwriter Series, Songs Behind Stories - showcasing KC’s up and coming musicians in the intimate and informal Fishtank space. Hosted by series curator Daniel Shay, this series debut features the songs of Kyle Hatley, Michael Hilboldt & Shay.
Later in June, the Fishtank sends audiences outside to play! Fishtank Curator Heidi Van and collaborator Ingrid Andrea Guertsen team up for "53 Days & 52 Nights", an epic and cinematic clown story in the Fishtank’s storefront window, giving Kansas City audience a truly unique “theater al fresco” experience. This theater-under-glass event will include a special performance and party for Kickstarter donors.
“Home Grown” continues with the Fringe Festival Fish Fry. The Fishtank will once again be one of the Fringe Festival’s more popular spaces and this year will produce two of the Festival’s most anticipated shows. "Thrill Me", Kansas City native Stephen Dolginoff’s pocket musical about the infamous Leopold and Loeb murder case that will land “like a well-placed punch, arresting and a bit breathtaking…” Directed by Jeff Church, the Kansas City premiere of this startling two-person musical will audaciously re-imagine the Fishtank space with four performances during the Fringe, and an extended run planned in August.
Fishtank resident artists Lisa Cordes and Damian Torres-Botello will premier their new collaborative play, "American Alphabet", in four performances during the Fringe Festival. American Alphabet takes on the “R”s of Reading, ‘Rriting, ‘Rithmetic + Race and Religion as they “school” the audience through their own personal lessons on the subjects you aren’t supposed to talk about in polite company.
Rounding out the summer in August will be the second offering from the Doozers Theatre Project, founded by Kansas City playwrights Damian Torres-Botello and Jeremy Lillig, that shines a light on the clash of religion with contemporary culture. Lillig’s satire Onward Christian Shoulders premiered in May and in August, the religion coin flips to the dramatic side with "Discernment", Damian’s play that takes on the current investigations of American religious orders by Pope Benedict.
That’s it—that’s our Home Grown Series. We value ANY and EVERY contribution, no matter how small, and dearly hope you can help us reach our financial goal. You and your friends will be supporting the “unvarnished grit” of our city, from the ground up.
- (29 days)