About

Welcome to the Apocalypse

Please, allow us to introduce ourselves. We are Ara’Kus Productions, a theater group centered around Seattle, Washington and creators of the original Heavy Metal Opera Aeterno Elementum. Ara’Kus Productions is about to enter its sixth run of Aeterno Elementum and we’re determined to make it the best performance yet.

Aeterno Elementum is the story of a world brought low by the cruelty and darkness of the men who stalk it and its cataclysmic death and ultimately…its rebirth. Part opera, part play, Aeterno Elementum tells its story through the powerful soliloquies of the actors, choreographed fight scenes between knights wielding authentic weapons and armor, and through the performances of several talented fire dancers and aerialists. Most of all, Aeterno Elementum is told through the original Heavy Metal music composed by Jeremiah Johnson which runs the range from exhilarating to forbidding and tragic to romantic, with lyrics that will both inspire and haunt.

 “And now I see, amid the ashes of the work I have gladly done, my just reward…A perfect world.”

The Ara’Kus Kickstarter

For the last three years, we’ve staged Aeterno Elementum using entirely our own money, and over the years the show has evolved and improved as we’ve learned to do things better, faster and more efficiently. Our team has grown from a few core members to a cast of 25, a band of 9, a choir of 16, and a supporting team that now includes professional producers, writers and stage managers: all of them volunteers. That said, we’ve reached the limits of what we’re able to do with our small budget.

This year Ara’Kus will be putting on our Heavy Metal Opera two weekends in a row, an unprecedented undertaking for our company and one that will require a much larger budget. We need your help to make this the most amazing performance of Aeterno Elementum ever seen!

 “What is it you ask of me?”

Our Goals

 Last year our budget was about $4000.00 for a two-night performance. This year we’re hoping to raise $10,000.00. We’ll be reusing many of the pieces left over from former performances and our warriors and knights all bring their own arms and armor, we’re not starting over from scratch or anything. With the money raised from this Kickstarter we’ll be able to improve:

  • Lighting and Special Effects
  • Set and Backdrops
  • Sound System
  • Costuming
  • Special FX Make-up

Of course you’re asking yourself, what assurance do I have that you’ll even be able to put this show on? Well that’s the beauty of our Kickstarter, Aeterno Elementum is coming whether we succeed or fail. We’ve already had several rehearsals and the theater is already booked for November 15th, 16th, 22nd and 23rd of this year. We all love this show and we’ll be putting it on no matter what. What we’re offering you is a chance to make this the best performance that we’ve ever staged, and get involved in the production as well as work with our amazing team.

 Speaking of which…

The Production Team

 Jeremiah Johnson: Founder and creator of Ara’Kus Productions, Jeremiah Johnson is an incredibly talented composer who has worked on Aeterno Elementum since it's inception. In addition to this, Jeremiah also serves as the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist for the band.

Jeremiah Johnson
Jeremiah Johnson

Randy Haines: Lead Guitarist and Producer of Ara’Kus Productions, Randy Haines has been playing guitar for 28 years and has been with Ara’Kus for 7 years.

Randy Haines
Randy Haines

Morgue Anne: Director for Aeterno Elementum. Tori has been working in theater and performance for 13 years and has become a key figure in the local Seattle art community.

Morgue Anne
Morgue Anne

Margaret Becker: Stage Manager for Aeterno Elementum.  Margaret (AKA M) handles rehearsal schedules, management of cast and crew and generally ensures that the show runs smoothly.

M Becker
M Becker

Susan C Smith: Our all-around coordinator who manages the work of all of our cast members, production team and choir, of which she’s also a member. She basically holds everything together.

Susan Smith
Susan Smith

The Rewards

With almost every contribution level, we're providing our supporters with tickets to the show. This is intentional, as we expect to sell out in November and want to make sure that everyone who helps us reach our goal is able to come and see the show on the night of their choice.  Tickets run $25 a piece, so for every $25 you donate, you can opt to have another ticket in lieu an alternate reward.  We'll contact you after we're successfully funded to find out what nights you want.

Here's a quick run down of the rest of the prizes:

Digital Download Aeterno Elementum Album: This is the full Aeterno Elementum score, featuring 14 tracks straight from the show, professionally recorded in studio.

Physical Copy Aeterno Elementum Album: The same music as the digital download, but in a beautiful CD case with artwork designed by Vivian Lee and Augusto Silva. 

Full Color T-shirts: We have two amazing t-shirt designs to choose from, with artwork created by Vivian Lee.  They are available in all adult sizes and in women's tank tops. 

Warrior Goddess T-shirt
Warrior Goddess T-shirt
AE Show Poster T-shirt
AE Show Poster T-shirt

VIP Tickets: These tickets will allow you to sit in the special VIP reserved sections of the ground floor and loge, enabling you to get the most coveted seats in the house.  It also allows you access to an exclusive VIP meet and greet with the band and lead cast members post show.

Signed Photo Prints: You can choose from several professional photo prints (taken by Garrett Gibbons), which will be signed by Jeremiah Johnson and Randy Haines. 

Guitar Lessons with Randy Haines: Ara'Kus lead guitarist Randy Haines will give you four half hour guitar lessons.  He has over 28 years of guitar and music experience, and teaches guitar professionally, so this is a killer deal. (limit of 10)

Fire Dancing Lessons with the Demoness: Our resident fire demon will help you get started on the basics of fire dancing with two hour long lessons which will include safety training and education on how to properly use and store fuel, as well as tricks with poi, fire eating and fans. (limit of 2)

The Demoness with her fire fans
The Demoness with her fire fans

Private Classical Guitar Performance: Randy Haines, lead guitarist from Ara'Kus, will come to a location and date that you arrange and perform a private 30 minute long classical guitar set, including the full Koyunbaba suite.  (limit of 3)

Private Vocal Performance: The Ara'Kus vocal soloists will come to a location that you arrange and perform a 45 minute long recital, featuring several of the choral and vocal pieces from Aeterno Elementum and other classical repertoire. (limit of 2)

Aeterno Elementum Walk On Role: You will be given a small role in one performance of Aeterno Elementum where you will be killed in horrible fashion by marauding Vikings and dragged off stage.  There you will be able to watch the rest of the performance from the best seats in the house with four of your closest friends and family.  You will also be memorialized in our programs with your name and photo. Some pre-performance rehearsal is required. (limit of 4 - one per performance night) 

A messy and painful death awaits you
A messy and painful death awaits you

Risks and challenges

Aeterno Elementum is a live production on a stage, which means that mistakes can happen. We can’t go back and reedit a live performance, so yes there might be a missed line or a technical glitch with the sound system. We’ll do everything we possibly can to make sure our performance is as perfect and enjoyable as possible, but we’re only human. (Except the Imp, we’re not sure about him).

Other than that this is a very low risk kickstarter, we’re not putting this Heavy Metal Opera on for the first time and we’re all stage veterans. We know what we’re getting into and, like we said before, this show will go on whether or not we meet our goals!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    Digital download of the Aeterno Elementum album.

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    Physical copy of the Aeterno Elementum album.

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    Signed print of selected Aeterno Elementum images (see description)

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    One ticket to 'Aeterno Elementum: A Heavy Metal Opera' on a performance night of your choice and a digital download of the album.

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    Full color Aeterno Elementum T-shirt from one of several designs (see description) and a digital download of the album.

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    One VIP Ticket to Aeterno Elementum on a performance night of your choice (premium seating and a post show meet and greet) and a digital download of the album.

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    Two Tickets to Aeterno Elementum and a digital download of the album.

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    One ticket to Aeterno Elementum, one full color T-shirt and a physical copy of the Aeterno Elementum album.

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    Three tickets to Aeterno Elementum and a digital download of the album.

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    One Ticket to Aeterno Elementum, a full color t-shirt, a physical copy of the Aeterno Elementum album and 2 signed prints of your choice

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    4 guitar lessons with Ara'Kus lead guitarist, Randy Haines, a ticket to Aeterno Elementum and a digital download of the album.

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    Private classical guitar performance from Ara'Kus lead guitarist, Randy Haines, a ticket to Aeterno Elementum and a physical copy of the album.

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    Private vocal performance from the Ara'Kus vocal soloists, two tickets to Aeterno Elementum and a physical copy of the album.

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    An Aeterno Elementum walk on role where you will be killed horribly by Vikings and returned to your seat to enjoy the rest of the show. Includes 4 tickets and an Ara'Kus gift bag. Only one available per performance night. Some prior rehearsal required.

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    2 Fire Dancing lessons with Aeterno Elementum's Demoness, Carrole Johnson a ticket to Aeterno Elementum and a digital download of the album.

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Funding period

- (25 days)