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Available Light will kick off our second decade by making a show by, for, and about the people of our beloved hometown - Columbus, OH.
Available Light will kick off our second decade by making a show by, for, and about the people of our beloved hometown - Columbus, OH.
173 backers pledged $34,386 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$34,386

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“Columbus’s own theatrical force of nature.”
- Jay Weitz, Columbus Alive

We will create a new stage production that will hold a mirror up to our city. We want you to be a part of the conversation. This is a story we cannot tell without you. 

Available Light Theatre will create a locally-sourced, original theatre production about the people of Columbus, Ohio. We will spend one year talking to as many citizens of Greater Columbus as possible. Throughout the year, we will share highlights from these conversations. Then, we will create a multi-media, true-to-life exploration that reflects the entire fabric of our city. On-stage, we'll render the fullness of life in our community: from the trendsetters of the moment to the difference-makers of tomorrow, and -- most importantly -- the voices that we don’t ordinarily get to hear. 

As our beloved hometown grows and changes, it is absolutely vital that we have a way to respond. In this day and age, when we are continually more separated, the best thing that theatre does -- and it’s what theatre does better than anything else -- is to bring people together to remember, to reflect, and to start a conversation. We need to talk to you, to learn from you. We need your voice. 

Let’s talk about: - How do you make meaning in your life, in your art, in your home? - What matters most in your job, in your family, in your community? - Columbus is a land of opportunity, but for what? - What can we make and accomplish, individually and together?

This is the kind of work that Available Light has been making for 10 years. It will be a celebration, an investigation, and a city-wide collaboration. We want to use our skills, our tools, and our decade of experience to give back to this city that has given so much to us.

We want to Feed Your Soul, Columbus. We want to share your stories with the world. And we want to share the whole journey with you.

Available Light is a fellowship of artists dedicated to building a more conscious and compassionate world by creating joyful and profound theatre and serving our community.

We produce bold creations by local artists and important new plays by writers from around the globe. We are committed to developing local talent, contributing to the arts scene, and making Columbus a better place to be. Our original creations have lauded by American Theatre magazine, the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards, NYtheatre dot com, the Central Ohio Theatre Critics Circle, the Jebbys, the Greater Columbus Arts Council’s Artistic Excellence Awards, and more. It’s all part of our mission to enable artists and audiences alike “to live the life of the imagination.”

"Available Light rocks!" - Michael Grossberg, Columbus Dispatch

Yep, that's us.
Yep, that's us.

What most sets Available Light apart is our audience. 

When you're at an Available Light show, you're surrounded by people from all walks of life. But if you take away their wildly different characteristics --  ages, occupations, life-styles, ethnicities -- what you really have is a room full of people who care about art and the world around them.

We measure our success by our ability to attract a collective of artists that accurately reflects our community; by our ability to share the stories and unique viewpoints of the people of Central Ohio; and by ensuring that our productions are affordable to everyone in town. We achieve that success when the breadth and depth of our community is reflected on stage, in the audience, and in every facet of our production process.

Everyone deserves great art.

Pay What You Want is just what it sounds like: every seat for every show for everybody. Now more than ever, we all need great art. And now, more than ever, we can’t let economic circumstances shut anyone out of the theatre. It’s simply a better world when we can all afford to see good shows, no matter how much cash we’ve got in our pockets at the moment.

In our 10th year we will not rest, we will continue to question the answers and fight resistance and make new work.

We’ve got a season full of exciting shows and experiments including:

  • an important, imaginative, new American play
  • a radical adaptation of a notorious 100-year old novel
  • a one-man comedy by "a Samuel Beckett for the John Stewart generation"
  • a new company-created original work about movement and the body
  • The Next Stage iInitiative - helping to nurture new plays and new playwrights
  • a 24-hour theatre spectacular
  • One Night with Available Light. In which we’ll stage a handful of consequential plays that every theatre-goer should consider essential viewing – each for one night only.

Our 10th season will be bursting with opportunities for up and coming artists who are ready to make their Available Light debut. 

Additionally, as we enter our anniversary year, we’re making big changes to our organization to prepare for an even better future. We’re adding four new staff members, including our new Co-Artistic Director, Eleni Papaleonardos.

We’re ready to do our best and most important work yet. And THAT is where you come in. Supporting our Kickstarter is an investment in the future of Available Light. 

We stretch ever dollar to the max.

Available Light Theatre is a small, non-profit organization (a 501c3.) The pie chart below shows how our backers' funds will be distributed to effectively make this work. As you can see, Available Light prioritizes paying people, especially artists, and focuses on keeping overhead costs extremely low.

Here's more information about what fits in each of those categories.

  • Paying Artists: From actors to designers to writers and directors, everyone will be fairly compensated for their time and talent.
  • Administrative Staff: Helping to keep lights on and the water running, our Brain Trust works efficiently to run the organization.
  • Technical Personnel: Those lights won't hang themselves. Carpenters, painters, stage managers, and other skilled craftsmen (and women) help bring our work to the stage.
  • Rent: Theater space, office space, and storage space.
  • Production Expenses: Props! Costumes! Sounds! Lights! Sets! Projections! All that beautiful, exciting theatre stuff.
  • Administrative Expenses: From pencils and paper to the computer on which we're typing these words.
  • Marketing: We get the word out with printed posters and postcards, as well as Facebook ads and other cost-effective means.

Thank you, Columbus, for your tireless support of arts and culture. Ten years ago we knew that we had a choice: Leave town and look for a place with an already thriving arts scene; or stay in Columbus and help build something from the ground up. 

Ten years later, we know we made the right choice. And now we're going to give back in the biggest and best way we know.

Are you ready to be a part of something big? DON'T WAIT.

Risks and challenges

The biggest challenge of all, of course, is turning a massive amount of information (like 200 interviews) into a cohesive, insightful, entertaining, theatre production. This is exactly what Available Light has been practicing for the last decade as we've created moving, non-fiction plays about the philosophy of love, the science of time, childhood, the food system, the economy, the environment, and other topical explorations. Now we're ready for a project of this magnitude.

How do we reach out and connect with groups of people within Columbus who are un-like us?
- Columbus is rich in a variety of organizations serving many different constituencies. We will partner with these groups to re-learn the skill of approaching those who are unlike us with honesty and authenticity.

How do we guarantee that the finished project reaches a wide audience of our fellow citizens?
- Our year-long process of outreach and discovery will create a large group with an inherent interest in the show, and we'll launch the finished project with the help of all the new friends we make along the way. (We also hope our Kickstarter backers will help us get the word out!)

How do we maintain momentum for an entire year while producing other works of art?
- The most important aspect of Available Light's maturation over the past few years has been our increased ability to successfully juggle several projects, each at different stages of development. We excel at long-term development and have learned to turn this problem to our advantage.

How can we find a venue for the show which reflects the city as much as the production will?
- Pay What You Want has removed one obstacle for attendees - cost. Now we'll work on eliminating the challenges of local geography. We hope to perform the production in a number of venues. Patrons won't have to find us downtown, we'll bring the show to their neighborhoods.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    You BELIEVE in something bigger and want to support the mission. THANK YOU. You'll receive our eternal gratitude.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    You BELIEVE in something bigger and want to support the mission. You'll receive our eternal gratitude and you will be one of the first people interviewed for our new show about Columbus.

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    27 backers
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    Pledge $77 or more About $77

    / / The Backers-Only Swag Pack / /
    You BELIEVE in something bigger and want to support the mission. You also like swag.

    You'll receive:
    - our eternal gratitude and special thanks on our website donor wall
    - the exclusive, Kickstarter backers-only T-shirt, featuring the 10th Anniversary AVLT logo on the front and the names of all of our Kickstarter backers on the reverse
    - the exclusive, Kickstarter backers-only tote bag, featuring the 10th Anniversary AVLT logo
    - TWO passes to attend any AVLT show

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    Pledge $99 or more About $99

    / / The Flex-Tix / /
    You BELIEVE in something bigger and want to support the mission. You'll also get to see some awesome shows.

    You will receive:
    - our eternal gratitude and special thanks on our website donor wall
    - 6 FlexTix - Admission for any show any time. Use them yourself our pass them on to your art-loving friends.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $151 or more About $151

    / / MEMBERSHIP for ONE / /
    You not only BELIEVE in something bigger and want to support the mission, you also want to JOIN us for our full 2015/16 season. 

    You will receive a special place in our heart as a part of the team, and this exclusive membership (for Kickstarter backers only) guarantees you the following:
    - UNLIMITED repeat viewings for ONE person, for every show in the 2015-16 season
    - Access to invitation-only rehearsals and special events, all season long.
    - Advance ticket reservations for you and your guests, using our easy online system.
    - You get to skip to the front of the wait list in the event of a sellout.
    - the exclusive, Kickstarter backers-only T-shirt, featuring the 10th Anniversary AVLT logo on the front and the names of all of our Kickstarter backers on the reverse
    - FOUR guest passes to share with your friends.

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    Pledge $252 or more About $252

    / / MEMBERSHIP for TWO / /
    You not only BELIEVE in something bigger and want to support the mission, you also want to JOIN us for our full 2015/16 season. 

    You will receive a special place in our heart as a part of the team, and this exclusive membership (for Kickstarter backers only) guarantees you the following:
    - UNLIMITED repeat viewings for TWO people, for every show in the 2015-16 season
    - Access to invitation-only rehearsals and special events, all season long.
    - Advance ticket reservations for you and your guests, using our easy online system.
    - You get to skip to the front of the wait list in the event of a sellout
    - the exclusive, Kickstarter backers-only T-shirt, featuring the 10th Anniversary AVLT logo on the front and the names of all of our Kickstarter backers on the reverse
    - SIX guest passes to share with your friends.

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    Pledge $505 or more About $505

    You want to COMMIT with us.
    Kickstart your art. Get down to work in a six-week curriculum (one meeting per week) of guidance and inspiration from Artistic Director Matt Slaybaugh. Perfect for writers, performers, public speakers, musicians, directors, and artists of every variety. Use it for yourself or turn it into a fantastic gift.

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    Pledge $1,001 or more About $1,001

    You want to COMMIT with us.
    Be a part of the selection team for our 2016/17 season from beginning to end. Read the plays that we read, discuss ideas for original works and adaptations, join the conversations, and help make decisions.

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    Pledge $1,501 or more About $1,501

    Do something AMAZING with us.
    Be a part of our season of performances. Pick your favorite play* and the Available Light company will perform a reading in your home (or in your corporate setting, school, gallery, loft, warehouse, studio, etc….)

    *If you'd like, we'll be happy to help you choose a play. A reading of poetry or from a book would also be a lot of fun.

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    Pledge $2,502 or more About $2,502

    Do something AMAZING with us. You will be an honorary member of the Available Light production team during the creation of the Columbus project.

    You will OBSERVE:
    - watch auditions
    - sit-in on rehearsals
    - attend production meetings
    - listen to interviews

    You will PARTICIPATE:
    - be an Assistant Director for a day
    - view the show from the stage management position backstage or in the booth
    - train in Viewpoints/Suzuki with the actors
    - hang-out with the cast on opening night

    (These are just a few examples of the kinds of interaction available. Actual participation will depend on your schedule and ours, of course.)

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

    Do something AMAZING with us.
    Choose one of the following:

    - Artistic Director Matt Slaybaugh will perform "The Absurdity of Writing Poetry" in your home (or in your corporate setting, school, gallery, loft, warehouse, studio, etc….)

    or

    - Artistic Director Eleni Papaleonardos will perform "Stop Sign Language" in your home (or in your corporate setting, school, gallery, loft, warehouse, studio, etc….)

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Funding period

- (35 days)