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Black Rock City Repertory Theatre will be bringing Shakespeare's As You Like It and A Midsummer Night's Dream to Burning Man this year.
Black Rock City Repertory Theatre will be bringing Shakespeare's As You Like It and A Midsummer Night's Dream to Burning Man this year.
236 backers pledged $26,489 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$26,489

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Why?

Black Rock City is a city made for Burners by Burners. Quite possibly the most unique city on the face of the Earth. But it is also a city like many others in America and around the world. 

We have many of the same amenities: bars, dance clubs, restaurants, roller skating rinks, hospitals, a post office, churches and temples, childcare centers, bowling alleys, bathhouses, coffee shops, ice houses, massage parlors, BDSM clubs... the list is virtually endless. Plus, there are parades, protests, AA meetings, NA meetings, speed dating, pancake breakfasts, weddings, and more. If you can think it, you will find it in Black Rock City.

Yet there is something we feel is missing. Most cities, heck, even tiny little towns or villages, have a theatre of some kind in its community. And while Black Rock City has plenty of theatrical performances by fire dancers and poi spinners and live bands, there is no THEATRE

We have Disco Police charging into camps and arresting people for not being "funky" enough, cohorts of 50+ people dressed as cows staging a stampede through town, Trojans dragging their sacrificial horse out to the playa, and white parties at dawn. Plenty of theatricality, but still no honest-to-goodness THEATRE

Well, we have decided to remedy that.

We are creating Black Rock City Repertory Theatre, and our inaugural season will be two of Shakespeare's classics: "As You Like It" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream"

But this isn't your grandparents' Shakespeare. These plays are being fully Burn-ified, Playa-ified, and Funk-ified. We might as well change the names to "As You Burn It" and "A Midsummer Night's Burn".

The plays have been cut down to come in at just over an hour and the language has been adapted with minimum changes for maximum enjoyment. We will begin an hour before sunset each night, starting Sunday the 26th, by inviting anyone who cares to join us to hear the immortal words of The Bard, Mr. William "Dutch" Shakespeare, into our glorious theatre and into our hearts. 

Seriously, that was Shakespeare's nickname. Google it.

But not just Shakespeare. We're creating a multi-tiered environment for discourse, dialogue, and dancing. Since we're only using our stage during our performances, we'll be reaching out to other camps who are looking for a central location to have their own events. Yoga classes, guided meditations, Bitcoin lectures, magic shows. It all has a home that is (slightly) out of the sun, (slightly) out of the dust, and (totally) awesome.

And we've already been placed at A & 8:45! Right off the 9:00 Portal, just behind the Esplanade, and centrally located for everyone to get to easily!

Holy Shit, right?!?

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But how, you ask?

Like this, fool! We've designed a three-tiered pallet rack theatre, strong enough to withstand the elements, yet soft enough to hold your heart. With Playatech benches on the ground and second levels, plus ledge seating up top and space for cushions in front of the performance area, we'll be able to entertain 178 dusty souls for each performance.

That seems expensive...

Yes, it is!

Here's what this whole endeavor is going to cost:

$26,134.49!

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But is it safe? Will it fall down? Will I die?

Only from laughter! Ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!

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Risks and Challenges

Flakey McFlakerson Honestly, guaranteeing that the Burners we've already cast don't flake out is our biggest concern. You know what that's about. Yes, you. I'm talking to you. You're thinking of a specific Burner from your past; we'll call him "Jeremy". Jeremy brought too many clothes. He didn't bring enough water. He promised he'd show up to clean the dishes after the group meal on Wednesday, but he didn't even make it back to camp until Friday! Well, Jeremy is the lead in one of our plays. Shit. But we're counting on Jeremy's desire to give back to the city. To give back to his fellow Burners. To pre-give back to his fellow future Burners. Jeremy will be showing up on time for these shows. Thanks Jeremy, you're the best.    

Casting and Rehearsals A major part of any theatrical production is finding a cast and getting together in a timely fashion to properly rehearse the shows. We have found a wonderful group of experienced actors who also happen to be experienced Burners. (Including Jeremy, because he's learned from his past mistakes and is now a better person/Burner.)  

Making sure actors arrive at Burning Man on time You guys remember the rains in 2014? Waiting outside the gate for 26 hours? I sure do. If something like that happens... we're fucked. But outside of that, our truck that is transporting our theatre and arriving early will also be bringing up everyone's yurts and tents and non-perishable foods and bikes, thus making it infinitely more likely that everyone will be able to make their scheduled departure and arrival time.

Last Minute Life Happenings In the event one or two actors are not able to make the voyage at all to Black Rock City this year, we do have additional actors working on the plays in smaller roles that will be able to fill in the larger roles if need be. And the smaller roles could then be played by puppets. It's just that easy! 

But pretty much any hurdle that comes our way we have the experience to overcome. Collectively, we've been to Burning Man 47 times! 

We got this!

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Congratulations! You've made it to the end! Enjoy this little bit of magical creativity! 

(Check back tomorrow for more!)

Risks and challenges

What if we don't raise the money? Are we just going to put in the cash ourselves and do it anyway?

Hell no!

We're just going to take our usual trip to Burning Man and relax for a week of fun in the sun!

That's right, unless you give us money we're just going to be another group of Burners loitering around Center Camp with nothing to do.

Make us work! Make us rehearse for the next six weeks! Make us memorize a ton of funky cool words and phrases! This is the best practical joke you could ever play!

And one more thing:
The Man Burns in 31 Days.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 3 or more About US$ 3

    Moop!

    Help us clean up our fair city! Instead of just tossing those zip ties, bits of jewelry, and cigarette butts we see blowing through the streets, we'll be strategically looking for Found Art to give to you!

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    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    Postcard From the Playa!

    You'll receive a lovely postcard from one of our cast members telling you all about rehearsals, their new friends, the drive up to BRC, and how much they wish you were here!

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    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    Program From the Show!

    We'll send you an authentic, dust covered program from the show! It'll contain the list of actors and characters, summary of the acts and scenes, and may or may not include your name in a limerick! And it'll be signed by the cast!

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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    Your Own Piece of the Theatre!

    You paid for it, so you get to keep it! We'll send you a piece of our theatre, along with a note telling you exactly what that piece was for!

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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    Ashes of the Man!

    After the Man burns, and the ashes have settled, we'll gather him up and mail him to you!

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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    Ashes of the Temple!

    Once the sacred flames have subsided, we'll walk among the ruins and find a collection of ashes to send back to you!

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    Pledge US$ 200 or more About US$ 200

    Playa Bike!

    Remember the 5,000 bikes left behind last year? This year it'll only be 4,999! We'll send you a faux fur covered, heavily dusted, 100% authentic Burn Bike left behind by some moopy asshole!

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    Pledge US$ 300 or more About US$ 300

    Piece of the Man!

    After the Man has been torched, we'll dig through the refuse and find a genuine artifact from this year's Man for you to have!

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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    Piece of the Temple!

    Once the Temple has burned, we'll sift through the remains and select an authentic relic from this year's Temple for you to keep!

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    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    Temple Offering

    Ship us your offering before the Burn, and we'll personally deliver it to the Temple and take a photo of it with our hands on it passing along your blessings!

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Funding period

- (22 days)