The world premiere of Alloment Annie by Mark Mason, opening January 5th at Strawdog Theatre.
1944: In wartime, sometimes you have to kill to keep love alive.
What starts as a harebrained war profiteering scheme by a dashing Army Air Force pilot and a beautiful bartender turns into sex, betrayal and murder, and bodies start to fall in more ways than one during the most violent year of the twentieth century.
$5,000 is what we’re after, and here’s how we’ll use it:
We’re infusing swing dance, and take it from us, swingin’ ain’t easy.
We hired a choreographer to teach us to jump, jive and wail.
We’ve got period costumes. We’ve got radio. And we’ve got some darn talented actors.
Oh, and this: a fantastic brand new play by Chicago playwright Mark Mason, at Strawdog Theatre.
Never been seen before.
On top of that, if we reach $5K? All veterans and active military see the show for FREE. Any performance, any time.
Let’s make it happen.
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
There are always risks and challenges associated with being a "storefront" theatre company in Chicago:
1) We are itinerant - Since we match the venue to the individual plays we produce, we have performed at a number locations around Chicago. This creates a unique challenge, since our audiences are being asked to follow us from place to place. We overcome that challenge by partnering with the performance venue as well as surrounding establishments (restaurants, shops) to promote our show through cross-promotional and marketing efforts that create a "temporary home" in that neighborhood to successfully reach out to audiences in the area and beyond.
2) We have a limited budget and a lot of theatrical elements in the show - Allotment Annie has swing dancing, 1940's style radio, and some intense drama. Since we "infuse" other elements on stage (in this case swing dancing), making sure the production quality is always at a high level can be challenging and every show is a risk in that regard. We answer than challenge by bringing in pedigree performers, designers, and choreographers that are known for working within a limited budget but can still produce great results artistically. We have a track record of success (8 previous shows) to our credit where we feel we've overcome this challenge.
3) Marketing is a challenge - We have been around since 2006, so we do have a built-in audience base. However, we are performing this show at a venue where we haven't previously produced (Strawdog Theatre). We are also asking potential audiences to take a chance on a world premiere - in other words, a play that has never been produced before, written by a young, up-and-coming playwright but not a household name. It is always risky to produce new work, and this is especially true with a playwright who is on the rise as well. We overcome this challenge through multiple marketing and promotional channels including social media campaigns, very targeted advertising (within the Lakeview/Wrigleyville neighborhood), and discounts and even free tickets that get folks in the door during the early stages of the production run. That way we can get that word of mouth going - the most important factor to the success of one of our shows.
4) A script in progress - We are producing a show for which the script is still being developed. We are simultaneously rehearsing the play as well as working with the playwright to make sure the script is everything it can and should be. This can be challenging and fairly risky because we have the expectation that the play will get to a certain place in terms of the script itself, but it's a leap of faith we took when we rehearsals began on this project. We have addressed this challenge with terrific personnel, including a Director, Production Dramaturg, and the InFusion Artistic Director, all working closely with the playwright to help him take his show to the next level.
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