The Play's the Thing
Poor Yorick’s Players started with a dream in 2006: to bring free Shakespeare in the Park to the Monroeville and Pittsburgh regions. Since then, we've grown a great deal as an organization. We found a wonderful performance space, created a mascot, and gathered a fantastic troupe of actors. We continue to strive to improve ourselves as a company and a community of artists. So far, we've produced 19 Shakespearean shows and look forward to many more.
Our 2018 season is These Violent Delights. We will be presenting Shakespeare’s King Lear and Romeo & Juliet. Our current mission is to make this our best season yet for both artistry and attendance.
All the World's a Stage
This season, we will celebrate 11 years at our performance space, the Tall Trees Amphitheater. The audience sits on a large, gently sloping hill facing the Amphitheater. Nearby, the audience has access to a concession stand and restrooms. Built in 2008, the Amphitheater is equipped with lights, sound, and backstage dressing rooms. It really is, as one audience member called it, “the best outdoor theater in Pennsylvania.” But unfortunately, a stage alone is not enough.
The Apparel oft Proclaims the Man
Costuming up to 20 actors is a challenging task. We’ve built a pretty good costume shop but would still like to make improvements. Outdoor performance is tough on our costumes!
Within this Wooden O
Some theater companies can build their sets on-site and work with them throughout rehearsals. However, our stage is in the middle of a fully functioning community park with bands occupying the space every other Sunday. That means most of our set pieces are built off-site and have to be moved to the park just a few days before the show opens. Have you ever tried to fit a full theater set into a Toyota Prius? We have, and it doesn’t work. Usually this means we have to rent a moving truck. And when the show is over? That’s right, we have to move it all out again. This is just a small example of the challenges of outdoor theater.
Princes to Act
In addition, we continue to pay our actors a small stipend because acting in a show costs money. They need to travel to Monroeville for rehearsals. Often, they’re grabbing some food as they rush from work to an evening rehearsal. And many times, they rearrange their work schedules for dress rehearsals or show dates, so, we would like to help them out to defray some of these costs. We want to show our actors how much we value their time and commitment to Poor Yorick’s Players.
Sound and Fury
Our 2018 season is full of conflict and suspense. Being Shakespeare, there's a good chance that swordplay will result. In order to keep our stage combat as safe as it is exciting, we have to rent proper stage weapons and hire experienced choreographers to plan the onstage action. The pen may be mightier than the sword, but Mercutio's not going to fight Tybalt with a pen!
Quips and Sentences
We’re also constantly looking for ways to let our community know that we are performing. We get some publicity from the park and social media, and the local paper has featured us in many articles, but we still hope to increase our audiences through advertising.
Thereby Hangs a Tale
These are just the tip of the iceberg. We also have to cover printing costs, props, park rental, lighting gels, microphones, and purchase concessions.
Give us your Hands
We would appreciate any help that you can give us in spreading the word about our campaign to bring free Shakespeare in the Park to our region. Please share this with your friends!
Thanks and Ever Thanks
We love our community. They come early to get the best spot in the park, donate generously to our shows, and show up enthusiastically, rain or shine.
We've always believed that bringing free theater to our neighborhood has an impact. Educational groups have populated our audience, including English as a Second Language groups with no budget to expose their students to the arts. Also, more and more people have discovered us and told their friends that there is quality theater in the park… “and it’s FREE!” Most importantly, we hear from families that are having some difficulty in our current economic times to just get out of the house and have an evening of entertainment.
In the past 11 years, we have been proud to meet the needs of all of these groups as well as to enrich the culture of our neighborhood.
Also, in return for your generous donations, we’ve set up some rewards as a token of our gratitude. Check out the list to the right.
Risks and challenges
In short, free Shakespeare can cost a lot of money. We've raised most of what we need for our 20178season, but we need one final push to get to our goal this year.
This is where you come in.
Because all of our shows are free to the public, our company exists entirely on donations, concessions, and grants. While we would love to believe the Theater Fairy would make all of our thespian dreams come true, as it turns out, we need less fairy-dust and more cash. Your donation will help us reach the next level of quality performance.
Over the years, we've overcome every obstacle you might imagine, and a few that nobody would expect. In addition to the normal work of putting together a show, we've also dealt with foul weather, falling trees, helicopter flyovers, crowded soccer tournaments, loud motorcycles, and neighborly kickboxers.
Now, 11+ years and 19 productions later, we proudly continue to bring free culture and entertainment to our region. We've developed great relationships throughout our community and look forward to many more years of free outdoor Shakespeare!
Please donate what you can to Poor Yorick’s Players.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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