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An original play mixing the old and the new: the Tragedy of Aristophanes the Comedian, set in a supernatural Athens, here and now.
44 backers pledged $5,601 to help bring this project to life.

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$5,601

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WE MADE IT!!!!!  STRETCH GOALS:

Thanks to your incredible support, we've reached our original goal with three days to go! Crossing the 5k threshold allows us to ensure our artists are compensated for their work, our space secured, and our design viable.  You've given us the chance to make a dream come true, to share a story we deeply believe in, and we couldn't be more grateful, or humbled by your generosity.  

Of course, making art is expensive, an original theater piece (with 11 actors) almost absurd.  As a direct result of the incredible response here on Kickstarter, we've set our sights a little higher, both to honor the gifts we've already received and to push ourselves to make the finest piece of art we can before we share it with you all, with better sets, costumes, lights, and sound.  

With 72 hours to go, we've had an idea, something we hope you'll enjoy as much we do:

GREEK ART ROULETTE:   

Join us in our last 3 days, at a giving level of $40 or more, and receive all the reward levels offered at the $50 level, plus the chance to commission your own Maia Mazaurette sketch! 

Here's how it works: you send us an idea of a Greek image you'd like to see--anything you like, from Theseus playing ping-pong to the Minotaur starring on Redtube.  We'll drop the ideas in a hat, Maia will draw six of them, and if you made it out of the lottery, you'll have the darkest imaginings of your fevered brain brought to life!  You'll receive a PDF of the procreate file, and see your fantasy (or nightmare) brought to life on Instagram.  


We've had a blast mixing old and new, ancient and modern, myth and fact, tasteful and tasteless.  Care to join us?  





A Brand New Ancient Play, coming to NY in the summer of 2019

"A work of such lyric beauty, such prescient wisdom, such clarity of vision and such contemporary resonance that I’m going to rave about it. This isn’t just a good first play. It’s a good play, period."          ---Twincities.com

THE COMEDIAN'S TRAGEDY is coming to the Access Theater, 380 Broadway, NY, NY, from June 20th-July 7th of 2019.  It's a dark supernatural love story filled with high ideas and low comedy, heartbreaking violence and dark sex appeal, with a dash of gods and monsters thrown in for luck, featuring 12 actors with Broadway, Off-Broadway, Regional, and International experience.   If you love Mary Renault, Neil Gaiman, or Shakespeare, we've got the ticket for you.  After putting together a dream team to bring this story to our audience, we're now humbly, gratefully, asking for your help.     

Joining together some of the finest actors (including Matthew Amendt, winner of the Emery Battis Award for Acting for HENRY IV and best production 2018 for HAMLET, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette), designers (Isabelle Fields, NYU grad, Innovative Theatre Award) and one bad ass director (Bill McCallum, star of WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF alongside Patrick Stewart and Mercedes Ruehl) from America's Classical Theater, we're about to tell a new story, from a strange, frightening, dangerous corner of history.   

In the last few years as actors, we've had the unbelievable good luck to work alongside some of the greatest artists of our time, people like Mark Rylance, Angela Bassett, Stacy Keach, Courtney B. Vance, Sterling Brown, Ian McKellen, Janet McTeer, Patrick Stewart, John Douglas Thompson, and many more, on Broadway and Off, with theaters like TFANA, Roundabout, Red Bull, the Guthrie, The Shakespeare Theater, The Donmar Warehouse, La Jolla Playhouse, the Pittsburgh Public, and the Gaiety in Dublin.  We've played in HAMLET and HENRY V, INTIMATE APPAREL, THREE SISTERS, LES LIAISONS DANGEREUSE, BERNHARDT/HAMLET, WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? and dozens more in spaces large and small.  That work, and those chats, always seemed to come back to the same topic, when guards dropped:  Is this thing we love dying?  Why is so much of it so boring?  Is there was a way to take the passion, the violence, the sex, the love, the fury of great plays that we feel when we work on them, but seems stuck behind the footlights, and bring it screaming into the present, on our terms? 

What's a Classic Play?  Is it simply something old? 

Something fetishized and controlled?  

Or is it a way of thinking?  Something wild that calls from the past, on into the future

Could it be something brand new? 

The great gift of a good play is that it lets you know you're not alone; the treasure of an old play, a found play, is that it lets you know you're not alone across time.  When we come together in an auditorium and settle in for a story, we share in that knowledge and leave with a faith that we can, and will, do better.  There's nothing like seeing a great story through time.  It rocks you to your core, breaks you, then makes you feel safe, held above the flood and proud to be human, all in the same moment.  We don't think the theater is dying for a second.  We do think we have work to do to make sure it means what it could.  

With that in mind, we set out to create a play that would be everything we love, everything that moves us when the lights go down: laughter, tears, sex, danger, catharsis, with none of the baggage-- no togas, no bendy swords, no cargo pants or vaguely "war torn European" settings, no Victorian ball gowns and (dear God!) no ottomans.  Stories need to be told where they are, when they are, and that place and time is always here/now.  We wanted to strip the theater back to its bones and build a new flesh, something bloody and pumping and yearning, that shocks and delights its audience in equal measure. 

To do that, we looked hard and long for inspiration and found it in Ancient Athens, where a lot of folks would say we all came from, figuratively, during her darkest hour.  When the greatest city of her age fell, she fell hard, trapped in endless war, decimated by plague, pillaged by unscrupulous politicians, pimps, and propagandists.  With all hope lost (long ago and far away), a young man named Aristophanes set out to write stories that would slap his audience awake and make them pay attention, make them remember they were...better.  It didn't work.  But how he failed, and why, is the making of great Tragedy, and a very contemporary one.  To be honest, we wish the play weren't as relevant as it is, and that we didn't believe we might need Aris now more than ever.  For better or worse, we do.  And that means we need your help to bring THE COMEDIAN'S TRAGEDY to life.       

We're a company of 15 artists, working thanks to the Actor's Equity Showcase code.  It gives us the flexibility to create a piece of work on our terms, purely because we believe it could mean something to our audience, without the myriad complications of trying to convince an institution to take a chance on a huge new play (something they simply can't afford).  We're close to our budget of $40,000, with rehearsals just beginning.  All donations go directly to helping bring to life our dangerous, twisted story, supporting our creators, and making a piece of art that reminds us, like Aristophanes tried to do, that we are more.  We're putting everything we have into building something that will leave you blushing, giggling, gasping, and hopefully coming back to see what you missed the first time. 

We promise you've never seen anything like this. 

Risks and challenges

THE COMEDIAN'S TRAGEDY is a "big" play, employing 15 artists at the prime of their careers, and that requires an enormous amount of financial resources. Our goal is to raise $40,000.00 total, with $30,000.00 already secured. It's not easy, or cheap, to create big, sweeping stories; that's why we don't see them much on stage and why no institution can take a risk on a huge new play. We believe they're important, that they have something to offer, and that's why we've come to kickstarter. Every dollar we raise (or don't) has a direct impact on our creators and their ability to do their work. The success or failure of this project depends on getting the money we can raise into the hands of the people who need it.

Once we meet our goals, the real challenge begins: finding our audience. We've got about 1,000 tickets to sell for the limited run, and using social media, traditional and online news outlets, personal networks, and appealing to institutions for help reaching theater fans will be vital. The more money we raise now, the easier that all becomes.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    Website thank you

    We'll feature your name on our website celebrating the community of people who've helped bring our version of a dark and dangerous Athens, to life.

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    Access to Rehearsal V-blogs

    Get In-Depth access to the artists bringing Ancient Athens back to life with weekly private video blogs detailing the successes and challenges of our rehearsal process. Interviews with cast members, designers, our writer and director. Join us inside the rehearsal room as we problem solve, share inspiration, make breakthroughs, and drink a lot of coffee.

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    Personal "Thank You" on social media

    We're so grateful for all of our supporters, and we'd love to thank you personally on social media as showtime approaches

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    5 x 7 Print of Signed Poster Art

    Acclaimed French writer/illustrator Maia Mazaurette (love/sex columnist for Le Monde, GQ, and author/illustrator of more than a dozen novels and comics) has joined the team to help define the visual world making up THE COMEDIAN'S TRAGEDY. Fresh from a showing in Athens herself, and about to be exhibited in Switzerland, get your hands on a signed 5 x 7 Mazaurette print of the gorgeous poster art she's created.

    + V-Blog Access
    + Personal Thank you on Social Media

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    Signed 18 x 24 Cast Poster

    A full size 18 x 24 Poster, signed by the cast and creative team, personalized, with gratitude.

    + 2 Opening Night Tickets
    + V-Blog Access
    + Personal Thank you on Social Media

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    2 Opening Night Tickets

    Join us at The Access Theater for the first public performance of the New York Premiere of THE COMEDIAN'S TRAGEDY-- be the first to see our work, and raise a glass with the company to celebrate the thrilling new Classical theater we've created together.

    + 5 x 7 Signed Print
    + V-Blog Access
    + Personal Thank you on Social Media

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

    Personalized Copy of Aristophanes' plays

    Read the words that inspired our playwright, from the pen of Aristophanes himself. Personalized by our author, see for yourself the genius of high and low comedy, passion and violence that was the Greek Theater.

    + 2 Opening Night Tickets
    + Signed 18 x 24 Cast Poster
    + V-Blog Access
    + Personal Thank you on Social Media

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    Full Producer

    This is the big one! To the angels out there making it possible to bring the story we believe in to the world, we'd love to truly say "thanks". Our playwright will take you to dinner (our tab!) to talk about all things Athens, and present you with a personalized collection of the books that inspired our work. From Mary Renault to Thucydides to Aristophanes himself, dive in to the dark, sexy, thrilling world that dominates so much of history.

    + 2 Opening Night Tickets
    + Signed 18 x 24 Cast Poster
    + V-Blog Access
    + Personal Thank you on Social Media

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Funding period

- (28 days)