About this project
Woo-hoo!! We made our main goal of $9,500! Now with 3 days left, will you help us reach our stretch goal of $10,500? This is closer to what we actually need to bring this show to life. All additional donations will be put to good use! Plus... we just added a NEW reward... a limited edition print of a rare Jim Neu drawing for $50!
We are raising $9,500 to produce an evening-length play called THE FLOATONES, written by legendary avant-garde playwright Jim Neu. The play originally premiered at New York's La MaMa Club Theater in 1995. On its 20th anniversary, the 2015 remount stars a stellar cast of renowned downtown performers and will take place in the very same theater where it premiered. The co-directors are Catherine Galasso, a dancer and choreographer who grew up watching Neu's plays, and Keith McDermott, an actor and director and an original 1995 Floatones cast member.
THE BACK STORY
Keith and Catherine met a few years ago at a party. Keith had directed Jim Neu’s plays for fifteen years; Catherine’s parents were friends and early collaborator’s of Jim’s, and she’d grown up seeing his work. They both spoke of how much they missed the zany, humorous intelligence of the plays and soon after decided to work on a scene from one of Jim’s plays for a mutual friend’s performance festival. Their presentation went well, and soon they were discussing working together again, this time as co-directors, on another Jim Neu project. THE FLOATONES, a piece about four members of a self-help singing group was one of Jim’s most beloved works. Keith had been in the original production in 1995 and Catherine immediately saw immense possibilities for dance and movement in the piece. It was the natural choice.
In THE FLOATONES, four people form a vocal quartet / encounter support group that sings about living “content free” as they attempt to get over their “meaning dependency.” On the cutting edge between entertainment and self-help, they inspire each other with idiosyncratic gestures and atonal harmonies.
THE FLOATONES 2015
In March of 2014, an excerpted remount of THE FLOATONES was presented as a work-in-progress at Dixon Place to an enthusiastic, sold-out audience. The multi-disciplined performers then, and now, are Jess Barbagallo, Joshua William Gelb, Larissa Velez-Jackson and Greg Zuccolo, each of them well-known in the world of experimental dance and theater. When Catherine and Keith approached La MaMa about hosting THE FLOATONES, they heartily agreed: not only was this a great play by a great playwright, it was the 20th anniversary of the work at the theater in which it was first performed. THE FLOATONES will run for two weekends with a total of six shows, May 1st running through May 10th, 2015. This will be the first production of a Jim Neu play since his death in 2010. Click here to buy tickets.
We are not only directing THE FLOATONES, but also producing. We will pay a tech crew, a publicist, and most important of all: the performers. We need your help. With your sorely needed donations Keith and Catherine won't go into dangerous debt. By making the (carefully considered) financial goal set in this kickstarter, we can present a work of Jim Neu’s for the fans that are hungry to hear his singular voice on the stage once again, for a new generation of people who have never seen a Jim Neu play, and for Jim himself. We want to deliver a production that will make him - and you - proud.
and come to the show.
All reward titles and aphorisms come directly from THE FLOATONES or other Jim Neu plays.
***NEW NEU REWARD*** limited edition print of a rare Jim Neu drawing for $50. "I want to make sure you get it" from a page of Jim's journal from 1979-1980.
"post verbal" button - $25
magnet with Jim Neu quote - $50
handkerchief with Jim Neu quote - $75
PRAISE FOR JIM NEU:
“Neu's talent is that he faces these heady issues with a light touch, a raised eyebrow, and a Puckish wit; few playwrights can carry off such breezy intellectualism.” – Robert Simonson, Village Voice (2008)
"[Jim Neu’s] “Gang of Seven” rewards repeat viewing--once is not enough to savor the abundant verbal pirouettes.... By the end you may not have retained all of the play’s notions, but your brain will be abuzz with them." - Andy Webster, New York Times (2008)
“To enter the world of Jim Neu is to leave behind any sense of propriety, rationality, or the hackneyed. In other words, get ready for a rousing good time.” - New York Theatre Wire (1997)
THE FLOATONES is being developed with support from La MaMa and Dixon Place, as well as from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's Extended Life Dance Development program made possible in part by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. LMCC.net
THE FLOATONES campaign video was recorded at LMCC’s Studios in the Arts Center at Governors Island. LMCC.net
Special thanks to our 2014 supporters Michael Berman, Carol Mullins, and Edmund White.
Catherine Galasso creates cross-disciplinary dance works frequently inspired by idiosyncratic characters. Her works have been performed at places like the San Francisco MoMA, Harvard University’s Carpenter Center, the Museum of Contemporary Arts in Santa Barbara, Joyce SoHo, Danspace Project, Dixon Place, BAX, and the International Theater Festival in Pristina, Kosovo. Her most recent work, Bring On The Lumière! was nominated for an Isadora Duncan Dance Award. Residencies include LMCC Swing Space, Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center, Headlands Center for the Arts, ODC Theater San Francisco, Atlantic Center for the Arts and Chez Bushwick. Catherine attended art high school in Venice Italy, and holds a BA in Film from Cornell University. She is a participant in Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's Extended Life Dance Development program made possible in part by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. www.catherinegalasso.org
Keith McDermott began his professional career at the Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Connecticut. On Broadway, he starred opposite Richard Burton in Equus, played Harold in Harold and Maude and Tom in the Christopher Isherwood play Meeting by the River. Off Broadway, he has worked at Playwrights Horizons, Manhattan Theatre Club and The Roundabout. He has worked in New York, Europe, Russia and Japan with the avant-garde director, Robert Wilson. For fifteen years, he has directed the plays of Jim Neu, most of them at La Mama, Etc. Mr. McDermott is also a writer. His novel, Acqua Calda, was shortlisted for a Lambda Award and a Gay & Lesbian National Book Award. An article on his Equus experience, The Boy In Burton’s Shadow, has been optioned for film.
Jim Neu has written over 25 plays which have been presented at Dixon Place, PS122, Danspace Project, Soho Rep, Westbeth Theater Center, often at La MaMa and also in various cities here and abroad. He has collaborated with choreographers such as Douglas Dunn, Yoshiko Chuma, David Woodberry, Cathy Weis and Charles Moulton and wrote screen plays for Andy Horn’s films, DOOMED LOVE and THE BIG BLUE.
Risks and challenges
The theater is booked, the press release has gone out, and we’re mid-way through rehearsals. Whatever challenges arise, the show MUST go on.
The most immediate challenge we face once this project is successfully funded, is to get people to the shows (May 1-10, 2015, at La MaMa’s The Club in NYC.) After all, the point is not only to bring THE FLOATONES back to life, but to introduce them, and Neu’s work, to a new audience. We want to fill the house with a new generation of theater enthusiasts and this project and campaign are an investment in reaching them.
Our biggest assets are the work itself, and the substantial fan base that already exists around it. The realization of THE FLOATONES 2015 is not meant as a final destination, but a stepping stone towards building renewed interest in Neu’s vision and legacy. The challenge will be to keep that interest alive and growing for years to come. We’ll do our best to keep it going, and hope that you, our supporters and backers, will feel inspired to join us.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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