WHAT IS WRECKING BALL ABOUT?
Wrecking Ball, is a new, fast paced, 25 song musical about Makon, a deep rooted community which joins forces and fights back to prevent from losing their property to eminent domain. But, who will win this battle? Will it be City leaders who are determined to demolish Makon's history and their homes or will it be the people?
WHY DO WE WANT TO TELL THIS STORY?
The number of neighborhoods impacted by eminent domain and gentrification are increasing. What happens to the people and the place they call home? You see, a community is so much more than residential structures lined along a street. In Wrecking Ball, we share the true essence of community where -
- people sit on the stoop and have conversation
- children actually play outside
- elders are respected and loved
- block parties and fish frys are a monthly celebration
- kids are cared for and raised by all
In today's society, we are moving so fast, it seems we've forgotten what community can be. It is our hope that people attending the show will not only learn about eminent domain but return to their community, get to know their neighbors and be a catalyst for positive change.
DO WE HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO LAUNCH A MUSICAL OF THIS MAGNITUDE?
Absolutely! We have a Broadway and Grammy winning team on this project. Our creative team has worked with Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Andre 3000, Broadway legends Bob Fosse, Kenny Leon, Chapman Roberts, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee and more.
Production Adviser, Mabel Robinson is a multi-talented professional in the international spheres of directing, choreography, and playwriting. She graduated from The Julliard School of Music and has danced with numerous renowned professional companies including Alvin Alley, Martha Graham, Talley Beatty and Louis Johnson. She has appeared on Broadway in box office hits including, Golden Boy, Murderous Angels, Don’t Bother Me I Can’t Cope, Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha, Your Arms Too Short To Box With God, and performed on various television shows both nationally and internationally. Her movie credits include Cotton Comes To Harlem, Stand Up and Be Counted, Funny Lady and The Wiz. Ms. Robinson's recent directorial credits include co-directing The Gospel According To Broadway with the renowned Chapman Roberts. She also authored many works including The Glory of Gospel, which toured Europe for three years. Ms. Robinson is an active member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC), Actors Equity (AEA), and Screen Actors Guild (SAG). She is also the former Artistic Director of The North Carolina Black Repertory Company (NCBRC) the producer of The National Black Theatre Festival.
- Taneka M. Bennett is the creator, composer, lyricist, librettist and arranger for Wrecking Ball. She’s a classically trained violist, actor and vocalist. She has written several works including Mental, which debuted before sold out audiences and was noted by the Times News as a production worthy of Broadway. She has opened for James Earl Jones, Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis, Dr. Maya Angelou, and recently co-wrote the underscore for a project featuring actors Allen Payne, Mo’Nique and singer, Angela Winbush. She also shadowed Tony Nominee, Broadway Director and Choreographer, Jeff Calhoun during the relaunch of the Broadway Series touring production of Dolly Parton’s musical, “9-5.” As a performer, she spent most of her career in musical theater developing characters of new works. Her most memorable experiences include touring with Sunbelt Theater Company in Billy I Love the Music Business, a show about Billy Eckstein and the turning point of bebop, jazz and blues and Touring with North Carolina Touring Theater Company in the Life and Times of Fannie Lou Hamer.
Director, Hilda Willis, has directed in many of the well-known theaters in Atlanta, California and New York. They include, The August Wilson Theatre, The Beacon, Madison Square Garden, The Apollo, The National Black Theatre, The Mint, The Trilogy, Billie Holiday Theatre, Lime Kiln, Mill Mountain Theatre, North Carolina Black Rep and NBTF, 7 Stages, Jomandi, Kenny Leon's True Colors Theatre Company and The Great Bay Plaza (Antilles). She has produced projects within every domain of entertainment and has toured across the US and Aboard. Hilda produced the Atlanta Premier of Mad At Miles: A Black Woman’s Guide to Truth, written by Pearl Cleage, at 7 Stages Theatre, Career Coach, Director and Lighting design for India Arie for over a decade. Tour Manager and Director for Idan Raichel and India Arie's "Open Door Concert," The Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center, Israel. Other highlighted directorial credits include: August Wilson Montage, eight consecutive years, at the August Wilson Theatre, The People Of Clarendon County Celebrity Reading, Producing Director For The Ossie Davis Endowment for Education New York/Chicago/Atlanta.
Choreographer, Bryant Baldwin has performed in numerous theatrical and film productions and has worked on Broadway and in concert arenas. Broadway credits include Duke Ellington's musical Queenie Pie and Sophisticated Ladies. He was also casted by BoB Fosse in the musical, Big Deal . After being spotted on Broadway by a company in Japan, he began traveling to Tokyo and beyond teaching, choreographing, doing commercials and working with some of Japan's hottest talent. He also worked with Micheal Jackson, "Bad" Video, Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody"; Gloria Estefan "Into the Light World Tour"; Janet Jackson's "Janet" world tour.
- Vocal Director Elvira O. Green was formerly with the Metropolitan Opera for eighteen years. Ms. Green has spent more than forty years on the worldwide operatic, concert and musical theatre stages; San Francisco Opera, Teatro dell'opera di Roma, The Netherlands Opera in Amsterdam, Holland, Washington Opera's Spoleto Festival in Melbourne, Australia, Metropolitan Opera on tour in Japan, International and European Tour of George Gershwin's masterpiece Porgy and Bess and a return engagement to Sydney, Australia for eight months in Hal Prince's Broadway production of Show Boat. World premieres with lead, featured or supporting roles: Civil Wars, by Philip Glass; Sojourner, by Valerie Capers; The Outcast by Noa Ains and Incident at San Bajo by Patrick Byers. She is also a renowned and sought after vocal coach.
- Playground Studios assisted with the recording of the Wrecking Ball soundtrack. We are grateful for support from studio owner, Chaka Harley and Marion “Mouse” Wiggins and Grammy winning bass player for Cameo, Aaron Mills; piano player, Darrius ”D. Nice” Burruss and the late, Loren Mason.
WHERE ARE WE IN OUR PROCESS?
- A sneak peek staged reading was to a full house of over 300 people on March 22, 2018. The presentation received rave reviews
- Casting was held in multiple markets and we have exceptional talent contracted for the show
- The venue is booked; previews open on September 27, 2018 and we close on October 7, 2018 in Burlington NC at the Paramount Theater
- In 2017 the music was reviewed before a focus group of musical theater enthusiasts. Responses were overwhelmingly positive.
- Musical arrangements (vocals, piano, strings, horns, bass, organ, drums) and reference recordings are complete for all 25 songs
- We start rehearsals in mid-August
WHAT DO WE NEED FUNDING FOR?
A great deal of funding has already gone into executing this project but we could use your help. Here's what $30,000 will pay for:
- Compensating our creative team and performers (we believe in paying creatives) No one is asked to work for free on this project.
- Set design
- Lighting design
- Costume design
- Sound design
- Music director
- Venue rental
- Rehearsal space
- Administrative expenses
- Insurance :)
Here's what our ideal goal of $50,000 will pay for:
- All of the above plus bonuses for creative team and actors
- Flexibility to be more creative with all of the above
- Festival submission fees
- A professional video recording of the production
- Lodging/travel stipend for company members who have a lengthy commute
Kickstarter is an all or nothing platform. If we don't reach our funding goal, we will not receive any funds. Your support is greatly appreciated.
OUR LIMITED EDITION REWARDS
You can earn anything from a limited edition, signed Wrecking Ball t-shirt to making a guest appearance on stage during the reprise of the closing number. However, honestly - I don't think any gift could truly express how grateful we would be to you for your support.
Thank you for taking time to check out Wrecking Ball, the people verse eminent domain musical. We hope you will be part of our journey and help us to bring this powerful message about community and eminent domain to the world.
Risks and challenges
There are several risks involved with launching a new musical. However, given the expertise of our creative team we are well prepared and confident we will overcome any obstacle that comes our way.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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