A note from Chris:
A song that’s inspired this entire production:
A donor sent me some great questions that I think the rest of us can benefit from.
I certainly am better for having answered them. I hope they don’t mind my using their message, but until I have his consent I won’t tell you who it was, only that he or she is currently the teacher’s pet.
Non-essential info has been redacted.
Beloved Donor: Apr 29, 2014
Looking forward to the show. I am checking with the artist in Fort Worth that did the Shakespeare in the Park posters in the 80′s to see if you could use one of them for advertising if you want. I wonder if you should do more marketing and PR about the actual show. What makes it Redneck Shakespeare? Is it a different version ? Remind us of the story line. What is the preshow entertainment you mentioned? Are you selling cokes and refreshments? Is there an intermission? Who are the actors in the play? What is their experience? What time does it start? How long does it last? What is the postshow activity you are invited to at certain level of support? How is the funding used? Props, lighting, costumes? Also, are you looking for corporate sponsors from Temple that want to support the arts? Put names and logo in the program. I would give program to everyone.. not those that pay. The sponsors should be listed and will want to get their name in front of as many people as possible for their funds. May also want to make banner with logos of any major sponsors that can be seen at the entrance area.. Many companies have a budget for local support but they need to know what it is they are supporting and what recognition their dollars will bring them in the way of community PR.
PS: Do you all have food trucks in Temple. You might want to see if you can get a couple of them there.
Dear Beloved Donor,
First, thank you for your donation.
Your support on this project means more to me than you can possibly know and your counsel on these matters is valuable to me.
That said, there are certain aspects of this project that have been deliberately withheld for dramatic effect. There are also other parts that are quite simply not finished, or are non-negotiable. Most of the things you’ve highlighted are either not finished or have been withheld for a reason. I’ll go in reverse order because it’s easier to keep track of.
First, no, we do not have food trucks. I am in talks with several local vendors in order to do beer and burgers before-hand, but I am not comfortable releasing the name of the business we will be working with until the paperwork has gone through.
Secondly, the program is a bit of a complicated issue that I do not take lightly. I am willing to pursue corporate sponsorship for the show, but I will not sell ads in the program or on the space. This is not a sporting event, and my program is not a stock car. If anyone, be it a business or an individual, would like to invest in our play I want it to be for the community benefit, not the ad-space.
Also, the fact that there’s no storage or backstage at the space means that we must move in and out of the space each night. Therefore, we must minimize our setup and our cleanup time. So, quite simply, the less programs I have to print, the less work I have to pay people to do. The more programs you print, the more it costs to print them and clean them up and the more ads they have the bigger they get and the bigger they get the more cumbersome they are. As these ads have no quantifiable return, I consider printing programs for everyone with ads in them a bad investment for me, and a waste of money (and trees) for everyone, not to mention a safety hazard for actors running around the space if they are left on the ground.
Which brings me to my approach to my program. It will be a piece of art with full photo spreads and bios on every artist. It will have dramaturgical information, and all sorts of goodies that make it worth keeping. It will truly be a commemorative item that is worthy of the paper on which it’s printed.
And, since we live in the digital age, most people will just skip all this and pull up the spread on their smartphone anyway.
And that’s pretty cool.
The graphic design for the project is still underway, and we will be doing more PR through a street-team approach when that’s all done. The actors and technical crew will be announced one at a time on my website as they arrive in Temple.
Announcing the cast slowly will maintain suspense which gives me something to write about on my blog.
The pre-show starts at 6pm and the show starts at 7pm both nights and lasts an hour and a half with NO INTERMISSION.
I have adapted the script, but it has only been rearranged. No lines have been added or removed, they are just in a considerably different order. My version of the script will be available in a limited capacity on opening night, but until then I can’t say much more about it so as not to show my hand.
As far as what makes it “Redneck Shakespeare” goes, that was my working title for the script when I started working on it, and so when I went to start the crowd-funding campaign that just seemed like a logical and catchy name. Since then it has developed into a directorial concept, and hopefully even a style. We have a very short and low-budget rehearsal process by comparison to most shows. So, the quick and dirty nature of this process in combination with the design reflecting a fictional rural Texas community, and having a folk band for the house band, juxtaposed with a classical English work is a vivid image that we feel is best captured by that name.
The props/lights/costumes will mostly be borrowed from various locations within the community, but since this production is so low-budget, the tech concepts have been toned down to suit the space’s and company’s capabilities. We are using natural light for a good chunk of the show, and the costumes/props will largely sourced from personal collections.
Most of the money from this kickstarter campaign will go directly to the rewards mentioned (ie: buying the opera glasses, food for the post-show dinners, printing the programs etc…) We feel these things enhance the viewers experience, but are not utterly necessary, so funding in this way gives each member of the audience the ability to negotiate the performance on his or her own terms.
Jordan Valentin and her band are doing the music for the show. She will release that info publicly in the manner which she deems fit, but her involvement has been consistent from the beginning and is no secret. Her band will entertain us pre-show with our brews and burgers.
You can check out her website at www.jordanvalentin.com .
The post-show dinner for donors is just something to invite higher-level donors into our process. As most of the cast doesn’t live in Temple, we will be eating, and working together through most of this process. One of the coolest places to watch us work is over dinner because it captures our ability to multitask as artists possibly better than any other forum. We are a diversely talented body of artists, and that post-show dinner will just be a chance for you to come over after the show and hang out with the crew. Think of it like a talk-back with food.
The menu for the post-show dinners has yet to be decided, but when it is our donors on that level will be the first to receive it.
All these updates will be on my website www.MASTEROFREVELS.com and on the project update page, so be sure to stay tuned as we discover this play together.
And please try not to read ahead.
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