Giving to an Indiegogo campaign

FbTC 1st Ever Production Indiegogo Campaign

As you likely know by now, I am in the middle of an Indiegogo campaign for Flashback Theater Co.’s 1st ever production! There have been a few questions about giving so I thought I’d take a few minutes to share a little more about how the campaign works. As always, though – if you have other questions please let me know! Comment, email or post to FbTC’s Facebook page – I will get back to you as quickly as I can.

Ways to give

There are two options to give your chosen amount. You can pick a “perk” which is a set amount and will get you some special access to behind-the-scenes content about the production. During the checkout process, you will have the option to add an additional amount to your perk amount so if you want to give a specific amount, you can pick a perk lower than that and add on the difference.  Alternatively, you can click the “Contribute Now” button and choose the amount you would like to give without receiving any perks.

Does sharing on Facebook or Twitter really help?

YES! It is especially important for you to share after you’ve contributed so that the people you share it with see that you value the campaign enough to give to it. Would you buy something from someone if they hadn’t bought one themselves? Probably not – and the same goes for donating.

Fees

Because FbTC is a fiscally sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, we do not lose any fees to Indiegogo. (YAY!) However, Fractured Atlas does take a 7% fee for processing the donation – which includes the credit card fees, which are typically in the 2-3% range. (If we were not a fiscally sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, Indiegogo would take a similar percentage.)

Where does the raised money go?

Fractured Atlas holds all funds raised for us, until we need to make a purchase (or be reimbursed for one.)

logoFlashback Theater Co is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the purposes of Flashback Theater Co must be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.


 

If you have other questions, email them to me at sommer@flashbacktheaterco.org, or post in the comments below!

 

My Vision

So you’ve heard the what and the why. Now I’d like to tell you how.

The company I am founding will begin with a small festival and a large amount of passion. It is my intent to give you, the audience, the theatrical experience described in my last post of this series, binding us together as a community. I want to tell stories that are truthful and insightful, while staying true to our identity as the Lake Cumberland region.

Flashback Theater Co. MissionYou may be wondering why “Co.” and not “Company”. This theater will be more than just a company. It will be Collaborative. It will be a Community, a Cooperative, a Conversation.

Let’s give people in our community the chance to choose theater as a profession in the long-term, without the fear of never having something to eat. Let’s get friends and neighbors excited about seeing live theater on a regular basis. Let’s stimulate conversations and build our community’s relationships. I hope you are as excited about this as I am, because without you it can’t be done.

Today marks the start of our crowd funding campaign on Indiegogo for our first ever production, coming in February 2015. If you are excited about having a theater company in Somerset, Kentucky, please visit the Indiegogo campaign page to learn more about how you can help  Flashback Theater Co. reach its goal of raising $3,500 in three weeks.

 


In case you missed it:

Part I: Getting there – how I prepared to start a theater company
Part II: Why a theater company?

 

Aside

My crazy late night idea

Have you ever woken up with an idea that you can’t get out of your head? It happened to me at 1 am this morning.

A crazy idea for a flash play festival

It has been my intention to create a production for FbTC in the spring (that’s Flashback Theater Co. for those of you who haven’t been paying attention the past couple of weeks). However, I have been so encouraged by everyone who has shown their support on Facebook that I cannot contain myself any longer! I want to meet everyone who has made the effort to follow the company’s page – what better way than through creating theater together?

Here’s the idea: a 10 minute play festival, put together in just one and a half hours! I have no idea if it will work or not but I think it will be so much fun to try. If you want to take part, check out the Facebook event page here.

Each play will get a director and actors by luck of the draw when you arrive. Rehearsal time of one hour will begin shortly afterwards – when time is up we will watch everyone’s play. Obviously, no one is going to memorize a script in that amount of time, and this isn’t about getting a flawless piece onstage so I am sure everyone will have their script in hand or nearby. It is designed to give you the excuse to take chances and make strong choices because if it flops, well – everyone knows it was rehearsed in only an hour!

This is crazy enough it just might work!


For those of you who have been following the series about why I started FbTC: it will continue soon. This idea was so immediate that I wanted to get it out there first. So don’t worry, you’ll get Part III soon.

 

Why a theater company?

In the last post, I chronicled (as briefly as I could) what led to me starting a theater company in Somerset. Now I want to tell you why.

Theater is inspirational. Onstage, you can be anything and do anything. The exhilaration of a shared experience binds you to friends, family, and community.

woods and lake

Telling a story in theater is more than just words. It is lights, costumes, sets, sounds, actions, emotions, and so much more. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. In theater, you must rely on everyone else, even the audience. And when something goes wrong – which it will – you must continue to trust that everyone is working together to make it right.

Theater captures our mindset and history in a unique way. It can provide an insight into our subconsciousness. If you have ever seen great theater, you understand what I mean. If you have not, then all I can tell you is: it is a breathtaking and awe-inspiring experience. And once you have that experience, you will go back over and over, hoping for a repeat. Not every production attains it, but every production aims for it.

Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to see Amazing Grace in Chicago before it goes to Broadway. It was such a beautiful and profound piece of theater, and perfectly exemplifies what I am trying to articulate in this post. I will write more about that later – it was a wonderful reminder of exactly what I am saying in this post.

Everything I describe above was how I felt from a young age. It is not until now that I even try to put it into words and still it is such an experiential process that I do not do it justice. I only attempt it now to impart some understanding of what I want to give to my hometown.

Theater-goers in Somerset have to travel at least 2 hours to see professional level theater. There is only one LORT theater in Kentucky: Actors Theatre of Louisville. Knoxville’s Clarence Brown Theatre is perhaps the next closest. My vision is for Somerset to become the home of Kentucky’s next regional theater company. 


This is Part 2 of 3 in a series about why I am founding a theater company. Come back next week for Part 3: My Vision!

Read Part 1

Visit Flashback Theater Co.’s website

Getting there – how I prepared to start a theater company

When I was a little girl – maybe 6 or 7, I was thrown into a church Christmas production at the last-minute because someone dropped out. I wasn’t in the show originally because my mom thought I was too young but desperate times…the show must go on..and well you get the idea.

That was my first experience in theater. I loved it. A few years later, I heard an announcement at school about auditions for a children’s production of Beauty & the Beast at the local community theater. I remembered my earlier performance experience and the feelings of excitement and accomplishment at the end of the show. I knew it was time to take the stage again. I begged my mom to take me to auditions and she warned that I might not get a big part – or even cast, but I insisted and ended up with the role of  Spoon in the Beast’s castle. I played my part well. When the Beast yelled, I shivered with fear. When Belle entered in her gown, I “Ooohhed” and “Ahhed” with amazement. I was rewarded for my emphatic reactions with a part in the next production…and so my “career” in community theater began.

Sommerrenae as Bertha Mae

Bertha Mae “Virgil and the City Slickers”

"Wizard of Oz"

Scarecrow “Wizard of Oz”

When I left for college, I thought I would pursue acting. That lasted about two months. Many of my friends have heard the story of a professor describing walking into a café and ordering hot water to mix with ketchup, making it a free meal of tomato soup…but they heard it in the context of how it made one of my best friends leave the program to pursue engineering instead. What they don’t know is that it also changed my perspective of what I wanted to do. No longer was acting an option for me because spending days auditioning and eating watered down ketchup was not my idea of a great life. I added a minor of Entrepreneurship to my Theater degree. 

You can’t get a degree in theater without working on productions – so I took up costuming. The costume shop was a perfect environment for me. I already had some sewing and craft experience from my aunt and granny as well as spatial reasoning from my dad so learning how to put patterns together was a piece of cake. When I designed for shows, I had to learn to manage a budget and costume crew members. Plus, I was able to get experience in the inner workings of productions – how directors work with designers, stage managers, and actors.

In 2010, I attended the Southeastern Theatre Conference in Lexington, KY. My friends were there to audition and interview for jobs – I was there for the experience. In the conference’s program, I saw an ad for a graduate school that had a program for “Arts Management.” The proverbial light bulb went off. I didn’t know anything about the program but I knew that was my next step. After some research, I found I lived within a stone’s throw of one of the top arts administration programs in the country, at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music (CCM).

Everything was falling into place: studying theater and entrepreneurship prepared me for the arts administration degree. Back in my home town of Somerset, the downtown area was growing and renewing: a new judicial center was built, the old library became an arts center, restaurants were opening, and the county passed a measure to begin allowing sales of alcohol. Soon both Somerset and I would be ready for a new theater company.


This is Part 1 of 3 in a series about why I am founding a theater company. Come back next week for Part 2!

Learn about Flashback Theater Co.

 

Open Door

an open door

My favorite part of Ireland was: Castles! I could not get enough of them!

Specifically, I love the craftsmanship that goes into them. Doors are one of the many features that show this off – its so easy to just rush into the next room to see what new secrets await but once in awhile I would just stop and look at the door. The hardware, the size of it…some doors (like those in this picture) were much taller and wider than typical – some were so short I would have to duck to go through them. No standard size when these doors were hung!

5 Reasons to Make Seeing Art a Habit

art should be a habit

I love theater. I try to see a play or musical at least once every month. If I could afford it, I’d go every week! The first year of grad school, I didn’t go at all. By the end of that year, I was questioning why I was getting a degree in Arts Administration…but then I worked at Arena Stage for a summer and saw a few productions while I was in D.C. Suddenly I remembered how passionate I am about theater, and committed  to seeing something – anything – every few weeks to keep that passion alive.

Not everyone is as passionate about an art form as I am about theater, and that’s okay. But here are a few reasons to encourage you to make seeing art a regular part of your life.

5. To challenge yourself.
Art often asks questions we have never asked ourselves. Finding your answer to challenging questions makes you grow as a citizen of the world. It helps you see issues you may have ignored or just never even knew existed. There was an Edinburgh Fringe show a few years ago about human trafficking. I wasn’t fortunate enough to see it but the concept was really amazing: The show started at a street corner. The audience would load up in a van and ride with an actor playing the part of a recently abducted woman who would be sold as a prostitute. The van took them to a warehouse, where the woman was abused and kept prisoner. The audience had no choice but to follow the story as they were now a part of it themselves. You can bet the audience never forgot the feeling of being in that van, not knowing where they were going or how long they would be there. Suddenly, human trafficking is real to them and not something they can easily ignore.

4. To open a dialogue with others.
Art is an easy topic to talk about with a stranger. You can compare what you see or hear with what they see or hear, and it can help you make new connections with the people around you. Yesterday I was waiting for my carry out order at a restaurant and another customer stopped and asked me why I looked so tired. This led to a conversation about how much he loves classical music and the symphonies he has attended because I told him I work for the conservatory. He immediately felt connected to me because he loves art and my job is to make art happen.

3. To commit ourselves to an in-person experience.
How often do we stop to experience a moment? It gets harder and harder with each new technology that comes along. Buying a ticket to an arts event – a play or an exhibit or a symphony concert- commits us to being in that moment. Investing in something with our hard-earned money makes us value and prioritize it.  It would be silly to buy a ticket to an exhibit and then sit on a bench answering messages the entire time. You can do that for free without spending cash on a ticket!

2. To give us a topic to post, text, or talk about later.
Taking a break from internet, texting, and emailing helps me to remember what life is about: experiences. Yes, it is great that I can stay connected to people who live far away but I honestly can’t remember what my last Facebook post was about ….and what’s the point of talking to people if you have no new experiences to talk about? (And it won’t hurt my feelings if your excitement for an exhibit encourages new people to come to the next one! ;) )

1. To see amazing art.
I am constantly in search of the theater piece that takes my breath away. There is nothing quite like it. I go to see theater because I don’t want to miss the next production that leaves me speechless. Ensemble Theater Company’s Next to Normal, the Broadway tour of The Phantom of the Opera, a production of Bye Bye Birdie my college produced. These are part of a collection of memorable experiences that I will always strive to add to. If I weren’t in the habit of going to theater, I would have missed these. For every show that stands out there are 10 shows that don’t. But seeing the not-so-great shows is so worth it when you find a masterpiece!