Worthy causes on PledgeMe [by James Wenley]
You know how companies like ATC and Silo list their swanky patrons at the back of their programs? Private giving has long been a very important part of making theatre in New Zealand when audience box office and public funding doesn't cut it alone. This year crowdfunding sites like New Zealand's own PledgeMe.co.nz have really exploded in a big way as a new platform for worthy creative projects to raise their money. It's really easy - anyone can donate as little or as much as they want, often for some rewards as well, and you too can be a swanky arts patron and feel a real sense of being apart of making a project happen. If you love theatre, there are some great projects needing support right now on PledgeMe.
THE BASEMENT: PledgeMe
I love going to The Basement each week to see a show (and sometimes put some on there too!). They are raising money for an EXTREME MAKEOVER of their theatre foyer and bar and putting some "love back into our place!". I'm most excited about the plan to soundproof the foyer so "so that all you lovely people in the foyer don't suddenly become off stage characters in the play on stage." The Basement is the groundfloor for Auckland's Theatre industry were loads of people are able to make their start, so consider pledging. They have really creative rewards too!
INDIAN INK: PledgeMe
Indian Ink are one of my favourite theatre companies in Auckland, and they produce beautiful theatre works like Krishnan's Dairy. They are raising money to bring their latest show, Guru of Chai to an off-Broadway theatre in New York to catapult the show internationally. Chai played at Q earlier this year - you can read my review here - I called it a "a sweeping fairy tale with larger than life characters in a fantastic land, but containing painful and beautiful truths." This is exactly the type of high quality theatre we need to present to the world, so consider pledging to Indian Ink and help make their dreams come true in New York City.
And if you feel like making even more Christmas' come true... Auckland Fringe favourites Wet Hot Beauties, who create stunning water ballets at the Parnell Baths (in 2011 they did Sirens), are re fundraising for their 2013 extravaganza Swan Songs. For any romantics, one of their rewards is a very special Valentines proposal. It's worth visiting their PledgeMe page just to read about that.
Remember, PledgeMe works on an all or nothing system so they need to meet their targets - every pledge helps get them closer. So go for it theatre fans!
Indian ‘Ink’redible [by Sharu Delilkan]
When my husband Tim and I moved here almost 10 years ago Krishnan’s Dairy was the first live theatre show we saw. It not only left an indelible memory of theatre at its best but it was one of the key motivations why we decided to stay in New Zealand. Having come from the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong we did not know whether there would be enough around to satisfy us as culture vultures. Indian Ink Theatre Company’s original ingenious production allayed those fears and made us feel we could live here and make a go of it.
So going to see the show this time around was an experience that was approached with much excitement but tinged with trepidation. ‘What if I don’t like it as much as I did the first time?’ I thought to myself. Also I was a little dubious about spoiling the sweet memory in case my taste had changed a decade later.
But I must admit that the minute the house lights went down and Jacob Rajan and musician David Ward started strumming on stage all the fabulous warm fuzzies I felt a decade ago came flooding back.
Perfect Theatrical Blend [by James Wenley]
The Guru of Chai brews his tea to perfection, carefully measuring the exact combination of herbs and spices. It is an art that simmers through this play. He’s unappreciated at his stall, plagued by Starbucks. We don’t get to sample his tea, but I’ll wager this: He’s an even better storyteller.
And really, that credit is to Indian Ink’s Justin Lewis and Jacob Rajan, who distill their storytelling to an exact perfection. I was first transported by the Guru’s tale in 2010 at the University of Auckland Drama Studio, home base of dramaturge Murray Edmond, when they were first previewing their new work (following Krishnan’s Dairy, the Candlestick Maker, The Pickle King, and The Dentist’s Chair) to small and appreciative audiences; they also took the play into people’s private homes. After a NZ tour and bigger season at the Maidment Theatre last year, they have recently gone overseas with the show to places such as Singapore, LA, Tennesse and Sydney. With many theatre productions flash of the pan stuff, it is remarkably rewarding to revisit the show for its Q Theatre season (a proud achievement for Lewis, who helped shepherd Q’s existence). Chai has had time to breathe and to grow richer.