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!
I've just pledged towards 'The Keepers', one of my favourite shows at The Basement Theatre last year. Created by a quartet of talented ladies - Julia Croft, Veronica Brady, Claire Cowan and Theresa Hanaray aka Thread Theatre - it was an especially exciting show for me because it was so different to our normal theatre fare - experimenting with movement, music and non-verbal storytelling. When I reviewed it last year I called it " a breath of fresh sea air" and "an ethereal, enigmatic play of dreams and feelings".
I said something else too: "The Keepers is a delightful mystery, and deserves to find a place in the New Zealand tour circuit."
I still stand by that, and was delighted to see that the team have finally come back together to bring The Keepers to BATS in Wellington. But to do this, they need to raise some funds. Enter: PledgeMe.co.nz
They are appealing to crowdfunding to help raise to get themselves there. They need to pay for a rehearsal space, props, travel expenses, and minimul rehearsal wages.
The team says: "New Zealand does not have a strong network for funding the arts, particularly new and edgy, 'non-mainstream' work, so we are appealing to those of you who love live performance, want to support women in the arts, and are keen to see fresh and exciting theatre being created and shared. "
I'd encourage Theatre Scenes readers to read their PledgeMe pitch and consider pledging some money to help this creatively exciting show get to the capitol: https://www.pledgeme.co.nz/333
- James Wenley
[by James Wenley]
Dear Theatre Scenes Readers,
They say that those who can’t, review.
I like to come to it from the other end: those that want to, review.
I love reviewing – which is not to say I take pleasure in knocking down other people’s work. I love having a platform to articulate my response to a work. I think theatre (and stories) helps keep us human, helps us appreciate a multiplicity of viewpoints on the world. For this reason, when I see a really, really good show, it is exciting to share it with you. And when I see one that doesn’t work out, I like to try and work out why.
I hope you have found my reviews (and indeed those of my colleagues) of value to both practitioner and audience, respectful, informed, and above all, a good lively read.
One day though (and not yet!) I know I’ll have to give up reviewing. I’d like to work full time in the industry, and you have to watch those conflicts of interests.