Everything is All Ready for Alcyone Festival... Right?
The other day someone close to me and Halcyon said to me, “There’s not much left to do for the festival, right? Just get stuff, right? Like props and stuff?”
Now, I love this person dearly, but in that moment I did also want to tap them not-so-gently upside the head, just a little bit.
There is SOOOOoooooo much left to do, for each show and for the festival as a whole. It is astounding how much work goes into this Sexy Beast, starting with the work Tony does finding the scripts 18 months out or more. Then there are directors to find, performing rights to secure, auditions to schedule, actors to cast...
… rehearsal locations to secure and pay for (Rehearsal schedules are always a nightmare of epic proportions, never mind for 4-6 fully staged shows like our festival has), 3 rounds of press releases to send, postcards and flyers to design and have printed, plus getting the word out to the public, creating partnerships with other organizations who may have an interest in the year’s theme...
...tech week to organize (for those of you not in theatre or who are but haven’t done a festival, tech week for this festival particularly consists of the 2.5 weeks before the first performance, when we get to “move in” to the actual performance space. Before that we rehearse at alternate locations. The lights have to be hung, the set has to be built. Every show has to be re-staged, because the 12 x 14 nursery school room is inevitably WAY different then the performance space will be,) props and costumes need to be found, washed, made, brought. You get the idea...
So we are now 11 days from Opening Night (Thursday, July 12, get your tickets here).
These are the big projects I am working on for the festival:
Set up special events to coincide with Alcyone- Talkbacks, readings, panels, performances
Coordinate with Mexican Consulate as I try and get playwrights here to see their work, hopefully all on the same weekend so we can have a panel with them
- Figure out where they will stay and what they will eat, if they can come
- Coordinate with Aaron Cedolia, who is organizing the artwork and the gallery opening of Mexican women painters who are being presented in the lobby during the festival
Create events that will highlight and accentuate the work of the festival. Some of the things we are thinking about are:
- The Journey of the plays from Mexico to development at LARK in New York, to readings at The Goodman Latino Festival, to the Alcyone Festival
- Art to Activism
- Talkback with the playwrights
- Imagining Theatre of the Future
- Polyculturalism in Theatre
- Mexican musicians, dancers, Spoken word artists
- Street Artists
- Women Hip-Hop artists in Chicago
- Panel discussions
- Coordinate with Mexican Consulate as I try and get playwrights here to see their work, hopefully all on the same weekend so we can have a panel with them
Making sure there are people to help with building the set
- Painting the floor to look like a hardwood floor
- Coordinate with Travis to get 4 acting blocks built for the actors to use as chairs, beds, whatever they need them for (DONE! Thank you, Travis)
- Get the scrim (cloth that becomes see-through when lit a certain way) put up
- Make sure curtains are hung in the very back of the stage to hide the wall
- Costume and Prop Hunt
Schedule other people to pick up props and costumes from our house and the world, for example:
- We have a divan to get from Oak Park
- We have a fainting couch on the south side to pick up
- We need a desk that looks like it could have been around in the 1900’s
- We need to get costumes dry cleaned
Fundraising through individual ask letters and events, like my birthday bonanza which raised $200! Thanks, ya'll!
- The festival costs $17,500, roughly, to produce.
- $15,000 is rent for the theatre space.
- We have a great relationship with Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, who lets us rehearse there for a fraction of what it normally costs to rehearse. Which is awesome, as 4 shows rehearsing 4-5 days a week, 4 hours at a time, for 4-5 weeks, at $10-$20 an hour can add up pretty quickly......
- Coordinating with Derrick, who is Company Manager and Front of House Manager for the festival, to make sure we have Halcyon Ambassadors in the front of house for all shows and events
- Act as an acting coach for Two Dead Guys and a Banjo
Get the word out to the public about the festival
- Coordinating with Sarah and Renee, who have been doing dramaturgical work and getting the word out through our blogs so that YOU guys know what we are up to!
- Coordinate with the intern, who is researching and following up with Latino, specifically but not exclusively Mexican, social, cultural and professional organizations to let them know about the show
- 3rd round of press releases to the media with special events listed
- Coordinating with Rafa to take pictures of the dress rehearsals so we can send them to the media outlets
- Get in touch with Adam Thurman, our Marketing Director for the festival, when he gets back in town, for our next Marketing Meeting
- Get postcards and flyers out around town where people will see them
- Getting songs into QLab for Freud Skating on Thin Ice (Finally got that done)
- Attend rehearsals for each of the shows to give feedback, troubleshoot, be a shoulder to lean on
In addition, Ceyx Series goes up July 9th, which, for those of you counting, is opening week. So I am trying to secure artists for that and get their info and bios onto the website, send press releases, etc.
And this is just me. This doesn’t include, though does overlap a bit, Tony’s projects, or any of the others who are working to make this festival amazing. Which it WILL be. If we can make it through this 11 days!
This year, we have more help than we have ever had before. And this year there are more Halcyon people directly involved then there has been before. It really is incredible. But we can always use more help.
If you are interested in being a part of any of the projects I am working on, or know someone who we should tell about the festival,or want to get involved in any way, send me an email. I will put up the prop list in a following post. If you have a large vehicle, let me know ;) Or if your workplace would like postcards, that would be great! Anything we can do to bring the amazing work of Elena Guiochins, Sabina Berman, Mariana Hartasánchez, and Bea Carmina to Chicago in an amazing way is... well... AMAZING!