Monday, December 27, 2010

Year-End Greetings and Appeal for Goodwill from Piper McKenzie

Dear Friend,

What's that? It's almost 2011, you say? You're kidding. Really? Are you sure? Wow. That's... wow.

We here at Piper McKenzie have been a sprint all year, so maybe it makes sense that December has ambushed us like this - despite the fact that we're currently running a holiday show! A tally of the past year's activities bears this out:

  • JANUARY: We finished up our second season of our serial Lady Cryptozoologist at the Vampire Cowboys' Saturday Night Saloon, putting two dozen actors on the tiny Battle Ranch stage to play assorted scientists, creatures, and semi-sentient spores. (Maybe you had to be there.)

  • MARCH: We brought back a full-length run of our 2009 Fight Fest hit Craven Monkey and the Mountain of Fury at The Brick, pleasing audiences with our tale of world-shaking simian love.

  • JUNE: We partnered with Old Kent Road Theater to present the premiere of Eric Bland's play Jeannine's Abortion: A Play in One Trimester, at The Brick's Too Soon Festival. A definite departure for PMcK, the show opened up new directions for us.

  • JULY: As part of The Brick's Game Play festival, we created Theater of the Arcade: Five Classic Video Games Adapted for the Stage, in collaboration with The Fifth Wall. The New York Times called it "Brilliant," and it even made Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish. With every performance sold out (including an extension), this has been PMcK's most successful production to date.

  • AUGUST: We filmed our first ever music video, for The Electric Mess' song "She Has a Funny Walk." It was an ungodly amount of fun, and certainly not the last of PMcK's film/video endeavors.

  • SEPTEMBER-DECEMBER: We returned to the Saturday Night Saloon with Crystal Skillman's Killer High, a schoolyard riff on Apocalypse Now - final episode to perform in January!

  • DECEMBER: We rounded out the year with a show created for family audiences: Bethlehem or Bust: How the Three Kings Teamed Up to Deliver the World's First Christmas Presents. Not only are kids and grown-ups alike loving it, it's also going to be Jeff's first published play! (If you had a chance to see it, there are two final matinees on Saturday, January 1 and Sunday, January 2.)

As always, we have an ambitious slate planned for next year - even despite the fact that Hope and Jeff are expecting their first child. (Yup, it's the truth - figured this was as good a place as any to spill it.) Some of our other planned productions include:

  • Piper McKenzie's Dainty Cadaver: This ambitious collaborative playmaking project brings together 18 playwrights and three directors to create, Exquisite Corpse-style, three completely new plays to be staged as workshop performances at The Brick in late January.

  • The Pow (working title): Our proposed entry to The Brick's Comic Book Theater Festival in June, this original play will enlist five comic artists to support the story of a lifelong fan who loves comics so much he's developed the power to enter the stories himself - with unexpected results.

  • Fill the Valleys, Flatten the Hills: A planned 2012 project that will enter pre-production next year, this promises to be PMcK's most ambitious show to date - a Depression-era Southern Gothic alien invasion trunk show with a live, original folk score.

  • PMcK Repertory: We'll be actively seeking out opportunities this year for revivals of some of our greatest hits from the past - our Bizarre Science Fantasy anthology, Macbeth Without Words, Theater of the Arcade and more.

Exciting, huh? It's probably very clear that, in order to accomplish all of these things, we'll be asking for your help. But we're not simply asking for money - we're seeking a relationship. Community is very important to us, and, by sending you this note, we're asking if you'd like to become an integral and crucial member of the Piper McKenzie community. Art can't happen in a void, and so we're seeking out your support. In return, we plan to honor your commitment by creating exciting, entertaining, enlightening and enlivening new theater, for you both to enjoy for yourself and to offer as a gift of enjoyment to others. No contribution is too small - whether you can give us $5 or $5 million (ha!), you'll still be a colleague, a collaborator, and a pillar of our community.

Donate now!

In the meantime, we hope you're having a peaceful and healthy holiday season, and that you'll be able to join us in the audience or online for some of PMcK's upcoming endeavors. Let's hope 2011 is as full and festive as possible - thank you for everything!

Best Wishes,
Hope Cartelli & Jeff Lewonczyk

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