Art Project Grant
ACHF Arts Access ACHF Arts Education ACHF Cultural Heritage
Our actors will learn a new presentational style of acting, enhanced by appropriately exaggerated period costumes. This will raise the quality of our actors' skills, making our pool more versatile. Designers will have an opportunity to set visuals and music into two competing formats; Chicago, jolly, 1920s and Germany, dark, 1930s and to learn what works, making them better designers. Audiences will get a novel and enriching experience, seeing a broadly-acted, funny, gangster show, learning its parallel to the rise of Nazism in Germany, seeing the impact costumes can have on productions, appreciating new acting styles. The Board will continue to embrace edgy play choices artistically and financially. Measuring acting growth is subjective, but the Players will attempt it using criteria of extended physical fluidity and versatility, greater vocal variety and improved timing. We always do an after action discussion with designers and crews to get their evaluations of the production's outcomes. For this show we'll also ask that a questionnaire be returned to the producer. At our regular Q and As, we'll ask pointed raise-your-hands questions about the audience's reaction to the play as parable, the effect of costumes and acting style, and are they likely to attend more edgy plays. Our Board reviews the play's impact artistically and financially. We measure audience size, attendees' zipcodes, profit/loss.
Many of the outcomes are only measurable subjectively, so the director used the opinions of several knowledgeable theatre people in the crews and from the audience, as well as her own; written surveys, and pointed audience responses to questions asked after three of the shows. Later, we all heard more specifics from people on the street in our small town. ACTORS: Wearing the exaggerated period costumes, most expanded their broad, physical acting style. They worked at it before the costumes arrived, but flourished once they were comfortable in them and saw what they looked like in them. DESIGNERS: Two of the "designers" (set and music director) had their visions fulfilled fairly well, as a result of knowing what the costumed look of the show would be. Certainly they grew in their art by seeing what worked and what did not as set pieces were built and incidental music and songs were integrated into the show. AUDIENCES: Some told us outright that the broad acting style took a few minutes to get used to, but then they appreciated that the "clowning", as one person called it, really fit to make the Fascists look foolish. There was no question about the power of the final moment, when the Ui/Hitler character does the Nazi salute, and the rest of the cast of 17 shouts, "Heil." It looked like 1930s Chicago/Germany. The house was silent for five long seconds before the blackout. We said that audiences would continue to appreciate our "edgy" plays, and they raised their hands to say they would. BOARD: They too stand and behind and support well-produced "edgy" plays for our community theatre group. And most objectively: Our audiences grew in size for each dress rehearsal and performance. After bills were paid, we had $1,200 to add to the match for our next production's grant application. And while we were, unfortunately, unable to get volunteers to capture zip codes, everyone working on the show (especially front of house), said that lots of new people attended.
Other,local or private
Art Project Grant
Costume rental for a production of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. Historically accurate costumes, especially men's suits, are very important to set the scene for the audience (1920s gangster's exploits), and they are too hard create well locally.
Adam Guggemos: graphic designer, art events promoter; Michelle Ronning: jewelry designer and maker; Tara Makinen: Executive Director of Itasca Orchestra and Strings, musician; Moira Villiard: visual artist, Cultural Programming Coordinator at American Indian Community Housing Organization; Jeanne Doty: Retired Associate Professor UMD Music, pianist; Amber Burns: choreographer, dancer, actor, middle school art teacher; Margaret Holmes: visual artist, poet, and former Children's Theatre employee; Tammy Mattonen: visual artists, co-founder of Crescendo Youth Orchestra; Kayla Schubert: Native American craft artist, writer, employee at MacRostie Art Center; Ariana Daniel: mixed media artist, arts instructor; Emily Fasbender: student liaison, visual artist
Michelle Ronning: jewelry designer and maker; Tara Makinen: Executive Director of Itasca Orchestra and Strings, musician; Jeanne Doty: Retired Associate Professor UMD Music, pianist; Amber Burns: choreographer, dancer, actor, middle school art teacher; Margaret Holmes: visual artist, poet, and former Children's Theatre employee; Kayla Schubert: Native American craft artist, writer, employee at MacRostie Art Center; Ariana Daniel: mixed media artist, arts instructor