Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Back to Milwaukee!

Coming back to Milwaukee to perform at UWM thanks to Anti-Authoritarians Anonymous.

Sat Nov 13th, Milwaukee, WI
UW-Milwaukee, Union, Rm 280, 8PM

We're going to try and book a few shows between here and there. We've covered this ground a couple times, so it's kind of difficult finding somewhere new to play. Who knows anyone in Indiana?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Economic Report: The West

Hey! We're home!
This tour went pretty damn well. We ordered new shirts to start things off, then we went up to Toronto for the People's Summit, which was well worth going to, and performing there almost paid back our travel costs. Then we drove to Wisconsin, met up with Peter, got in his van, the USS Gerald Holiday, and hit the road for weeks, and THEN we drove to Buffalo to play the Infringement Festival. Then we came home and performed one last show as a benefit for the folks who got arrested up in Toronto at the G20. It was a pretty crazy month. We didn't make a lot of money, but all in all, it was well worth it.

Someday soon we'll get a car that runs on veggie oil and/or happy thoughts and then we'll worry about tour expenses no more!

What's up with these numbers?
We did things a little differently because we were on tour with Peter. We didn't pay for food, and we split the earnings with him (logged as a "misc travel expense"). We played a lot more concerts, which led to more door charging than hat passing, but the hat passing we did do worked pretty damn well. Also, the door charge was very voluntary most places.

See the breakdown below:

What about the Future?
Now that we're back home in Columbus, it's time for some serious local focus. Our first priority is getting the intentional community strongly on it's feet. We're in the process of buying a HUGE building that needs a bundle of repairs. At any rate, Kate and I gotta get some income going on so as to be able to contribute our share to the community. It'll probably be at least 6 months before we tour again (unless some sweet opportunities fall into our laps).

Our second priority is getting some new work together. Ulysses' Crewmen has served us well, I still strongly believe it's the best piece of theatre I've produced, but we've grown over the course of producing it, and have new ideas and new things to say that this piece cannot. But! Have no fear the next touring script is in the works. It's three short acts, for three actors playing five or more roles, and may involve some crazy shadow-puppet type visuals. It kind of grew out of the idea of producing an updated re-write of Heiner Mueller's Mauser, but has gone some very different places.

At this moment it's called "The First Image of the New is Terror..." and it's in many ways the opposite of Ulysses' Crewmen. UC seems to be about our powerlessness in the face of global empire. Terror will be about how we can be powerful, what that takes. UC is very ambiguous and open, leaves audiences with lots of questions. Terror will present a specific and direct statement (which we will then discuss and debate openly with the audience). UC presented a few pointed moments for audience interaction, Terror will involve the audience throughout and will sometimes dissolve into direct dialog with or among the audience. UC is really intense and violent, and... well, I guess that's one thing they'll have in common.

Our third priority is finding a place for radical theatre in Columbus. We definitely don't want to repeat mistakes we made in Milwaukee. Right now this means producing variety shows like the Solidarity Showcase to get a sense of what and who is interested in theatre among the radical community, and maybe even who's interested in radicalism among the theatre community. After that, who knows what'll happen. I've got some ideas, but which one occurs will depend entirely on who else wants to get involved. Who knows, we might end up just doing children's plays for the neighborhood residents around the big fucking building mentioned above. That'd be pretty fucking sweet if you ask me.

Show 104: G20 Fundraiser / homecoming, Columbus, OH

MONEYS: $105 all going to Toronto G20 Arrestees. You should donate more!
INJURIES: unscathed!

STORIES: This was a great homecoming show. A nice big turnout, fucking awesome music from Realicide and Ryan Jewel, the awarehouse is an amazing space, it really makes me feel good to be home.

It was also a pretty decent fundraiser. I wish we'd earned a bit more, but times are tight, i guess. We didn't raise as much as we did with the Solidarity Showcase, but I think we did a much better job with the educating and informing the audience part. We wrote some letters and presented a lot more info than last time.

We're learning and will get better over time. I'm looking forward to our next swing at the Solidarity Showcase, coming up this October for the RNC 8.

Did you see this show? If you did, write a review, ask us some questions or comment on it. We'd love to hear it becuase we believe in artistic transparency.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Show 101-103: Buffalo Infringement Festival

The first theatre festival we performed where we didn't lose hundreds of dollars!!

After 3 weeks of touring to the west coast and back we dropped Peter off in Milwaukee (or he dropped us off at our car, actually) and headed to Buffalo for three days of DIY theatre goodness.

First, we stopped at my mom's house where I made the grave error of jumping in a nearby lake, invoking a terrible allergic reaction, which incapacitated me for most of the 10 hour drive to Buffalo, and made our first performance that evening a little more strange than usual. Performing actually very much improved my condition, though. Apparently rolling around in a hot little room and screaming with your head in a bag and a gag in your mouth cures congestion!

Second, we played three shows, and saw a bunch of others. The others were a pretty mixed bag, some well intentioned but failed efforts, the most proficient puppetry I've seen, and some Brecht done really Brechtian (which turned out quite disatisfying, actually).

Third, we got to hang out in Buffalo and discover more of the wonders this city has to offer. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: the rust belt is where the fucking rev will start. Or at least the total social collapse part of it.

Blow by blow, show by show:
I. Friday July 30th, Rust Belt Books
MONEYS: $30.50
INJURIES: Rust Belt's french press didn't make it. Sorry.

STORIES: We got to Buffalo in time to hang up a few flyers, watch a beautiful puppet show, and beg passersby to come watch our show. A few did, and it was good.

The performance was a little hectic and distracted, there were windchimes on the door, and we had a fairly tight performance time schedule, also, Kate bumped into a wall with a french press on a table on the other side, the bump was enough to cause it to leap onto the floor and smash itself. Hurns.

In a recurring problem that makes we wish we'd signed up for an hour-and-a-half time slot rather than an hour, we had to get packed up and out of there before we were able to have any kind of discussion with the audience. I'm beginning to think these discussions are a necessity for the kind of theatre we're doing. Otherwise it feels like presenting our honest, complex inability to live under empire or confidently attack empire might be kind of pointlessly bewildering.

II. Saturday July 31st, Sugar City
MONEYS: $27.71
INJURIES: Unscathed!

STORIES: We rolled into Sugar City as awards were being given out for some kind of social media scavenger hunt, which honestly looked far less fun than a traditional scavenger hunt. Sorry guys, social media is a fucking tragedy. (yes, i realize this is a blog, and i am thus a hypocrite, but I am part of this fucking tragedy.)

Anyway, we performed for a small, but i think, appreciative audience, including some middle aged, middle class, generally middle-oriented folks who voiced discomfort with our performance.

Then we stuck around to watch "You Know This Girl" which we've been curious about since seeing posters for it at the bunk house in Cincinnati. Another DIY theatre tour! Her one woman show about "the depths of shallowness" depressed the hell out of me and pissed Kate off. I suspect Fallon has good intentions, and is clearly committed to her role, but the piece misses the mark. Humiliating clueless women who live for the shallow approval of others is (as comedy) like shooting fish in a barrel or (as social commentary) like treating a rash with poison ivy.

III. Sunday August 1st, Broadway Market Rooftop.
TURNOUT: variable 4-10, including two cops.
INJURIES: temporary staring-into-the-sun eye strain

STORIES: Now we can say we've performed on a roof-top on a cloudless summer day at high noon! I just need to figure out if being able to make that claim is worth the unpleasantness of actually doing the act.

Also, the place was crawling with cops, one of whom we notified of what we were doing before performing, which was fortunate, cuz he later told us his partner's first reaction upon witnessing our play was to reach for his gun.

Also, there was a drum circle and a rap group elsewhere on the roof during our performance. This rooftop happens to be in the middle of an african american neighborhood, and both these African-rooted music genres happened to be performed by white dudes. Assumptions of cultural appropriation aside, they were both pretty loud and I'm sure made it hard to hear us.

In spite of these things, a few people managed to stick around and seemed to get something out of the show.

Then we went to see a story teller, the Conspiracy Tour, and Subversive Theatre's production of "The Mother". I really wish the producers of The Mother had gone to the Conspiracy Tour, cuz maybe then they woulda recognized how dated the play is and how badly Brecht himself would surely want it revised so that it's deconstruction of The Mother's naive assumptions wouldn't be overshadowed by obsolete ideas of mass workers movements and state communism. It's very strange hearing Brecht's celebration of communist leaflets being recited by folks who don't seem to have read any leaflets written in the last 5-10 years.

Did you see this show? If you did, write a review, ask us some questions or comment on it. We'd love to hear it becuase we believe in artistic transparency.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Show 100: Madison, Faux-Op

In place of a pic from Madison, cuz the camera battery ran out, here's some from the No Show in Fargo.

STORIES: Nice show in Madison. Theatre people turned out for this one. I got someone some water while they waited for the show to begin. This, all in all, was quite the solid last show. Fuzzy feeling and all. An aww show. Folks were great, both Pete's and our set went well and then we hit the road for the last time on our way to Milwaukee. Ode to Wisconsin.

An eighteen ounce pee
in just a sixteen ounce cup
It's all on Gerald.

Did you see this show? If you did, write a review, ask us some questions or comment on it. We'd love to hear it because we believe in artistic transparency.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Show 99: Minneapolis, Medusa

INJURIES: Unscathed!

STORIES: I've always wanted to play this place and now we've done it. Was a little disappointed by the organization but whatever, we heard some music, did the show and then got to hear some more music. There were also a lot of girls in dresses-- that always freaks me out. Got to stay with Brice of Ice Volt which was great and much much much appreciated.

Highwayku from Fargo to MN:
Driving at showtime
Burning stick will make up loss
Wet stick will bring tears

Did you see this show? If you did, write a review, ask us some questions or comment on it. We'd love to hear it because we believe in artistic transparency.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Show 98: The Pangea House, Minot, North Dakota

INJURIES: I fell on my head. Normally, I'm supposed to fall on one knee, then my butt, then my shoulder, but instead, for some reason i can't remember, this time my head went directly to the floor. Hard. Hard enough that i saw stars.

STORIES: Why not Minot? Probably because everyone assumes that a little town in the middle of North Dakota is a dumb place to try and make an infoshop or visit on a tour. Everyone is wrong. Minot rocks.

The show started out with a song circle, everyone taking turns playing songs on keyboards or acoustic guitars, sad songs, funny songs, covers. It had a real friendly community feel. Seriously, it was nice. Then it was time for Peter to play his harsh drooly loud set and for us to perform our messy violent play about powerlessness and futility. Suffice to say we felt uncomfortable and a little out of place.

But, we needn't have worried, cuz people loved the show, and we had a great group discussion about confronting empire and building radical alternatives. We learned a lot from the Minot kids, apparently North Dakota is one of few places in the US that didn't get too badly ruined by the financial collapse. Of course, oil speculators and real estate brokers are now moving in and blowing the economy up into a nice unstable bubble, with the help of the local government. Tearing down low income housing while a bunch of oil workers move into town driving up rents and tearing up the landscape to get at oil trapped in shale. Yes, neoliberalism seems to be targetting North Dakota. I'm hoping the kids we met might be able to convince the people of Minot that this money flowing into the community will even more rapidly flow out to big banks and corporations, that the inevitable bubble-bust is the fault of capital, not the minorities and non-xtians the right will surely blame, and that local politicians are working for the banks, against the people. We'll see.

Also, the Minot folks warned us that Fargo is a tough place to try and play. Their warnings proved justified. There will be no show report from Fargo, because nobody promoted the Fargo show, and thus nobody turned out. All we did was eat shitty over-priced taco salad and fill up with silent hate, then get back in the car and drive to Minneapolis.

This drive was very
long and very boring and
we had some soup too.

Did you see this show? If you did, write a review, ask us some questions or comment on it. We'd love to hear it becuase we believe in artistic transparency.