Thursday, May 27, 2010

Runnin' on Fumes made of Love

I just got done reading Rob Kozlowski's rules on how theatre companies should treat writers and he's got some great points but, on the other hand, it looks like we won't be working with Rob anytime soon because we won't be able to make him happy based on price alone. This got me thinking about budgets and, in particular, our budget so, in the spirit of true transparency, I thought I'd break down where we are right now and where our money goes when we actually have some.

GreyZelda currently has $500.00 in the bank. We have fundraisers getting set up and I'm currently putting my own money (that could be going to baby food, diapers, concerts, travel, what have you) down to pay for whatever is needed for the fundraisers, as are our other company members, just so we don't have to dip into the very small change purse that is our bank account. We're hoping that we'll be able to, ultimately, raise $5000.00 in the next few months so that we can put up our first show after a two plus year hiatus. We're also applying for grants, but one can never tell if you'll actually get one, so ...

What will we do with that $5000, you're wondering?

Well ... here's how it works out:

Boho Theatre Rental Costs - $2200.00
Marketing - $300.00
Costumes - $500.00
Set/Props - $1000.00
Rehearsal Rental - $300.00

That all adds up to $4300.00 and I'm just throwing out some projected costs here. I'm being conservative because I haven't officially broken it down, but, even if we're able to stay perfectly within this budget, we would have $700.00 left over.

I would like to split that $700.00 up to pay our designers, actors and playwright equally which would equal 8 people allowing everyone to have $87.50. However, that would put us back to zero, so we would need to make $5000.00 in ticket sales and additional fundraising to put up our next show. It would be awesome if we have more than $5000.00 per show but that's the number we're shooting for. And, even if we had more money to throw around, would bigger payouts to everyone, again putting us back to zero, be the best fiscal move for a business hoping to get to another season?

And, remember, Chris and I aren't seeing any of that money. Only the people who work project to project see it. So, our members don't get paid and our directors don't get paid.

I know GreyZelda isn't alone with this and, to be quite honest, this is part of the reason we've been on a hiatus for the last two years. We're moving forward with a new season because we want to do it and our company members want to do it. We want to create. We want to share art with our community. We're not doing it to make our creators happy through money. I wish things were different but if you're looking to make money working with our theatre company, you'll need to look in another direction.

The Love of the Nightingale

One of our company members, Melissa Gordon, wrote all of our core GZ members an email and highly recommended that we see Red Tape Theatre's The Love of the Nightingale so I wanted to spread the good word. It closes this weekend and Chris and I won't get a chance to see it but, please, if you're looking for a good show to see, check this one out. Here's what Melissa had to say:

Tom and I went to see a show last night that I think would be an EXCELLENT show for the rest of the GZ-ites to see. It's called "The Love Of The Nightingale" and it's being performed by Red Tape Theatre (for those of you who know Robert Oakes, this is his theatre company). It's Jeff Recommended, and Tom and I fully believe it's the production value of the show that got the nod. The production is truly excellent - large cast in a small space done well, great use of choreography, interesting use of stage and props, great costumes, music, lights - the whole shabang. While watching the show I thought about recent (and not so recent) conversations we've had about "creating a spectacle" and use of choreography, etc., and this is a great reference point for doing those things in a very creative and affective way. The show closes next weekend (29th) and if you are interested in seeing I would suggest reserving tickets because the house was pretty packed last night. Tickets are $25.

So, there you have it. Robert was in Desire Under the Elms. It looks like tonight's performance is sold out so get your tickets soon.