Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Video for a Sunny Wednesday

A video in which I speak of GreyZelda and the Chase Campaign:

Casual Conscience from Rebecca Zellar on Vimeo.

To vote for us, please click here. It takes a second. You know what to do.

And here's where I write more to tell you about our theatre company in case you didn't get enough information from yon video.

First off, if you don't know about GreyZelda and would like to get to know us a little better, please spend some time on this blog. I started it in 2004. There's lots of information on here and a little bit of dirt cuz that's how I roll.

You still have questions? That's cool. I've got time.

Why are you called GreyZelda?

It's purposely nonsensical but it was influenced by our grey kitty, my last name, Zelda Fitzgerald and the name Griselda, which makes me think of a princess in a gothic faerie tale. If it captures your fancy, than it's done its job. I've always imagined GreyZelda as a shape shifting young girl who's filled with an unending sense of adventure and whimsy.

What made you start your theatre company?

My husband and I both love directing and feel like our artistic voices get heard through that medium, more so than other theatrical positions. We have an aesthetic we want to share with our audience and like painting with people. We like offering a safe place for our artists to collaborate, experiment, and explore in.

There are so many other theatre companies in Chicago ... why don't you just work with other people?

Very true. We're not ready to let go of the ghost just yet. We have tales we want to tell you in our own way. I love working with our core members. I would turn the question around on you and say why don't you just work with us? The more the merrier!

Why do you deserve the $20K more than other theatre companies?

Well, as I barely articulated in the video above, I don't think we deserve it anymore than any other storefront in town. I can say that I think what we do is really good, has a distinct GreyZelda flavor, insists on excellence regardless of whether we have a lot of money or not.

Above all else, I believe in the people we've worked with through the years. Our actors - Lisa Wilson, Brenda Barrie, Missy Styles, Thom Sigsby, Tom Gordon, Melissa Gordon, Aris Tompulis, Meredith Lyons, Dave Goss, Dave Lykins, Kat Daniels, Kelly Yacono , etc. Our set designer Heath Hays. Our former musicians, Robert Filippo and Kristen Strezo. Sarah Stec, our intrepid graphic designer. Gene (the machine) Van Dyke, who has saved our technological arses time and time again. My dearest partner in crime, Chris Riter, who has worked with us as a playwright, an actor, a director, and an all around Renaissance Man. And, yeah, I believe in myself.

What are you going to do if you don't win?

Something else. There are tons of options out there and we're crafty. We'll try it for it next time if it comes back around.

Thanks for the questions, yo.

In the meantime, consider voting for us and telling all of your peeps to vote for us, as well. Check out our new website on Friday. Enjoy this beautiful summer. Let me know if you have any other questions because I like talking with yins.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Arts and Culture are Viable

The Chase Community Campaign certainly has its detractors. I'm not one of 'em. In fact, I want this so badly for my theatre company and for our sister/brother theatre companies that I'm willing to get louder and louder about it.

Chase considers Arts and Culture to be viable charities. So do I.

However, if it makes you feel icky to ask for votes for a theatre company, you can vote for primary and secondary education, youth development, healthcare, housing, community development, the environment, combating hunger, human services, and animal welfare. (And, if it makes you feel icky, in general, to participate in this competition then just put a bubble over your head for the next 18 days. It'll be over soon. No need to worry.)

Which brings me to my favorite part of this particular competition.

You can vote for what you believe in and you can know your vote counts. Or, on the other hand, you don't have to vote. It's your choice. But, above all else, a choice is given to the people, the fans, the supporters, the believers. The people have the say. The little guys can win if they try. It's an equal playing field. And, once you vote, you can vote for 19 other charities so you can help out your fellow community. It's very much about the give and take.

You don't have to donate a penny to a charity, though, of course, the charities will use your pennies wisely.

It takes a few seconds to vote for your chosen charities. It's as hands off as it gets. You don't have to open a Chase Banking Account. They're not passing out t-shirts to wear. Once the contest ends, you can remove the application. Done and done.

GreyZelda, sadly, has fallen WAY off the leaderboard but I'm not gonna sit here and bitch about the process, how evil Chase is for donating money to people's chosen charities (what?), or how it's a popularity contest. Those are easy things to say.

I know that if GreyZelda is to stand a chance at this, we need to go directly to our friends, fans, supporters and talk to them about our theatre company. We've been off the Chicago storefront boards since April 2008 which means some people aren't familiar with our work or others need to be reminded of what we do and why. I believe that we're a worthwhile theatre company. I believe that we can put on 4 quality-driven shows that will speak to our community with $20,000 which would also allow us to pay everyone involved in a production equally. I hope our push doesn't come across as obnoxious but, seeing where we are on the leaderboard, we're going to have to work a little bit harder than some of our fellow theatre companies. I'm going to attempt to "rock GZ's vote", so to speak. Many of the theatre companies doing well in this competition are doing so because they're putting on a united front that I very much admire. That's what our theatre company needs to do and this is a perfect example of how to go about doing so. We're gonna do this.

Nicolle, Gene, Chris and I are going to have an Action Meeting tomorrow night where we're going to make as big of a push for votes as we can. We're going to directly ask our friends for a vote. We're going to touch base with everyone we know. We're going to record videos as to why we believe that GreyZelda deserves to be a player in this competition. If we end up being contenders, or not, at least we've been able to reintroduce ourselves to the community and help our fellow theatre companies out. If we're not able to obtain the $20,000 donation, that's ok. I'll be bummed out but at least I know we gave it a shot and put effort into it.

By the by, if you still have a few votes left after voting for GreyZelda, please visit Backstage Theatre Company, Vicarious Theatre (Babes with Blades) Strange Tree, Barrel of Monkeys, Stage Left, Livewire, Will Act for Food, WNEP, New Leaf, Red Tape, Bruised Orange, Neofuturists, Halcyon, Bare Boned Theatre, Riverrun Theatre, Prologue, Chemically Imbalanced, Strawdog, etc, etc, etc, if you're looking for other local Chicago Theatre companies to vote for.

You can also donate to The GreyZelda Theatre Group through Paypal. All donations will go towards our 2011 and 2012 seasons which will include The Rough Guide to the Underworld by David J. Loehr and continuing our adaptations of Denise Giardina's Storming Heaven.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Vote for GreyZelda

Hey, everyone!

It looks like Chase Bank has set up their Community Giving Campaign again and we would so appreciate your vote for our nonprofit theatre company. If you could take a second of your time and head on over to facebook, we will be most grateful. What's really cool about this campaign is that in its first go around, Chase awarded $25,000.00 to two local Chicago theatre companies, The New Colony and The Sideshow Theatre Project, so it's very possible that, if we get enough votes, we could win a substantial amount which would be amazing and would allow us to get our 2011 season underway plus secure us for the following season which will include our adaptation of Storming Heaven and THEN some. Wish us luck!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Oh, Life.

Hey, everyone -

The rights for The Music Man have been exclusively reserved in Chicago until next summer by another professional company. I'd still like to jump on this Tavern/Big Musical idea so keep your eyes and ears peeled for the next undertaking.

We've also decided to postpone our second idea of the Chaos Cabaret which was slated for Saturday, June 26th, at The Montrose.

I'll be back soon with some video talk.

Thanks for your patience as we figure out GreyZelda's new road. Life is, quite honestly, our 7th Core Member and we're learning how to balance everything with her and the Happy Delusion of Creating Nonprofit Theatre in Chicago. I say Happy Delusion with great love, of course, so be not offended by my choice in words.

Hope you're all well.


Wednesday, June 02, 2010

A Blog of the Video Variety.

Inspired by Dave Charest's Walks with Dave, I hauled off and recorded myself on the ol' flip cam to let y'all know what's up. It's my first whirl at this so please excuse ... many things. Do I say too much? Of course! Do I not say enough? You know it! Am I a total dorkus mcforkus? Heck yeah! Was it actually kinda fun to do? Yup. I'll keep on keepin' on with it because there's nowhere to go but up.

Thanks for watching, GreyZelda nation. Stay tuned for more videos from yours truly and our lovely company members.



An Unconfirmed Update from Rebecca Zellar on Vimeo.