We've matched directors up to plays and sorted which plays will be on which week according to everyone's availability (Judah Skoff, writer of Crowd, is expecting a baby the second week of the festival and is hoping to fly over before!) Now we have to cast the plays. You might think, easy, loads of actors in London, theatre capital of the world. Yes, but one of my aims with relaunching Over Here Theatre Company, was to cast as many authentic North American expat actors as possible. There are some fabulous ones here but lots of my favourites are busy working in film, TV or the West End. Luckily I get to meet lots of new ones who are coming in to audition for me this week. The two plays I'm directing, Crowd by Judah Skoff and They Float Up by Jacquelyn Reingold, require quite different casts. Crowd needs any number of young, twenty-something actors (I'll probably use four) while They Float Up requires a forty-ish white woman and a twenty-ish African-American man. Both fabulous plays and I'm eager to get started.
I'm curious to see how Benet Catty does with Bradley-Chelsea-Nameless by Al Sjoerdsma. It tells Bradley Manning's story from three different perspectives who are all aspects of him! He could find three men who look like Bradley Manning, or two men and a woman, or three people who look nothing alike. Will be fascinating whatever he decides.
So...Kickstarter. If anything was invented to stress people to the limits of their sanity, it is crowdfunding. Kickstarter puts even more pressure on you, because if you don't make your minimum target by the deadline, you don't get to keep any of the pledges. Kickstarter doesn't keep it, don't worry! It just means the generous people who pledged don't get their credit cards charged. We have reached very nearly a quarter of our target of £3,000 within the first week, £720. People have been so generous. It is very difficult to ask anyone for money, even if it is for something you believe wholeheartedly in and the project involves sixty people, not just you and a couple of your mates! So, I just keep saying to myself "Think of the playwrights. Think of the actors. And the directors. Go, go, go!"
Yes, I talk to myself sometimes. It calms me down. I am driving my family completely mad, however, as I have to be restrained from constantly checking the Kickstarter website, conveniently dropping it into conversations, etc. We're getting there and I have faith we will do brilliantly.
So, just in case you missed it on the home page, here's the link to Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/410975956/obamamerica-festival-at-theatre503
More good news, Mike deBono, a good friend, is coming up with set design ideas as well as ways to create the Theatre503 foyer exhibition for ObamAmerica. Marie Kearney, our assistant producer extraordinaire, thought of having a display of videos, interviews with the general public about Obama, photos, etc for people to look at while they are waiting to go into the theatre. With the two of them working on it, I think it will be rather extraordinary.
So, hopefully next time you hear from me the plays will have been cast. Watch this space!
Happy Easter and Happy Springtime to all.