Wednesday, August 29, 2007

"American Machine" Running Smoothly

posted by Jim Lantz
Writer/Director, American Machine

Starry Night Productions and The Flynn Center present Jim Lantz's newest play, American Machine, in FlynnSpace September 25 through October 7.

Lantz is keeping friends updated about the play's progress through a series of e-newsletters, portions of which he has graciously allowed the FlynnBlog to reprint.The following excerpts are from Lantz's August 29 e-newsletter. For even more information, visit American Machine's website.

Where are we now?
Four weeks to go to Opening Night and lots of stuff is happening...

Off-book Rehearsals ... Tonight is our first rehearsal where actors are "off-book," meaning that all the actors have memorized their lines and we can start rehearsing with details like props, set pieces, and blocking (where an actor moves within the set). The show is coming together really well. I'm biased to say this, but our actors are so talented. I'm quite proud of our cast. Seth Jarvis portrays "Ipsy," a man with a disability and a cleft palette. Seth has put a lot of hours into researching this role and it really shows. Everybody else is researching their characters, too ... reading books, talking to people similar to their characters. We have plans to tour a factory in a couple of weeks.

Sets... Sam Rudy has finished sculpting the sets and now Isaac Wasuck has begun painting them and, boy, do they look nice! Both of these guys are phenomenal artists—the old brick wall looks so true to form that you have to touch it to realize that it's really carved stryofoam.

Beer for Cola ...
So we bought an old coke machine on eBay that will be a key set piece. The man we bought it from kept it in his garage to keep beer cold (his wife made him sell it). When we told him that we were probably going to gut it and rewire it, he got this sad look in his eye and said, "Hell, I thought you were going to use it for beer, too." (In order to get a beer, you have to pay 35 cents.) ... After the show, if anybody wants a beer cooler that could make money too, let us know.

Our Ads ...
Advertising for American Machine starts just after Labor Day. Check out SevenDays, Front Porch Forum, and your local kiosk. Each of our posters contains a statistic or fact about the vanishing American dream.

Be a Sponsor—Have Fun!
Egads! We're still $5,000 shy of our fundraising goal. With only four weeks to go and a big hole in our budget, to be honest, we're getting a little nervous about American Machine. We're making calls and hoping that we can still reach our goal. Did you know that for as little as $75 you can be an individual sponsor? For as little as $95 you can advertise in our program. Get great seats to the show with your complimentary tickets, advertise in the program, and see a really cool play about an important subject. Interested? E-back. If you're already a sponsor, THANK YOU! We're going to recognize you at the show in four short weeks. Of course, our play wouldn't be possible without you!

Blogger's Night
The Thursday, September 27, show of American Machine we're calling Bloggers' Night. This is how we hope it'll work. ... In addition to our paying audience and sponsors, we're going to invite about 20 of Burlington's bloggers to this show gratis. The only thing that we ask in return is that our bloggers do what they do best: blog about what they saw. What they say is up to them. What they see on Thursday, September 27, will be up to us. So if you regularly read any bloggers in Burlington, let us know who they are and we'll be sure to invite them!

Got an Old Home Movie Projector?
You remember those old home movie projectors from the '70s? 8mm clickety-click things that your mom or dad used to show scratchy films of trips to the beach, weddings and new babies with? Well, we're looking to borrow or buy one for our production. If you have one, or know where we can get one, let us know! We'd sure love to talk to you about it!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Flynn Honored as an Outstanding Historic Theatre

We're proud to announce that the Flynn was awarded the 2007 Outstanding Historic Theatre Award by the League of Historic American Theatres at its annual conference, held in Boston at the end of July.

League President Dulcie Gilmore presented the award to Andrea Rogers, the Flynn’s executive director and CEO, and praised the Flynn's adventurous programming, exemplary community outreach and engagement, and successfully phased renovation of Burlington’s 1930 long-neglected entertainment palace, adjoining bowling alleys, beauty salons, and bars into one of the finest performing arts centers in the country.

The independent jury that selected the Flynn Center for this award included Jean Brody, director of the Master of Arts in Arts Administration Program at Goucher College in Towson, MD; Melissa Cullen, AIA, GTM Architects in Bethesda, MD; Susie Farr, executive director of the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland in College Park, MD; John Leith-Tetrault, president of the National Trust Community Investment Corporation, based in Washington, D.C.; and Mary Margaret Schoenfeld, community development manager for Americans for the Arts, based in Washington, D.C., and New York City.

"The Flynn, long-recognized nationally for its excellent presenting program, received an outstanding rating in all review criteria," said panelist Susie Farr. “A compelling example of contemporary programming excellence in a beautifully renovated space that thoughtfully engages its community, the Flynn is an inspiration to other small cities,” Farr elaborated, summarizing the jury’s assessment.

The Flynn's artistic director, Arnie Malina, was present at the ceremony, along with Flynn Board Member and former Board Chairwoman Brianne Chase. As part of the conference's final banquet, organizers screened a video about the Flynn on a large screen, which drew a standing ovation from colleagues in the arts and historic preservation fields.

Andrea Rogers praised Flynn staff members with the following note: "Let me send that applause along to all of you who have consistently striven for quality and excellence in all that we do and who have enabled the Flynn to distinguish itself in so many ways. I was proud of all of us."