Tag Archives: fundraising campaign

IndieGoGo Highlight — “Reasonable Fear”

by Gabriel Valdez

Reasonable Fear is a new Philadelphia short play festival exploring street harassment and rape culture. In the words of producer Alyson Rodriguez Orenstein, the series will feature “survivors’ tales, pieces on street harassers, pieces on the difficulty of reporting crimes like rape, and pieces on the media’s contribution to the sexual objectification of women.”

Orenstein and co-producer Amanda Sylvester are currently running an IndieGoGo campaign to make the show a reality.

Reasonable Fear will be presented at the Luna Theater April 16-25, and Saturdays will feature comedians addressing the subject of harassment and rape culture; the line up includes Rachel Fogletto, Vickie Fernandez, and Hannah Harkness.

Orenstein and Sylvester are putting on my favorite kind of production – being formed as something entirely new from the ground up. These kinds of productions can help theatre respond more swiftly to the social issues we deal with today. It’s also still rare to see theatre that’s produced by women or that features women as the focal point. Money from their fundraising campaign will go toward venue, set design, and promotion, among other things.

I don’t like to donate to anything unless I know where it’s coming from, that who I’m donating to is reliable. It’s why I list fundraising campaigns very rarely and only when I’m familiar with who’s running them. Touch Me Philly Productions is a theatrical production company with a history (you can check out their past shows here) of bringing successful live performances to bear, including hosted horror events, concerts, variety hours, and burlesque shows.

Stop by their IndieGoGo, hear what they have to say for yourself and if you’re in the Philly area or just want to see more shows that cover these topics, consider donating to help put this one up.

If you’re an actor in Philadelphia who’s interested in auditioning, you can also check out the listings, but please be aware you only have until March 7.

Empress of the Moon: The Lives of Aphra Behn

Empress of the Moon

Aphra Behn. A spy for the British crown, whose job was to turn English expatriates in the Netherlands into double agents. A spy who returned to Britain impoverished because the English King Charles turned around and said, “Hey, guys, do we have to pay her? No? Let’s not pay her then.”

What’s a woman to do when she’s impoverished? Obviously, the only choice is to turn to the most debasing profession of all – become a writer. And that’s exactly what she did, claiming a spot in history as the first woman to make her living as a playwright. She was also one of the first fantasists in modern history,

Wouldn’t you like to see that story play out in front of you, preferably with sword fights and expert commentary about the history of identity…with more sword fights?

Chris Braak has written this very play. It’s called Empress of the Moon: The Lives of Aphra Behn, and it’s going up at the Capital Fringe Festival.

Now, I only highlight the fundraising campaigns here that I think are top-notch and worth your time. I don’t want to highlight anything that I think can’t be pulled off. Here, the play’s already written, its run is already booked, actors already cast, cast already choreographed. This IndieGoGo campaign is to help defray the cast and crew’s travel and accommodation costs to the Capital Fringe Festival.

Braak himself is one of the voices I trust and listen to most when it comes to the culture and politics of identity. This article he wrote at Threat Quality Press remains one of the clearest and most incisive pieces of writing on gender representation in the media that I’ve read in years.

Chris Braak is a special writer, and I want to see him succeed. He is one of those few I hope crafts the storytelling of tomorrow. If you’re someone here who’s familiar with him, consider contributing to his IndieGoGo campaign. If you’re unfamiliar with him, read a bit more about his play here, and then visit IndieGoGo.