Posts Tagged ‘Intimate Theatre’

‘OfficeBLOCK’ ends tomorrow night where we will have a braai afterwards, small and cosy and keeping us down-to-earth with the people who love and support us the most, before we take the piece off to America, to share and build it with the amazing people at Wings Theatre of Quest Visual Theatre.

So far the response has been great. Here are two reviews, by Rory Berry and Mariana Malan and if you’re not so clued up on Afrikaans, the Google Translate application gives you the jist of what Die Burger is getting at.

AnaEven though our beloved Tink couldn’t make it, she sent her words with Ana and filled the air with her spirit.

As a draft for the final piece that will be made for QuestFest (US) and National Arts Fest (SA) 2012 the piece is showing a strong foundation. For this very short run, we’ve opened ourselves right up for feedback from our audiences. We’ve made space for the patrons to comment in on our foyer display, or in private with the director after the show. The work is, at the end of the day, about the audience, so who better to give us feedback? The audiences have this week been made up of new faces, press and the backbone of FTH:K’s sanity, the FTH:K Family.

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The FTH:K family, which originally started out as actual family members, has grown to include supporters of the work, from public, the press, collaborators and contributors. We hope that in the months to come, these characters in our community will be of the American variety too. Check these family photos by our amazing publicist Christine Skinner:

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Just two more performances left! Our trainees really showing their mettle. Come see! While you’re at it try get your hands on our OfficeBLOCK’ badges, they’re selling like hot cakes!

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I read a blog post the other day commenting on the struggle to successfully market theatre productions by theatre some theatre makers in Cape Town. The solution to this problem would be to let theatre-makers make theatre, and let arts managers do the rest.

In the Cape Town theatre industry, and this probably echoes worldwide, what theatre productions need, are arts managers. An arts manager is a company director, the person who runs the production like a business. An arts manager is not a producer who has input into the type of show the business must make. A producer might tend towards more commercial products and comprise the integrity of the artistic vision.  An arts manager is a master problem-solver.  An arts manager creates an environment for the artist to excel in, while putting all the business factors into place.

This is not to say that a director is incapable of doing all of it himself, but with time escaping us all the time, the director is at risk of doing a half-arsed job, resulting in poorly thought out and a half-executed marketing campaign.

The argument against having a someone else manage the business side of the work is that there is no budget for it. But then, is there ever budget for anything? Shows without budget operate on the currency of their network. Why should that network, which yields stage-managers, actors and writers hoping for a cut of the door, not also include a marketing manager / publicist who will only increase the number of bums on seats?

It doesn’t matter if you are the worlds best theatre-maker if no one knows about you.. does it?

Delegating and communicating

A healthy relationship between the creative and the manager ensures that the directors vision is in tact and the excited audiences know what they’re in for.

For FTH:K, Rob is the artistic director and is in the process of rehearsing OfficeBLOCK. Rob has been with the company for 6 years, and has done time as an arts manager. He understands what the job entails and so communicates his ideas with the company director, the publicist and online marketing manager who currently make up the arts management team.

This frees the creative team, the director, actors, stage manager and designer to focus on the development of their project while the administration, funding and management of the brand is run by the   arts management team.

Conceptually, OfficeBLOCK is about  “The beauty of invisible things”  which fires off a whole stream of ideas from the depths of the imagination. But it doesn’t tell the audience enough about the show. At least not in relationship to the name of the piece. In a meeting between the creative team and the arts management team, “Business as Usual” was chosen as the catch phrase.

OutcomesOBweb?

FTH:K

The cutting edge, award-winning company known for it’s non-verbal visual theatre work with pieces such as Benchmarks, QUACK!,  Pictures of You, and Womb Tide.

Presents: OfficeBLOCK

The name of the show and visual typography clues

Business as Usual

 The catch phrase to incite the question: what magic comes of a company like FTH:K exploring the office block? Find out

at the Intimate Theatre this November 15th – 19th.

Contact Angela at the Office for details.

This post is part of what the company stands for in terms of arts management. Using our current show as an example is a way of educating and marketing our show. Rings back to the old sales ABC (Always Be Closing), always be talking about your show.

It’s great that there are people out there who are tired of the poorly executed marketing campaigns out there, to them we raise our glasses, be it tequila, brandy and coke, or a cuppa tea and salute them. We, FTH:K join you in the the war against unprofessional approaches to theatre and celebrate the arrival of arts management.

OfficeBLOCK: …..business as usual…. will be performed at the Intimate Theatre in Cape Town from 15 to 19 November by the talented Tell-Tale Signs trainees Marlon Snyders, Christopher Beukes and Sinethemba Mgebisa under the direction of artistic director Rob Murray.

Joining them on stage is FTH:K’s leading performer, Liezl de Kock (Fleur du Cap Nominee for Best Female performer in Womb Tide), with set and costume design by Jayne Batzofin, and lighting design by Murray.
The work is the first phase of the ArtsBridge International Exchange piece. ArtsBridge is a collaboration with Wings Theatre Company in the USA and is the creative wing of Quest Visual Theatre. This piece will travel to Washington D.C. early next year, where it will be developed further, in collaboration with Wings for the Quest Fest in February before bringing it back to the National Arts Festival and a South African tour.

Getting the sequence right in the OfficeBLOCK rehearsal. Cape Town, South Africa, October 2011.
An Except form the Artsbridge Showcase, August 2011.

The production centres around an office clerk stuck in a dead end job. Increasingly desperate and feeling trapped, he embarks on a journey to fight for his independence and identity against a stifling corporation.

Featuring FTH:K’s signature style of non-verbal theatre, the production promises to be an intriguing blend of physical and visual performance – gritty, poignant, and absurdly comic, with more than a little touch of magical realism.  “It’s Kafka meets The Matrix and is heavily inspired by The Little Prince!”enthuses Murray.

OfficeBLOCK: …..business as usual….   will be performed at the Intimate Theatre in Cape Town from 15 to 19 November at 8pm.

This run will also be a fundraiser for the Artsbridge project. Tickets cost R30. Tuesdays is Twosdays – buy one ticket and get two.

Suit Up for Friday night’s show wearing your interpretation of a suit. Enjoy a summer bring ‘n braai on Saturday night after the show . There are also great prizes to be won.

For further information and bookings contact Angela on 021 4482838 or angela@fthk.co.za