Friday, November 7, 2014

A Word of Thanks

This last weekend, I did a fundraiser for the Bloomington Playwrights Project, the only professional theater in the state of Indiana devoted solely to new plays. This is where I met my rocket launch buddy Chad, who is the Artistic Director there (and now also at a summer theater festival in the Adirondacks, where I'm sure he's seeking out some boss launch sites for our visit next summer).

As it has become my new obsession, I used rockets as my incentive to get people to donate - and it was really successful! We did a 24-hour play writing competition, The Playoffs. We got drafted onto teams, then were assigned a theme, a prop and a line of dialogue, all of which had to be incorporated into every play. The playwrights went home and wrote all night, then we rehearsed all day, and at the end of a long, exhausting day, we performed the plays as one show.

Audience members voted on their favorite plays, and if we raised money, we'd get extra votes. I raised nearly $500 - not huge, but perhaps more than any of the other actors, and certainly more than I usually raise (I average about 40 bucks, maybe).

To my donors, I promised that I would design and build rockets for them. Anybody who donated would get a mention on this blog, and an invitation to a Donors Only Rocket Launch, which we'll probably hold in the spring. Anybody who donated $50 or more would get the Donors Rocket, a line of small sport models which I will design and build myself, and anybody who donated $100 or more would get either a Freaking Huge single-stage rocket, or a Big two-stage rocket. We're gonna launch these, and any that don't get lost in trees or crash will go home with the donors.

This actually worked! I'm now going to get to design and build rockets for several  people! My girlfriend even chipped in $100 with the request that I build her two rockets, named for her nephews Titus and Pius (both awesome names for rockets), and that I not build rockets on the kitchen table for one week.

That week is now over... And I'm jonesing to get started on a couple new projects, which I'll talk about in my next post.

Therefore, let me please thank the following people:

Keith Solberg
John Whikehart (Deputy Mayor of Bloomington, Indiana)
David Chadwick
Christiane Kaden
Jackie Lee King
Lisa Barton
Dan Allen
Hank Greene (the playwright and sketch comedy writer, not the Nerdfighter, although he is awesome too)
Anonymous (That's you, Biff & Josie)

We came within two votes of tying for winner of the night, and we did get the Audience Choice award, just losing out to Chad's team. Chad always wins - the dude may not be the greatest at not losing rockets, but he can really raise money for new theater. Still, putting the fear in him for winning by a margin of a mere two votes is good enough for now.

Thanks again!

See you at the launch pad, guys!
One last relevant word about rockets and theater - if you're near the central Indiana area, check out the upcoming BPP production this coming April, Ugly Lies the Bone by Lindsey Ferrentino. It's a drama about a soldier coming back from Afghanistan at the end of the Space Shuttle era, and will be directed by David Anspaugh, the filmmaker who directed Hoosiers and Rudy. Chad and I might actually take on the project of building a Dr. Zooch space shuttle and hold a cast launch for this one. (Any excuse to launch rockets...)

That's right, guys. Chad has really made this theater great.

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