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More Programming in 2013!

January 02, 2013 at 1:43 PM

Business plan and cash flow analysis aside, starting a new business is very much a leap of faith. Arriving at our first conference this fall without a large PAC programming budget, we weren’t quite sure how we would be received. In fact, the outpour of support was more than we ever could have imagined. As we look back over 2012, one of the things we are most grateful for is the warm friendship and kind support of our colleagues. This is a wonderful community, and we are happy to be a part of it. Our heartfelt best wishes to each of you for a wonderful New Year.

 

One of the reasons we founded 4Site Programming was to put more of our professional focus on programming. This idea of expanding specialization for the benefit of more performing arts centers is at the heart of the model we are creating.

 

To that end, since we launched the company last July, we have traveled across the Atlantic Ocean and our own backyards to see some truly inspired work. From Edinburgh to Montreal, Chicago, Philadelphia, Omaha, and even Grand Rapids Michigan, there is exciting work being created and presented. In many cases these companies are touring or preparing to tour in North America.  

 

Recently, we attended the CINARS conference in Montreal. Montreal is a beautiful city and a great cirque town. There, we had the opportunity to see work from four different cirque companies (one, Fidget Feet, was from Ireland). It was really useful to view this work in the space of a few days. It heightened our powers of discernment and understanding of the work. Plus, the new productions of 7 Fingers of the Hand: Sequence 8  http://7doigts.com/en and Cirque Eloize: Cirkopolis http://www.cirque-eloize.com/en/home  should be touring  in 2013/14.

 

In October, Chicago Shakespeare brought in two National Theatre of Scotland productions and presented them simultaneously: the incomparable Black Watch and the brilliantly hilarious Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart. Both productions were presented in unique settings to capacity audiences and are currently touring the United States.

 

Closer to home, the Philadelphia Arts Festival had an incredibly rich line up of offerings, including a new musical theater piece, Red Eye to the Havre de Grace. This is a unique and hauntingly wonderful work, staging the unraveling of the great literary mind of Edgar Allen Poe. I would not be surprised to see it have another life in New York and beyond. http://theater.nytimes.com/2012/09/18/theater/reviews/red-eye-to-havre-de-grace-a-musical-about-edgar-allan-poe.html?_r=0

 

Back in the Midwest, Omaha’s Blue Barn Theater’s intimate production of Red in a downtown warehouse proves once again that fine theatrical productions are unbound by geography http://www.bluebarn.org.

 

Last but not least, a word about the 2012 Edinburgh International Festival and Festival Fringe. The two Festivals take place over the month of August. On the one hand, the Edinburg International Festival invites mature and highly evolved artists from around the world to present work of exalted vision. The production values and artistic magnitude of the work is exceptional. On the other hand, the International Fringe Festival is not curated. That is something of the point. The work is everywhere, in all manner of locales, and there is a lot of it—over 1,000 performances. We managed to see about 40. Among them was some work that has already been touring the US quite extensively and that we had been curious to see: Charlie Ross’s One Man Star Wars, Mike Daisy’s The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs and Circle of Eleven’s Leo. While the logistics of the Festivals are obviously massive, it all seems to run with ease and a high degree of competence. Throughout the city, though inundated with tourists, the Scottish friendliness prevails.

With more than 50 years of experience, Edinburgh knows how to put on a Festival! We plan to be there in 2013 and beyond.



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