Blog

Barnstorm!!!

MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2011

Barnstorm is a lively gathering place – designed specially for contemporary artists and provocateurs – destined to open its doors in downtown Seattle in May 2011.

Channeling the original European cabarets of the late nineteenth century, Barnstorm will transform an empty warehouse space into a cozy home for diverse performance and installation works that challenge social and cultural conventions. Poetry, music, hip-hop, theatre and dance are just a few of the possibilities we have in mind…

We hope you will visit our artist playground when it opens. Just leave your coat at the door, order a drink, relax, listen (occasionally) and do whatever else suits your mood.

Two Years of Arts Programming

Some of the useful things The Heroes have learned along the way.

1. If you think your original script is just the right length in its first draft, you need to cut it. And cut it again. And again and again.

2. At the very least, make sure you have enough video tape to completely document the performance of your epic play.

3. Limiting the amount of clothing that can be donated to your garage sale fundraiser will insure that your funky back yard event is not confused for an emergency response clothing drop. Or an exploded Goodwill truck.

4. Don't be too scared to invite your audience members up on stage with you for a family picture. (But do have a back up plan in case they refuse.)

5. Count on the fact that you will never have WiFi when you need it.

6. Never take for granted free access to a copy machine.

7. Don't forget to order a few vegetarian pizzas for your starving artists.

8. Take a lot of pictures at the after/cast party so you can remember that, sometimes, this work amounts to something that feels like joy.

9. Avoid, at all costs, any arrangements that require you to provide your own projector and/or screen.

10. Be aware that forty curling irons operating at the same time will probably trip the breaker.

11. At all times that you need to, stop to laugh. Stop to smoke. Stop to rest. And, if a marching band passes you randomly, drop what you're doing to run after it.

12. When opening champagne bottles, aim away from your fellow board members.

13. Don't panic. Take a deep breath.

The Vacuum Project

 

When was the last time you saw twenty vacuum cleaners filling a stage? Each play you’ll see on this night tackles wildly different material, perhaps unlike anything you’ve seen before. Why do we do marathon theatre? To build community, to make people laugh, and to marvel at the fact that yes--it can be done.


The Vacuum Project was, as many Heroes' projects are, an experiment. Could we really rehearse and perform 4 plays in less than 14 hours? Well, we could and did. With the help of 4 writers, 4 directors, about 20 actors, 8 Heroes and many audience members, we produced a successful evening. What started as an experiment, though, changed into an exercise in fostering community. Yes, indeed, these seemingly impossible things can be done and yes, indeed, the Heroes continually strive to make those arty dreams come true.

Let's Hear It For the Working Artist!

 

Perhaps one of my favorite things about working with the Heroes is watching artists take their work to a new level. Bringing any artistic pursuit to a professional level is challenging,

if not unmanageable these days. With schedules so packed, that I don’t see a free weekend until after the holidays, it’s hard to find a free minute to go through the trouble of building a website, a business plan, let alone the next piece of marketable work. So hat’s off to you, hard-working, superhuman, Heroes.

Here’s a few artists who abandoned their cynicism to give us more great work: From Versus, designers Bri Seeley and Paige Sandilands have both launched their own clothing lines and are in the process of building out new ready-to-wear lines of clothing. Stylist Braeden Blunt is turning heads with his own studio called Glam Shack. Film editor, Nathan Bean, who shared his work as part of GoudouGoudou has started his own editing business. This month, writer, director, and actor Lamar Lewis debuts his original adaptation of Antony and Cleopatra. Not to mention the numerous other working writers, artists, musicians that we’ve worked with over the past few years.