Fundraising for a LION IN WINTER

Sep. 24, 2016
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A Lion In Winter Looking For Nourishment

The Lion In Winter is a bit of a strange beast. As it focusses on King Henry II of England, it feels a lot like a Shakespearian historical drama. Having been been written less than 100 years ago for an original production that was staged in 1966, the language and plot structure of the script feel much more like a contemporary drama. As a result, it’s pleasantly disorienting with an overall feel that is very universal. This type of thing is so often behind the velvet ropes of museum theater. THE LION IN WINTER has an opportunity to reach beyond history and represent something larger.

Local theater icon Bill Jackson is looking to put together a production of the drama for the stage at Alchemist Theatre. Like many of us, he sees a great untapped potential in actors who usually don’t get cast for shows due to the need for more “traditional” casting. The strongest actors might not get the part. Jackson wants to put together a Lion In Winter that casts the strongest actors for each role.

Jackson is also looking to tap into potential audiences. There are a lot of people going to multiplexes to pay increasingly high ticket prices to see light feed through a digital narrative in high resolution. Give people an opportunity to see something for a comparable price that’s actually living onstage and they’ll come back. It’s so difficult to get around the feeling that theatre has to be something more formal than a trip out to the multiplex. Or maybe they don’t think that the local talent is as good as casting in Hollywood. I don’t know. I’ve been trying to figure out audiences for over a decade and I’m kind of at a loss to explain it. . .but Jackson is looking to do a major ad campaign for the production that would focus on local media in papers and magazines AND the multiplexes AND local TV and so on . . . just get the word out in the right way and people might be jostled into thinking about attending. 

Of course, assembling a well-compensated cast and crew and paying for a decent ad blitz and so on is going to cost money. This is a new company...Jackson’s Pride Theatre Company...no arts council funding or anything like that. So he’s looking for donations from people willing to try to help jump start a new project that could potentially help open up a new work being presented to new audiences that could really help local theater grow. 

The Pride Theatre Company’s production of The Lion In Winter will be staged one wway or another at the Alchemist Theatre Jan. 20 - Feb. 4. Those looking to help support Jackson’s effort can visit the GoFundMe page for the production.

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