Valley Wind Productions will return to the world of theatre this summer as a participant in the 2013 Ottawa Fringe Festival.
We’ll be announcing just what that show will be sometime in February or early March and posting regular updates right here on this show page as we continue to inch ever closer to June.
To start us off, the following is what I posted on allanmackey.com, thinking about Fringe shortly after the lottery and talking about what you just might see from VWP this summer.
I had considered applying for the Ottawa Fringe Festival since about the first year I knew it existed. I’d been out for one show in ’08 to see the show of an actress I knew and I saw three shows in ’09 which is when I was really introduced to what the Festival was. So I guess the first year I’d considered it would have been 2010. I was neck deep in production of Survive the House at the time so had no idea about the timing of the lottery until after it had passed. It hadn’t been financially feasible to put in an application the following two years, which brings us to the 2013 Ottawa Fringe Festival. The first time I actually did apply.
When lo and behold, I ended up one for one. Valley Wind Productions was one of fourteen local companies randomly selected for a main venue birth. Not sure out of how many applicants but I do know the waiting list was capped somewhere above forty with an unknown number of companies not even making that.
Not that it being a first time application has any causal affect on a random drawing, but colour me shocked nonetheless. I’m more than a little delighted to have won a spot, of course, and I certainly didn’t forget about it, I just had so many other things on my mind, I hadn’t really been thinking about it.
So, now, as surprise wanes and the truth settles in, an important question is going to need answering:
What the heck am I going to produce and/or direct and/or write for Ottawa Fringe Festival 2013?
Don’t get me wrong. This wasn’t a blind application. It’s not like I don’t have ideas. I had a half dozen alternatives planned before the applications were even announced. I came up with two possibilities in the last two days and another just last night. I’m Ideas ‘R Us.
For a while around application time the lead contender was an already produced and fairly popular international one-act musical. For various reasons, including wanting to do something original here, I decided I’d rather take on the musical with a more traditional run if I ever did it.
What’s still in consideration? One requires a specific performer I know with very specific skills who would need to learn an entirely new branch while we built the story and show around it. One is a pretty stylized show that includes story-telling, music, and movement components. One would be a short version of a full length play I’m writing in the new year.
There’s also one of a half-dozen more straight-up one-act plays I’ve got in the proverbial drawer or the one-act drama I’ve already got written. The current front-runner though, by a high margin, is some high energy comedy with a group of fun actors I’ve worked with in that capacity before.
All of the options are quite different. Meaning that what I really need to figure out is what I want to be working on, what I want to put up, and even who I want to work with. I do feel that some of the concepts I listed need more time for development and may be a few years off, but they’re still in the running for now.
There are lots of things I don’t know yet. Here’s one thing I do. It’ll probably be a big deal. ‘Cuz I just don’t go into things thinking small.
And once I’ve made a final decision, that’s when I get to step three. 1) Surprise. 2) Decision. 3) Excitement.
Then step four. Work. Which I greatly look forward to.
So right now, what we’ll see in the summer is still up in the air. But as I post this here, I’ve also been wondering if there’s anything else I should be considering. Which I’m going to put to you in the form of opportunity.
For the next month, and for the first time ever, Valley Wind Productions is open to pitches.
But let’s not get crazy. Here’s very specifically what I’d be looking for (and not looking for):
- A ready-made show that’s already packaged with director and cast won’t even be a blip on my radar. I enjoy the logistics and marketing parts of producing but only as a byproduct of the creative side.
- I’m most looking for projects I’d be very involved in creatively. Probably (but not exclusively) from a development and writing phase. Directing is almost a non-starter. There’s a lot of different possibilities so I won’t try and list them all. What do you want from me?
- I have a lot of my own ideas so what I’m looking for is the kind of show I likely wouldn’t initiate on my own and working/collaborating with people I might not think to approach on my own. Who are you? What’s your role?
- Wow me. As I just said, I have a lot of my own ideas, from the run of the mill to the super exciting. Whatever you pitch has to be as good as super exciting (in reality, better).
- Just because I’ve done this enough to know some people will mis-interpret – this is not an audition notice. When and if I’m looking for actors, audition notices will go out through the usual channels. (like auditionsottawa.com)
That taken care of, if you didn’t make the lottery and there’s a fire burning in your soul about a show – and you’re interested in having a partner/collaborator – drop me a note using the form on the contact page, say before January 6th. (If you know me outside of this post and have other ways to get in touch, go ahead and use them.)
In two hundred and fifty words or less, tell me about you, the project, and basically what you’re looking for from me. I will be following a strict TL:DR policy and I will delete all attachments.
I will reply to everybody who sends in by the 6th. I may only say “thanks but this isn’t the project for me,” but I will reply. Where I’m interested enough, I’ll ask for more details (be it script or treatment or outline) or set up a meeting with you in early January to chat more. Then I’ll make a decision.
I’m going to be perfectly honest here. My front-running candidate has a huge amount of AP – awesome points, the official classification system – but co-developing a show with an interesting hook, a bit of style, and the right actor(s) will get my attention and might have enough AP to compete. I’m always open to great ideas.