What blogs may come…

Welcome to the Animal Fire blog. I’ll start by answering the big question on your mind. What is the Animal Fire blog? The simple answer is that it’s an online diary of Animal Fire Theatre’s activity. However, I hope that I can show you that it’s much more than a simple blog.

For starters, the blog is just a cog in a bigger machine we’ll be building this summer. Three times a week we will deliver immersive content, not just about our current production of Hamlet, but insight into the thought process of theatre as artists, creators, and watchers. Not only will we show you an in depth look at how we put on Shakespeare in the park, we’ll also share our broad thoughts on why we do theatre. We want a chance to tell you what excites us about theatre, the methods of how it’s made, and through this process we hope to better understand why we do it ourselves.

Animal Fire blog will also provide you with a sounding board for what we’re doing and saying. We want to start a broad discussion with everyone who makes, watches, and enjoys theatre. We’ll have an online call and response where we can all bounce ideas off of each other. Do you make theatre? Tell us what you think about what we’re making. Do you watch theatre? Tell us what you think about what we’re showing you. Did you only find us because you thought Animal Fire sounded like the biggest natural rights violation since the gulf oil spill? Tell us all about it!

All right, that’s a pretty broad statement of purpose. Let’s get into the specifics of what we’re actually going to be doing, and how you can be a part of it.

ANIMAL FIRE BLOG

You’re reading it right now, but this is just an introduction. Every Monday I’ll post a new article about what I’ve been thinking, or trying to understand in relation to the work I’ve been doing. Maybe it’s the break down of a struggle I’ve been having during a scene rehearsal.  Or it might be a harrowing tale about how difficult it is to find a decent wad of flash paper in this town. Or, possibly, it’ll be my thoughts on a particular line of Shakespeare that has been rattling around my brain all week. All I can promise is that I’ll try to tell give you an insight into the brain of the people who create the shows you see, and that I want to hear your thoughts on all of it. There may also be a few special guest articles as well. Keep your eyes out for those.

ANIMAL FIRE PODCAST

Every Wednesday we’ll post a new podcast featuring a mix of Animal Fire Theatre members, the cast of Hamlet, and other passionate theatrical types. Part roundtable discussion, part radio talk show, and part PR debacle, this show will be comprised of riffing on our thoughts about the work we do, and the work we wish we could be doing. If you haven’t heard a group of actors who are three beers in argue about what era to best-set King Lear in, you haven’t lived. We’ll also have a rotating door of special guests to keep things interesting. Ever wonder what keeps an Artistic director up late at night? How a fight choreographer puts together a fight? What stage managers really think about the people they manage? This is the place to find out, and we want to hear your thoughts and questions while we’re at it.

PHOTO FRIDAY

Finally, every Friday, we’ll be posting a set of images, showing you what we worked on the week before. These will include preliminary costume shots, before and after stage photos, and compromising pictures of actors eating poorly. We want to give you a broad insight into how we spend our adult summer vacations. To that, we’re going to add a good-sized helping of videos. We want to show you what an actorthinks right before she walks into her big scene, candid thoughts after an intensely physical exercise, or just how badly amateur carpenters can miss with a hammer. We also have some ideas involving a P.O.V. Video camera and sword fights that are not for the feint of heart.

So, why do all this? Am I just trying to rev an online campaign into overdrive in a bid to get more butts in seats? Well, admission to the show is free, so besides stoking my ego that doesn’t really accomplish much. And, incidentally, we don’t have seats. What I would rather do is create a deeper connection with the audience that comes to our shows, and to anyone interested in theatre. To find a way to open communication between the theatre watcher and the theatre doer in a way that is engaging, informative, and entertaining. I would rather have an audience of twenty excited and opinionated audience members than twenty thousand random passers-by who happened to see a poster for “Free Shakespeare in the Park.” I would also rather use this great big behemoth of an Internet we have to start getting our late night talks and inspirations out of the bars, and into the heads of people who are interested and passionate about the same things we are. In the end we do this because it makes us feel something special and we want to find people to share that with.

So, let me welcome you to our great theatre discussion experiment. We have a whole bag of surprises in store to keep you entertained this summer, and I truly hope you can all find ways to surprise us back.

Sincerely,

Austen Anderson

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