I'm turning thirty five years old next month, and to celebrate I've created a fundraiser for one of my favorite arts organizations, the Wyoming Theater Festival! The Wyoming Theater Festival, which takes place in the summer at Sheridan, Wyoming, is in the business of developing new plays and musicals for the theater. They produce developmental productions of new work, where actors, directors, playwrights, and other theater artists get about two and a half weeks in a room together to dig into the scripts. This is followed by two weeks of performances that happen in rotation in front of an audience. The audience is a mix of industry professionals from around the country, and local Sheridan theater goers. One of the fantastic elements of the festival to me is that playwrights are encouraged to play with their work throughout the process. That means you could be creating and changing the play throughout even the performances. It's SO refreshing to be able to tweak things throughout the process, especially after you've had the chance to see it up in front of an audience. And then to have the ability to see if and how those changes work is a total gift.
The festival also hosts a series of workshops with artists, and readings of even newer plays. The Wyoming Theater Festival is where I heard RIPPED in front of audience for the very first time back in July of 2016. In 2017 I was asked to return for another reading, this time I got to hear LET'S FIX ANDY, and I was invited to bring my muse of that play, Chris Reed, with me to perform the title roll.
DannyLee Hodnett, the artistic director, is taking the festival into it's fourth year, slated to run August 8th - 18th this summer. DannyLee is a caring and generous producer and artist to work with. He throws his soul into this festival. And you can see his generosity ooze throughout the ragtag teams of artists thrown together to bring each new piece to its feet. The festival a lovely example of community, and the passion and dedication it takes to bring something new into the world.
SO! You've heard all about this great festival, now don't you want to give it a hand? PleaseT throw in what you can to support this budding theater festival. You can find my birthday donation fundraiser here on Facebook.
And if you're looking for something to see in August, make a trip up to Sheridan, you'll see great new plays and you'll also have access to some fantastic hiking, if, like me, theater and nature are your favorite things.