Pop Up SLAM & FaçadeNew York, NY
What has been the thorniest issue you’ve faced to date? How have you dealt with it?
Here it is, November 19 and we are in the thick of preparing to open our SLAM SHOW home season that will run from November 29 through December 23. Following an extraordinary year that included a season at the Park Avenue Armory and a commissioned presentation at London 2012, the Cultural Olympiad of the Summer Games, STREB will return to SLAM for its first home season since May 2011.
The season will feature FORCES! The Movical, a full-length show developed by Elizabeth Streb over of the past two years in collaboration with associate director Robert Woodruff (Dog Days, ART), composer David van Tieghem, writer Jim Lewis (Fela!), projection designers Wendell Harrington (Grey Gardens) and Erik Pearson, lighting designer Robert Wierzel (Fela!) and costume designer Andrea Lauer (Bring It On, American Idiot).
In bringing FORCES! to SLAM, the “thorniest” issue the company has faced is how to adapt a show designed originally for large proscenium venues to fit SLAM’s intimate space while retaining the production’s full breadth and scope. FORCES! represents a next and important stage in STREB’s artistic evolution and features, as the press release states, “Big Ideas, Big Hardware, Big Hearts and Big Muscles in a big show for the whole family” begging the question of how to marry Streb’s artistic trajectory with the physical, financial and conceptual parameters of SLAM – 150 seats, low ticket prices, open access.
What some see as limitations have always been at the heart of SLAM – giving it an energy and relevance which ignite creative problem solving. To make FORCES! work, STREB has made a calculated investment and taken strategic risks on several fronts. During a six-week creative development period, the company and its team of artistic collaborators have re-thought design choices in order to maintain the artistic intent and integrity of the show while highlighting SLAM’s architectural features. Simultaneously, STREB has made scheduling, pricing and promotional decisions that have included adding an additional performance each week of the four week season, moderately raising ticket prices, expanding marketing beyond the usual grass roots efforts and charging a nominal fee for its post-show audience engagement activity, SLAM Inclusive.
With opening night a little over a week away, we’re looking forward to presenting a show that is not a “downsized version” of the touring show but rather something different that truly capitalizes on the unique qualities of a former loading dock and welcomes the residents of our community to share our belief in the excitement and transformative possibilities of Action.