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Austin Needs a Place

Making art is a grind.

As with child birth we tend to forget to the gross majority of the creation process isn’t magic, it’s a slog. So when we see an artistic birthing process we simultaneously reject it as something that never happens to us and runaway because: repulsive.

Something is about to happen in Austin that is rarer then hen’s teeth on a dragon egg in a blood moon. A new indie theatre venue is being born. It’s been ten years since that was the case in Austin and I’m sure that’s true in your City. New venues are generational.

I’m also sure that in your city there’s a pretty good chance that venues die at a much higher rate. In Austin despite the boom economically in a bad recession and a bumper crop of new artists there are fewer venues on offer for than any moment since I got here (and the Red Sox began winning championships like it was 2-on-2 bingo). There are fewer seats available at live performance (non-music division) in Austin than in 2004 despite the Austin metro area adding 300,000 people.

Into that breach steps long time Austin theatre advocate Lisa Scheps who saw the hole and assumed the risk. Ground Floor Theatre is intended to be a #newplay venue and a launching pad for the next generation of Austin makers. Not just writers actors and directors, but designers as well [the time is now for letting designers do something more than fix it with light]. Scheps also vows to keep rent as low as possible for all renters and especially for underreprented communities. Lord we need it.

We can argue whether or not the birth of a 140 seat black box should be a revolution, but the fact is that it is a revolution. And that revolution is here. The labor on Ground Floor Theatre is in process. This space is going to open. This baby is coming.

But to run the first year in the black they need a bubble of capital. They need the equivalent of diapers and onesies. Toner and lightbulbs and toilet paper. They need room to offer subsidies to new and underfunded groups. They need breathing room.

The Kickstarter is here and time is short.
150 more people are needed.
Or a few with deeper pockets, but we’re all theatre makers, we all know the uncle with deep pockets is a whiskey dream.

It’s us. It’s just us and thing that we need.

And it is we. This isn’t a fancy bauble that Austin gets to have. This is a node on the #newplay network. This is a new lab where a company gets to try something new, like your script or devised piece.

I know you’re broke. I know you’re tired and raising money for your projects.
Do what you can spread the word. Pimp out your household pets in videos:

They’re $7000 down and have to raise it over a weekend.
If you’ve ever crowdfunded you know that’s a long road.

If you would buy me a double tall gin and tonic at the bar after a show, or spring for a ticket to a show, or come see a show I was in and haven’t or can skipi the pizza this weekend : Please send it to Ground Floor Theatre.

Vote yes on ceilings and walls.