In July 2013, my wife Amy and I decided to start trying for a family. All I wanted was a book to read about someone else going through a similar situation. But I wanted a good memoir, not something from the pregnancy self-help section. That book didn’t exist, so I wrote it.
To test the material before beginning the arduous process of finding an agent and a publisher, I adapted the book into an hour-long show at the Minnesota Fringe Festival in 2014. After a performance, a woman came up to me, asked if I’d be interested in developing it further, and handed me her card…for the Guthrie!
And now? A new and expanded version of The Genealogy of Happenstance opens at the Dowling Studio at the Guthrie on September 17th! I’m excited to present the work to a new audience, and hope that it will open doors for more stage appearances, as well as leading me down the path towards publishing the full book.
Why crowdfunding? What’s in it for me?
Although the Guthrie is presenting the show, I’m still independently producing it. I receive a guaranteed stipend from the Guthrie, but there are several items that I am responsible for providing. This includes:
- A director/stage manager ($1,500)
- A producer to manage the business end so I can focus on the art ($750)
- A professional lighting designer ($750)
- Liability insurance for the run ($379)
- Child care two afternoons a week the next three weeks so that I can rehearse without the dulcet tones of my eight-month old who currently believes she is a mountain climbing grizzly bear ($300)
My total costs: $3,679.
Oooh, I like the perks. But I like to feel like I did something good for the world when I contribute, because I’m not a selfish person.
You sure aren’t! Although the show is a personal one, the time period between deciding to start a family and actually getting a positive pregnancy test is not a topic many people talk about. I have been humbled by the audience reactions and conversations that have taken place after seeing the show. Turns out, lots of people feel enormous stress during this period, without anyone to talk to about it. This work spurs these conversations to make people feel less alone, especially at a time when the issues surrounding pregnancy and maternity are becoming increasingly politicized.
What happens if you don’t make your funding goal? Will the show still happen?
Yes, it will. But any costs I can alleviate without using funding from my Guthrie stipend means that I can direct those funds towards continuing to pay for childcare for two afternoons a week for a few months so that I have time to focus on my own writing, as well as capitalizing upon any performance or writing opportunities that may come my way as a result of the Guthrie run.
I can’t contribute right now, but I still want to help!
- Are you on social media? Share this campaign!
- Come see the show! Tickets available now at www.guthrietheater.org.
- Know someone who needs to hear this story? Tell them to come to the show!
Thanks, everybody, and I hope to see you soon at the Guthrie.