By Brian Fruits

About 24 days ago, we posted our first ever fund-raiser and used Kickstarter as the medium. I was, admittedly, skeptical and nervous. A lot of people, (Andy Pederson in particular) urged me to give it a go.

The results have been overwhelming to say the least. It is very hard to accept donations for it is a rather interesting experience. To be a gracious receiver is not easy by any means. I am reminded by my friend, David Rice (First Folio Theatre), who said to me, “Brian, if you believe in something and do not ask for help then that shows people you do not believe in it.”

There is so much to do so soon and so many people to thank on this journey. It is a lot but the stress breeds not only creativity but also urgency and pressure. These are all good things.

These past 24 days we have achieved our first major goal and raised funds for both rental space and copyrights. I have met so many wonderful people along the way and made connections through drama in Lumberton, New Mexico to Morris, Illinois to Oak Park, Illinois (again). People have stepped up and taken ownership in terms of merchandise, publicity, acting roles, videography, graphic design, web design, social media press and publication. I even have a friend of mine who has volunteered to handle our books for she is a trusted friend who has even handled the books of her own church on the side. We are truly grateful and blessed.

I need to thank the working board and the company and the communities of Chicago, Memphis, and Oak Park for their support thus far. The show rehearsals begin in August and all the dialogue and connections have really provided us with a sold “energy boost” as we head into our first season!

Along the way, we met Dr. Nicholas Rudall (translator of THE BACCHAE) and even were selected to be part of the 50+ theatre company festival: Abbie Hoffman Died for Our Sins Theatre Festival 27 between August 14-16th!

I look at all this as just more ways to get know other theatre artists and friends. This is not a competition - just a way for us to continue to grow and learn and share with others. When I was younger, I would have viewed it as only a competition - that is not the case anymore. I look forward to more partnerships.