Sunday, October 31, 2010

What? Fifteen Years of Outstanding Contribution to Theatre Arts!

Friends and Lovers!!
Rude Mechs is thrilled to announce an award from the Board of Directors of the Greater Austin Creative Alliance:

DONATE TO RUDE MECHS TODAY! We think this is the right time to ask because someone besides us - a really credible group of people - the Board of GACA - has told you we are worth the investment. So as you are considering your end-of-year or top-of-year donations, we hope you will keep Rude Mechs in mind. That's right - No sassy print mailing this winter asking for your fantastically reliable annual gifts (thank you!), just this simple email letting you know we are in it for the long haul and hoping you can pick up where the City of Austin hotel/motel bed tax fell short. (Every arts group in the city saw a dramatic cut. Our funding was cut by roughly $20,000 this year - that's one staff salary.)

You can make your tax-deductible contribution by clicking on the button below. The site will stay open through January 31, 2011, and we'll probably give you at least one more reminder between now and then.

on Eventbrite
We put together a little slideshow on flickr to remind you of many of the things we've done over the years. In addition to creating 21 original full-length works for the stage that saw 34,500 butts in seats, we have presented 21 touring productions, co-presented another 24 touring shows, co-produced 12 second-stage / Rude Fusion productions, taught close to 200 young women in Grrl Action, transformed a feed store into a modest black box theatre, created a shiny new classroom/rehearsal space, toured five productions to seventeen venues at home and abroad, and helped countless theatre, music and dance groups by providing our space at some of the cheapest rates in town.

While you gawk at how young we all were in 1996, think about the Rude future. We recently were awarded (as one of six companies in the country) a prestigious play development award from the New England Foundation for the Arts for our new play, CL1000P (working title) - we will send an invitation for you to view our work-in-progress showing this December. We will present a full-length workshop version of I've Never Been So Happy at Arena Stage (D.C.), and then premiere it in Austin with our first-ever commissioning funding from Center Theatre Group (Los Angeles). We will continue our national tour of The Method Gun at Yale, Dance Theatre Workshop (NYC), and Center Theatre Group throughout the Spring/Summer. We are already planning Decameron Day 3: Revolution! so you can look forward to new episodes of our original soap opera Harbor Cove. We acquired more of the warehouse complex this year, and will soon begin planning our dream performance arts complex with two spaces, a bar/cafe, rehearsal space and room for everyone!

We are lucky to live in Austin. We are lucky to live in a city where the press engages the arts in ways that are deep and supportive.

We are lucky to live in a community this creative and hard working and confident and intelligent. All this new work and all these open minds. We are lucky to live in a community where artists support one another, rather than compete with one another – where we lift each other up instead of trying to tear each other down. 

We are lucky to have so many amazing creative people that can make work with us, that are interested in making new work of their own, that understand failure is a symptom of working well and working hard and working right, not a predictor of future success.
We are lucky to live in a city where the audience is well-read and has a good sense of humor and brags on itself and yet somehow doesn’t take itself too seriously. We are lucky to have an audience that wants to participate in the creation of the play – that knows it isn’t finished until they show up and bring their own associations and dreams to the piece. And yet an audience that holds us accountable – with honesty but never dismissiveness.

We are lucky to live in a city that is full of bands and reads a lot of books and likes the outdoors and knows that a creative community isn’t just the money-generating ‘movers and shakers’ but also the teenage punk rockers and the quirky artist who builds spaces from trash and the hippies with their butterfly bicycles and the students making films and plays and music and their own new thing, whatever the new form will be.

We are always asked why we chose to live in Austin, so far from the artistic meccas on the coasts. Why would we have chosen anywhere else? Here we have friends and colleagues who know the value of a life lived making art with comrades and taking time to relax on the patio and share a beer and not get all het up about ‘making it’ because ‘making it’ isn’t how much money is in your bank account or how famous you are, or how ‘respected’ or ‘hot’. But how rich the hours in your day are, surrounded by people you love and admire, in a beautiful place that is both a safety net and the trapeze high above it.

We could never have made it without every single member of our Board of Directors and every single member of our company. We are deeply grateful that even when people leave the company and Board they remain a part of the family, and we all cheer each other on. And a special thanks goes to former Artistic Directors Kirsten Kern and Kathryn Blackbird, along with Gavin Mundy - all three of whom helped shape this company's identity from the get-go.

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