Support The Sea Pageant

by Rebecca Noon

RI

The Sea Pageant is a one-day-only, one-hundred-person, all-ages, all-abilities unison performance on First Beach in Newport, Aug 21, 2017, during a solar eclipse. Built with Rhode Islanders from many walks of life, we are using our collective histories to create a new piece of theater for our most important relative, ancestor, ally, and adversary: the ocean.

My performance collective, Strange Attractor began working on The Sea Pageant three years ago. In April we started drop-in community rehearsals in order to create the piece. At this point there are around 100 people rehearsing in 10 different groups around the state, preparing to come together for the performance (and their only group rehearsal) on August 21st. They are as young as seven and as old as I'm-not-going-to-ask; they are professional performers and lovers-of-new-things; they are families, dear friends, colleagues, and former strangers. They are all making The Sea Pageant for different reasons, but together they are making The Sea Pageant.

When asked why he was making The Sea Pageant, one of our oldest members said, "when you get to be my age there are so few new experiences you can have. I've never heard of something like this, so I know I have to try it out."

In order to create a performance with 100 people, and to ensure that the performers come from outside our network, we are collaborating with 10 Group Leaders. Each Group Leader has assembled a group of around 10 people and is organizing 6-8 rehearsals this summer. There are also three lead artists who attend all of the rehearsals (1-3 of us at a time) and teach the piece. Each Group Leader receives a stipend for and a snack budget for their rehearsals.

Learn more about who the Group Leaders are here

Last week we found out we lost some anticipated funding, which is causing us to reach out to you, our most supportive donors, for help. We have raised enough to pay for renting the Easton's Beach ballroom and 40 parking spots for the performers for the day of, to pay our administrative support staff and lead visual artist, and the Group Leaders' snack budgets. Because of our deficit, we lack the funds to pay our incredible Group Leaders, who are the heart of the work. 

We are committed to paying our Group Leaders, but without additional funding will go into personal debt. We are far from being able to pay ourselves -- the lead artists -- for the work we've done on this community project, and instead are just hoping not to lose money on a piece that is offering so many participants a new view of their home and a new vision of what's possible.

With our stretch goal, we could pay for more filmmakers to document the day, and pay ourselves for some of the work we've done for the past three years.