Friends! Thanks to your generous support the past year, we are SO close to our initial goal of $2500! In our previous campaign, we reached $2025, bringing us over 80% of the way there!
The Connecting Routes Project is now a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, so any donation from now on is now tax-deductible!
Please consider supporting us and our artists, and helping to bring accessible theatre to communities across our nation's railway network! We only have $500 left until we reach our initial goal, but all additional funds will go directly towards future tours with The Connecting Routes Project! (We have a lot of big plans in store!)
WHAT IS THE CONNECTING ROUTES PROJECT?
The Connecting Routes Project (www.connectingroutes.org ) is a new touring arts collective that is committed to uniting communities through shared storytelling. We tour productions nationwide from Chicago via America's railway network, and offer storytelling community engagement programs both virtually and in-person. We believe that there is more that unites us than divides us, that stories connect us. Particularly following this difficult moment we find ourselves in, The Connecting Routes Project believes that reconnecting is more important than ever before.
Kerfuffle (www.kerfuffletvy.com ), a midwestern theatre and dance company for very young children, is the inaugural partner of The Connecting Routes Project.
With Kerfuffle in September 2021, we will co-produce “The Conductors,” an original, highly visual, and nonverbal play for children ages 2-5 and their families to multiple Chicagoland organizations. Traveling by way of the Metra train network, the play explores community, connection, and travel. Like Metra, this project connects people from large and small communities across economic, demographic, and geographic divides, and shows that engaging theatre belongs to all, no matter how old you are.
“The Conductors,” will feature multi-sensory props, aesthetically exciting lights and projections, live music and physical storytelling. Performance venues will be walking distance from Metra stations, in non-traditional theatre spaces like libraries, parks, or museums. Traveling by train, we also bring attention to this sustainable public resource available as we continue moving towards a greener and more environmentally conscious society. Performing in public spaces where young children already congregate , the show will be free admission and accessible to all and prove that theatre can include everyone regardless of age, geography, finances, or other constraints.
DEVISING AND REHEARSAL:
Kerfuffle develops theatre for the very young (TVY) in direct partnership with children in order to understand what delights, bores, surprises, or engages a child under 5. By conducting workshops virtually, children at home will have the opportunity to be major artistic partners in the creation of the play this summer. With a team of teaching artists, we will develop downloadable play development packets with creative drama and movement prompts, videos, and stories. Children’s emotional, physical, and verbal responses will guide the play development, and their ideas and moments of magic will be directly incorporated into the play.
Rehearsals will be held throughout August in Chicago, with open rehearsal offerings for child feedback throughout the process. In September, the play will tour to libraries, museums, and parks, aiming for 12 performances at 4-5 organizations, with 1-3 shows per day. To ease young children into the experience, there will be a pre-performance art making activity, and afterwards, a post-show activity.
YOUR CONTRIBUTION SUPPORTS:
Artist Stipends. We believe in paying all artists who work with us. Approximate cost for all actors, designers, and production staff is $4200.
Scenic Materials. This will be an intimate and immersive experience created specifically for young audiences. Scenic design will also need to be adapted to match expected guidelines surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic in order to provide a safe environment for artists and audience. Approximate cost for scenic materials is $1200.
Transportation Costs. We will travel by Metra Regional Rail to all venues. For our currently scheduled performances, Metra train tickets will cost approximately $900.
*We have received partial funding from Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) grant.
*We are actively following all updates surrounding COVID-19 guidelines. If it is not possible to produce our project in September, we will reassess and reschedule. If delayed, this production will happen as soon as it is safe to do so!