The Accidental Shakespeare Company is a new classical theater company in Chicago. The Accidentals want to bring a high level of dramaturgy and acting skills to an affordable storefront theater space. We are raising money for our first mainstage show, The Tempest. We are raising the funds to cover the production costs so that we can maintain a very affordable ticket price for all.
The Tempest is a show about magic and most productions make the show about the magical stuff, the spectacle and the show. We like spectacle as much as anybody, but what makes our show unique is that we put the magic into the context it would have had in the early 17th century. Our design team has invented what we call “Alchemy Punk”: like Cyberpunk or Steampunk, but powered by wind and magic. So-called magicians, astrologers and alchemists were just discovering elementary physics, chemistry, astronomy, and navigation. Do not be confused by all the talk of spirits. Scholars of the natural world studied the supernatural with the same intensity. Fairies and elves and witches were believed to be every bit as much a part of the natural world as Mendel’s peas or Galileo’s stars. Furthermore, Christendom had been in flames for a century over issues of faith. Their culture, like ours, hovers on the brink of overwhelming change, and not all of those changes were good.
It is very important to us to raise the entire cost of the production so that people who cannot afford the high ticket prices of many Chicago theaters will be able to come to our show. To achieve this goal, we need to raise $3,000 to cover these costs. Fortunately for us, 3Arts will match a third of our funding goal to ensure our success. So, with your help and the support of 3Arts we can bring this production to life.
The Tempest touches on issues with such contemporary resonance that legislators in Arizona have banned the teaching of it in the public school system. They think the play is provocative. They are right.