66 3Arts supporters
$17,052 raised of $5,000 goal
0 Days 0:00:00 LEFT
Funded on June 21, 2020
    • 341% contributed

As a long-time theater director, I have a deep love for the theater but recently I have developed a great curiosity about also expanding my directing into the realm of film. With this campaign I am seeking the opportunity to enhance my skillset by adapting a play written by Meg Miroshnik into a short film called HANT. Over the last year, Meg and I have been working with our producer, Ty Fanning, to prepare for this campaign which was set to launch in April. Then COVID-19 hit. We have been left with a difficult choice: as so many people are struggling to fund their livelihoods, what does it mean to ask our community to contribute to a dream? As freelance artists in the midst of this current crisis, we have lost the security of our work in the theater and many other industries, and no one knows yet when it will be safe for those to reopen. So, what of our artistry do we have left but our dreams? Making HANT is my dream. In the midst of so much that is devastating or uncertain, I have held tightly onto my desire to bring this short film to life and my desire to bring my vision into a new medium. This will be the launch of my film work, which I can’t wait to share with you and many more audiences when we are safe to gather. Right now I am asking for your help to make this dream a reality by supporting the production and development of HANT. Your contribution will go directly to artists creating work with immediacy and autonomy. Please help us find a place for our art and our artistry in this new reality.

About This Project

HANT, written by Meg Miroshnik, is inspired by a theatrical piece that she and I developed for the 2016 Humana Festival of New Plays at the Actors Theatre of Louisville. Meg wrote a short play, Bug, as part of an evening of short plays called Wondrous Strange.  In the years since that initial collaboration, the story has stuck with me.

HANT is a story of a woman, Ann Ellis, who has recently come down with a case of “ghost-sickness” and must return to her hometown in search of answers. When she arrives back home, she meets up with a group of her former high school classmates whom she knows can summon the dead. Together, they confront what has been haunting Ann, and discover what will soon haunt them all.

While I’ve wanted to make a short film for a long time, it wasn’t until this collaboration with Meg that I discovered material that I had to immortalize: a piece of the theatrical world that demanded iteration in another medium. I’m thrilled to have both Meg and Ty as collaborators on this adaptation. Additionally, we anticipate bringing together a team of over 20 experienced filmmakers and creatives that will foster the transition of this work to the screen. Once the pandemic clears and it is safe to shoot, we will schedule principle photography to begin at the earliest feasible date. Beyond the support for the artistic vision of this endeavor, this funding will provide paying gigs for artists in the theater and film industries who have been laid-off with no possibility of work over these recent months.  

HANT is a piece that asks the question: “what haunts us?” It explores the answer literally, through its ghostly genre, but also metaphorically through characters who cannot let go of their past. We all have things that haunt us. Ghosts may be scary, but what could be more terrifying than ourselves? This piece is a gripping thriller, but also a heart-twisting drama. I am making this film because HANT is a compelling and nuanced story that deserves a wider audience. I am invigorated by the aesthetics of this piece and also its beating, bleeding heart. I feel that I must translate this narrative into a more lasting visual medium. I must champion this story. And someday, in the not too distant future, I must share HANT with you. Thank you for helping us make this dream a reality.

Thank yous

Contribute any amount or choose from the levels below.

  • $10
    Thank you on social media ($10.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $25
    Above, plus special thanks in the film credits ($25.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $50
    Above, plus a sneak peek into our creative process with private access to our digital Lookbook and other sources of visual inspiration for our film ($50.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $100
    Above, plus exclusive access to behind the scenes footage and a blooper reel ($100.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $250
    Above, plus you and a guest are invited to a private screening and party with Marti and the creative team in Chicago ($220.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $500
    Above, plus a private advance digital screening for you and your online guests, including a talkback with Marti and creative team to follow ($470.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $1000
    Above, plus prominent recognition in the film credits as a 3Arts Producer ($970.00 is tax deductible.)

Marti Lyons

Marti Lyons was most recently directing the world premiere of The Scarlet Letter by Kate Hamill at South Coast Repertory Theatre, which, unfortunately, never had a chance to open. Previous to that, Marti most recently directed How to Defend Yourself by …

View Marti Lyons's profile
  • Update 1: Schedule and Team Update
    Posted on November 16, 2020

    Xavier Roe, Casting Director for Hant  

    Xavier Roe

    Hello HANT Supporters,


    I hope you are hanging in there as we near the end of 2020. Thinking of you all.


    I am writing today with a few updates about HANT. First, I am thrilled to say Meg, Ty and I made our fundraising goal this summer thanks to all of you. We are deeply appreciate of your support and it has inspired much hope and creativity these last months, thank you.


    Next, a timeline update. We had hoped that by this Nov. we would be on track to start shooting the film. However, with the lack of testing available and the rising numbers of COVID cases, we are holding tight until we can guarantee high safety standards for our collaborators. While this means we have a moving target for the shoot dates for HANT, it also means that we keep our team safe while engaging the full breadth of our imaginations as we prepare for production. This pre-production work includes exercising our creative muscles by envisioning, designing, re-writing, and logistics planning. We can’t yet say precisely when we will be able to shoot this film, but we can say that we will be ready with great preparation and creative joy.


    In the meantime, we are excited to share the news of two new collaborators to our team! Xavier Roe will be our Casting Director and Kristy Hall will be our Makeup and Costume Designer. Please find information on them included here. We are so psyched to have them on board.


    Thank you again for being a part of our journey. We cannot wait until the time we can share HANT with you all and the world. In the meantime, please reach out with any questions and we will continue to update you along the way.


    All the very best,
    Marti, Meg and Ty


    Xavier Roe is a Chicago based actor and freelance casting director born and raised on the South side of the city. Xavier has worked with the casting office of the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, the Writers Theatre, as well as the casting team at the American Players Theatre. Chicago credits include: graveyard shift (Goodman Theatre), QBrothers’ Christmas Carol(Chicago Shakespeare Theatre); Twelfth Night(Writers Theatre); A Midsummer Night's Dream (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre). Regional credits include Macbeth, the Book of Will, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and four additional productions (American Players Theatre). Xavier received his BFA in Acting from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and is ever grateful for his family’s support. 




    Update 2: Schedule and Team Update 2
    Posted on November 16, 2020

    Kristy Hall, Makeup and Costume Designer  

    Kristy Hall

    Kristy Leigh Hall, (Makeup and Costume Designer) has worked in Chicago, Washington, DC, New York and regionally. Off-Broadway designs include: Woody Harrelson's: Bullet for Adolf, performed at New World Stages, Feather: A Musical Portrait at Signature Theatre, and I Forgive You, Ronald Reagan at Theatre RowIn Washington, DC, some highlights are: American Voices (Infinite Stage), Genesis Reboot (Synetic Theatre), Minnie the Moocher (Pointless Theatre), and That Face (Studio Theatre). In Chicago she has designed: An Octaroon (with Goodman Theatre), Byhalia, Mississippi (at Steppenwolf) and A Doll’s House, all with Definition Theatre Company, where she is an ensemble member. Additional designs include: Pygmalion, Frankenstein, each with a Jeff Award win, followed by Howard’s End (Remy Bumppo Theatre Company), Stick Fly, This, and Apartment 3A (Windy City Playhouse), The Who and the WhatPipeline  (Victory Gardens Theatre), and 33 to Nothing (A Red Orchid Theatre). Design credits in Milwaukee: The Wizard of Oz and Tosca(Skylight Music Theatre). She has been features in American Theatre Magazine’s “6 Theatre People to Watch” twice and is on faculty with University of South Carolina. www.kristyleighhall.com

    • Thank you to the following for contributing to 3Arts with the recommendation that we support this project.

    • P Peterson

    • Marti Lyons

    • Ty Fanning

    • Margaret Miroshnik

    • Julie Lyons

    • Donald Sprague

    • Lynn Hyndman

    • James Crichton

    • Deb Hamilton

    • Melissa Rubio

    • Mary Pat Studdert

    • Militza Pagán

    • Arthur Mixon

    • Matt MacNelly

    • James Griffin

    • Luis Klein

    • Mary Held

    • Margarita Klein

    • Lauren Gilmore

    • Mary Rathsack

    • Noe Castro

    • Carol Held

    • Lori Abel

    • Stephen Spencer

    • Kate Thibault

    • Stacy Barnes

    • Philip Dawkins

    • Jeanette Walls

    • Barbara Held

    • Jocelyn Miller Zeitzoff

    • Colin Sphar

    • Lisa Bol

    • Zeke & Cindy Held

    • Doug Peterson

    • Marta Jopp

    • Becky DerYeghiayan

    • John Palmer

    • Samuel DouglS

    • Anonymous Supporter

    • Linda Logan

    • Laura Lestina

    • Sean Lyons

    • Dina Monk

    • Jennifer Blair-Bianco

    • Brian Grey

    • Mary Beck

    • Chris Hay

    • Martha Gorun

    • Steph Paul

    • Jeannette Held

    • Margarita Klein

    • Emily Reusswig

    • James Held

    • Slavica Stojimirovic

    • Amy Andrejek

    • Andrew Boyce

    • Michael Rathsack

    • Shannon Bernhardt

    • Katie Held

    • Wayne A. Bernhardt

    • Theresa Held

    • Cailen Fu

    • Wendy Meister-Louria

    • Sheila Griffin

    • Shefa Gordon

    • Dick Lamm

make it work


3AP Presenting Partner:

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 Additional support provided by: 

Department of Cultural Affairs logo  Illinois Arts Council