Why give away tickets to one show when you can give away tickets to two?

In homage to this coming Black Friday, we’re giving away a 2-for-1 this week with tickets to the Bedlam Theatre Company’s productions of Hamlet by you-know-who and Shaw’s Saint Joan.  

If you don’t know Bedlam, you might want to read this NY Times feature (!) from two days ago.  Yep, that’s right, this pint-sized theater company is making a big-time impact on the city theater scene, with its current production(s) garnering reviews like, “The most exciting George Bernard Shaw revival I’ve ever seen, bar none,” (Wall Street Journal) and “A production to be treasured,” (NY Times) and “Bedlam Theatre Company works genuine miracles!” (NY Magazine)

But what I love about this theater co. that is so evident in that Times article, is that despite their recent success, they still maintain a “let’s put on a show,” attitude that I think is necessary for success at all levels of the theater, including on Broadway.

The article jokes about the number of hats the Artistic Director and Managing Director wear and have worn . . . and will wear again (like selling snacks for next year’s season?).

It reminded me of getting my company and my first show, The Awesome 80s Promoff the ground.  I was working the Box Office, directing the show, general managing the show, running tickets to the TKTS booth, and just about everything else (all without paying myself a salary – because what “start-up” has any money?).

And it was one of the best times of my life.

I’m sure you’ve got stories of crazy things you’ve done for your show of your theatre company.  Tell me about something you’ve done that was above-and-beyond for your show, theatre company, etc, and you’ll be eligible to win tickets to Saint  Joan and Hamlet.

For example . . .

One of my favorite memories from The Prom is being woken up at 7 AM by the Prom Hotline (everything was done out of my apartment in those days) and me sprinting to the phone in my boxers and t-shirt . . . and then proceeding to sell the show to a Mom booking her daughter’s Sweet 16 party.

Thank God there was no Skype in those days.

Tell me your story and you could win!  And, get this, since we’ve got two shows, we’ll have two winners!

Hit it!


(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below! Email Subscribers, click here then scroll down to say what’s on your mind!)

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21 Responses to The Sunday Giveaway: Two Tickets to Hamlet and Two Tickets to Saint Joan!

  1. Reynaldo Piniella says:

    Worked as an actor at a non-equity company that had me cleaning the bathroom until my eyes burned from the chemicals. Swept up mouse droppings from their hallway. Gave out flyers to the show I was in with snow on the ground. Good times…

  2. Jamie says:

    In college, one of the actors in a show I wrote had an uncanny resemblance to a young Matt Damon. When our company made flyers to hang up around campus, we jokingly said that the show featured Matt Damon. We thought no one would actually believe that he would be in a ragtag short play put at the University Center of our small town college. Much to our surprise, there was an absolutely insane line of people waiting to see in. Luckily they had a good sense of humor about it, and we got a good laugh/applause when they realized it was just a doppelganger.

  3. Kyle Abraham says:

    I once painted a theatre’s gift shop during a power outage; no lights, no air conditioning. And this was in the middle of summer in Atlanta, GA!

  4. gjc says:

    I’m never the man-in-charge, mainly because I don’t feel I have the right to utlilize other people’s talents for my DREAM without paying them what their worth. And I’ve never found a collaborator either that I’d be willing to exploit with a lot less guilt. Maybe that’s why I’m not married either??

    However, I do like Shaw & Shakespeare, so count me in for the tix.

  5. Alex Bishop says:

    For The Birds and the Bees: Unabridged I was their advertising coordinator and social media person. And I have one memory of running to the east side to pick up printed flyers and then running back to Chelsea and walking around by myself carrying a laptop bag and another huge bag and trying to find places that would hang our poster. I was exhausted!

  6. Kevin B says:

    My first summer stock production was Gypsy, as one of the Farm boys. The keyboard player quit during final dress and in the small town where we were, they didn’t know if they’d be able to find someone else fast enough. They knew that I played, so we remapped my track and moved my costumes to the pit. As soon as I left the stage, I sprinted under the stage, crept onto the piano bench, and played the show–changing costumes during applause–until my next entrance.

  7. Keni Fine says:

    August 8, 2013- “ENDANGERED! The Eco-Musical” is set to perform at the Kennedy Center with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington* (Project began from scratch in March 2013). *BGCGW runs a 3 week Arts Camp culminating with the show.
    I arrive in DC Aug 1. My Composer-Collaborator/Co-Producer/Co-Director and I (Librettist & Lyricist) decide to augment the casting, so Aug 2, I place ads in Backstage and email friends. We audition people over the weekend, cast 4, with 2 new leads. Tony Small, my Co-everything-Composer-collaborator is also musical director, camp director, directing, rehearsing and orchestrating for vocals and 15 instruments during this last week. Our Costumer and Makeup person has pneumonia, so I find and hire Lucky the Clown to do makeup, and head to PetSmart, Staples & TJ Maxx in Arlington where I costume the show in 3 hours on a Friday night. I also cover set design. On Sunday, Tariq, our superb main lead and summer camp choir leader of the large cast of kids gets hit by a car. (He’s okay, t-G, but out of the show.) So when one of the new young cast members arrives for his first rehearsal on Sunday, I give him that lead role-for Thursday. (He did great!) In the evenings, I send out emails and social media blasts to get more promotion in DC (got the Sierra Club to post it on their calendar). 4 nights of feeding 50+ kids √. Final poster design-√ open house post cast party @Kennedy Center for 200+ √ Transportation-√, Lighting Design √ and… oh yeah, Stage Manager √.
    Oh, and no budget for any of the above.
    Great 4 day rehearsal schedule for leads (!?!). … Great show! Overflow crowds.
    (Kennedy Center is giving us a bigger theater next summer for 3 nights vs 1, for a new show: “RUKA The Eco-Musical”)
    **See the video of “ENDANGERED! The Eco-Musical” on the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage website… then contact me for production inquiries.

    Yes, I’m available for hire to write and–well, anything else–your show.

  8. Sarah says:

    Quite recently, I directed/produced a show where the board-op dropped right the day before tech. Because there wasn’t enough time to find someone new to replace them, I had to run the lights and sound. However it was already planned that I was going to make the pre-show speech, so I ran the pre-show music, then turned it off to run out of the booth to give the pre-show speech, then ran back to start to show. I ended up doing everything but act in it- until the 2nd to last performance where an actor broke her leg, so since I was the only one who knew the lines (and it was a cameo role), I ended up being the producer/director/stage manager/board-op/actor for the final two days (those last two I run the show in her costume).

  9. Billy Christopher Maupin says:

    I wanted for years to do direct/produce a production of Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead. I pounded many doors, many times, and eventually settled for a reading, which then led to a hit production, which then led to a production in rotation rep with You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (with the same cast).

    During those three productions and the reading, I did everything from photocopies of schedules and scene breakdowns to hanging posters to graphic design to marketing to costume design to finding the technician who could make it rain on the stage to cleaning up the rain myself to stage managing for one of the runs to board op to house managing…

    OK…yep. That was my baby. And one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done.

  10. Nathan Clift says:

    I directed a play and one of the scenes was a time period scene (the 1940s). I became a Dramaturg for that scene.

    I also produced, directed, stage managed, acted, did publicity, co-coregraphed dramaturged for 3 different shows that were happening all at the same time

    • Nathan Clift says:

      Btw it was split up more like:
      1 show: co coregraphed, stage managed, publicity
      2. Directing, dramaturg, publicity,
      3. Acting, dramaturg, publicity

  11. Marilyn says:

    Started a theatre for operetta in Pa. Did the scenery painting, costume sewing, publicity, and performed. Opening night, box office personnel were not there, so found myself in full makeup and costume for “The Student Prince” in the box office, selling tickets – the surprise and delight on the customers’ faces as some of them recognized me and were concerned I wouldn’t make my entrance on time! My entrance applause was simply AMAZING!!!! What we do for love!!!!

  12. Rick Stutzel says:

    I was working in a production of a forgettable comedy 10 years or so ago, in a small old theater in Florida that smelled of mold.
    Somewhere in the middle of my climactic scene one of Florida’s famous Flying Volkswagen sized roaches started dive bombing the stage. The audience was distracted into roars of laughter as it flew around the scene.
    Since I HATE being upstaged, I smashed him into the stage and reclaimed my audience to great applause.

  13. Shiraz Biggie says:

    I once sent a truck on a three hour excursion to the Berkshires to pick up a recently chopped down tree at a friend’s farm because the NYC Parks Department wouldn’t let me collect tree branches in central park for the set of a show.

  14. Travis says:

    I’ve never had to run a whole production before. But I’m a student producer for my high school senior class production of Legally Blonde the Musical. With ~200 kids auditioning, I’ll have a lot of minor casting to do, and odd errands to run. From all of these comments I see that being a producer for a show means there’s a lot off odd jobs in my future.

  15. Katie M says:

    While I was ASMing a show, our (anonymous) sound board op started feeling sick during a performance, near the end of Act 2. I started running up to the balcony with a bucket…but too late. The SM was calling a light sequence while comforting the puking board op, I was coordinating a cleaning crew to come in the back door and trying to coach a stagehand about running sound.

  16. The Epiphany Theater Company was doing an adaptation I wrote of A CHRISTMAS CAROL up in Saratoga Springs. Scrooge’s apartment was supposed to be sparse, but it was looking too sparse. The producer was scrounging around for set dressing, but she had no budget. She had to go back to NYC for something, so I gave her the keys to my apartment and told her to bring back anything that looked vaguely Victorian. She came back with books, book ends, an old clock, a miniature pewter knight, and a whole bunch of other stuff, which turned Scrooge’s chambers into something that looked remarkably like my apartment! Meanwhile, I was staining the coffin and aging the walls. We got the set done in time… barely!

  17. Cara says:

    One of my best/craziest Theatre experiences in college was participating in our first Theatre 24. We were the first student rub theatre organization in NJ to – write, cast, block, rehearse, and up a show in just 24 hours. As an e-board member aka producer I was part of the entire process.

  18. ECP says:

    Coordinating a staged reading in Manhattan, I was asked to give up my hotel room for an out-of-town actor whose participation had been iffy. I figured, what the hell, I’ll bus back to NJ even though the thought of after-partying late and flopping into a nearby bed was so attractive. Well, I overstayed, missed the last bus, didn’t want to disturb friends by phoning at an ungodly weeknight hour, checked rates at a couple hotels and was shocked, tried for a train from Penn Station but was too late for that, went back to Port Authority figuring I’d tough it out until the first morning departure, did not know the terminal closed at a certain hour, went back to Penn Station and slept on a bench.

  19. Ed Katz says:

    While producing a show in Greenwich Village, I went around the area of the theater and put up flyers on telephone poles (and anywhere else I thought I could), I got back to the theater and, later that day, found we needed ice- which the theater didn’t have. So I made an ice run and, on my way back, noticed some of my flyers had been taken down.
    So I went back and got more flyers and put them up all around the area- again.
    I learned to always have too many rather than not enough.
    Speaking of which- want a t-shirt?
    Yeah, I printed too many.

  20. Janis says:

    Somehow missed this post.
    These guys had their problems for sure, but they oughtta’ try original outdoor musicals in a series of state parks in the middle of nowhere if they want some serious adventure.
    Like when the light guy spotted a skunk coming his way as he was manually adjusting the lights. Everyone on intercom was praying the skunk wouldn’t smell up everything. The light guy got the lights right and the skunk ambled off without doing his thing.
    Then there was the time I was directing and on the intercom telling the light guy to turn the lights Down! Down! No down! He said, “I did turn them down. Look up, it’s a full moon.”
    Then there was a huge flock of geese that landed squawking like crazy on the “lake” behind the stage just before intermission. Finally got them scared away before the second act.
    Then there was the lake behind the stage. Backstage was a deck out over the lake. A few cast members fell in and a couple got dunked, but no one drowned.
    Near disasters and way too much work on hot summer nights to even remember, but met some incredibly talented and wonderful people out there in the boonies. Some drove 100 miles one way to rehearse and perform.
    Great experiences and terrific audiences from all over the U.S. and the world.

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