Treehouse Shakers

Treehouse Shakers
Hatched, BAM Fisher, Hillman Studio

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Post Show Blues

Coyote's Dance had its third run in New York City at The Ailey Citigroup Theater at the beginning of this month. And now it is over. We know it will continue touring, as it has since 2006, but part of me is still figuring out how to make the next run in NYC longer and better. All the while, the next Treehouse project lays percolating in my mind, desktop, and soon to be rehearsals, as I try to mend myself from overall burn out.
Coyote's Dance at The Ailey Citigroup Theater
I often wonder how so many of my colleagues, friends, collaborators, and mentors continue every day in this business when the hard work we put into one show seems to go unnoticed most of the time. That's not to say I don't love what we do. What seems to keep bothering me is that after having produced work for young audiences since 1999, and building our audience base since then, I wasn't totally thrilled with this season's public performance turn out. Chalk it up to the fact that for the past two years we have been producing shows primarily for school groups and our teen show, Let's Talk About IT! for general audiences. This made it a harder climb for Coyote's Dance to return to NYC to sold out public performances.

We are at a turning point. We have to produce longer runs in this city. I see what our competitors do, and they are presenting their shows every weekend. Since we began touring more, we have cut back on our public performances in NYC, building our school audiences instead. This run made me realize that we need to at least take an entire Spring month and perform a few of our pieces. Sustain and build.
Sarah Milosevich, Ashley McGill, Miranda Wilson and Malinda Crump
Miranda Wilson as Coyote & Mara McEwin as Bluebird 

Next May we are slated to present our newest piece Hatched, for ages 0-4. My mind is already racing as how to make it successful, how to have the help we need in promoting, producing, and creating. We are thrilled that Jim Packard of Long Island Children's Museum has asked to partner with us during development, and has given us access to LICM's audience members and theater. We will premiere the piece at Jim's beautiful space next spring.
Students from Brooklyn Kindergarten Society after seeing Coyote's Dance
So for now, burn out or no burn out, I have to march forward and finish the post show work. And I am hoping that sometime soon, the work we make will have a longer run in NYC, selling out our houses, and achieving artistic risk at the same time. I look forward to a day when I can stop worrying about the audience development, and instead focus solely on making the best piece of theater for family audiences that Treehouse Shakers can imagine. 
Photos by Dan Ozminkowski

Checkout The NY 1 Link from The Parenting Report
NY 1 Parenting Report Coyote's Dance

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