Macha Monkey Productions Programs
Our Goals are to Connect King County artists of all disciplines through a season of new theatrical work and quarterly, themed cabarets; create, produce and promote quality new works in theatre that feature strong female characters; inspire at-risk students to excel through creative collaboration and nourish relationships with community partners to reach a wider audience and support our growing budget (e.g., Hawthorne Elementary, Freehold Theatre, Theatre Puget Sound, Seattle Parks & Recreation, Washington State Arts Commission).
Macha Monkey's MEOW cabaret series is a showcase of new and developing work by up-and-coming and established northwest artists. Featuring multiple performance disciplines, Macha Monkey's cabarets give artists an opportunity to workshop and receive audience feedback on new dance, theatre, music, and film projects at no charge. MEOWs also help artists connect with other artists in their own community while Macha Monkey provides all the production support.
Macha Monkey is dedicated to new play development. Each season, the company partners with a local playwright to develop a new play over a six month period. The developmental piece connects local playwrights with audience members through staged readings and workshops that allow playwrights to get audience feedback on their work as they create them. Playwrights who work with Macha Monkey are provided with a community of dedicated artists, production support, and administrative backing to give them as many tools as possible for success. After this six month process, Macha Monkey fully produces the developed new work in the following season.
Monkey Works, Macha Monkey's flagship education program, offers long-term, intensive artist residencies in Seattle Public Schools. In the 2010/2011 school year, Macha Monkey served more than 80 local students in four Seattle classrooms. Teaching artists work with fourth and fifth grade students in a playwriting and performance residency focused on integrating theater arts with social studies. Students work with the teaching artist to develop a script and then perform the work for the community in a public performance.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Macha Monkey's recently developed new work Nancy, Frank and Joe by local playwrights Desiree Prewitt and Kristina Sutherland was nominated for the American Theatre Critics Association's annual ATCA/Steinberg New Play Award in December of 2009. With only about two dozen scripts or so recommended in most years, out of hundreds of new plays seen by ATCA critics across the country, being considered is certainly an honor! Sutherland's newest play, Thebes, premiered in January 2012 to rave reviews. The Seattle Times' Tom Keogh wrote, "Assumptions are best left at the door when attending Kristina Sutherland's new penetrating drama-comedy...Director Alexis Holzer juggles many tricky elements...while the strong cast keeps it all engrossing. The technical crew pulls off impressive moments of reality morphing spookily into fantasy. Thebes makes an interesting companion piece with Sutherland's 2009 Nancy, Frank and Joe...another intersection of family dysfunction and enterprise, history and mythmaking. The playwright has made that interesting equation a rich vein to mine."
Macha Monkey's long-term focus is capacity-building. We are growing from a volunteer-based organization to a professional nonprofit. This is a difficult step for a nonprofit arts organization to take and we need help to achieve it. Paying our artistic partners and administrative staff is important to Macha Monkey and a key to our continued success. Macha Monkey has successfully delivered and expanded excellent programming since we incorporated eleven years ago. We have reached artistic goals. We have a solid audience base and a core group of dedicated volunteers who have laid the grassroots groundwork for our present and future success - but that success has outgrown an all-volunteer model. We must now broaden our focus to administrative development to sustain our mission and continue to deliver quality programming on the stage and in the classroom.