Tag Archives: General Update

Plans: Music

I had one of those conversations with our composer Chris the other night. The kind of conversations that leave you more excited and energized that when you started. We are talking about new music for the updated Eurydice project. The cast is off looking for lyric ideas as we speak, which is pretty exciting.

While we were talking, he wanted to remember what he’d written last time, so pulled up some files. And then I heard him laughing and asking, “what did I do?” He starts describing the image of the end of the piece he’d written for when Eurydice dies.

“Imagine that there is a line that represents a note, and then another is added to it,” he begins.

And then something about him adding notes all over the place.

“It looks like an organ on its side,” he says.

For those of you who are like me and can’t picture it, here is the screenshot he sent me:

Music file for death of Eurydice piece.

I’m going to say it: I think this is pretty cool. I think the fact that people like Chris and Adrian and countless others can “read” stuff like this is pretty cool too.

But, back to the show.

I am really excited that we are going to be adding some music sequences to this piece this time. We’ve bought ourselves some time but cutting the script down and tightening it, which is not always easy for me to do. And we are using the extra time to glue the piece together with music and movement sequences. One of our goals this round is to get back to the story, and this is one of the ways we are going to do that.

Mostly, though, everyone seems to like Chris’ work. Back when he, Nina, and I were working on our first Fringe show, Spill, everyone kept telling me how much they loved the music. In fact, when I was trying to write one of the final scenes, I took a piece he’d written, put it on repeat in iTunes, and listened to it over and over until I could write a scene to go with it. So we worked from the music to the script, and then to the movement – a pretty powerful process for me. And it is still one of my favorite scenes.

We will be sure to keep you updated.


Thank You


Thank you for such a successful fundraising campaign. We could not have done it without every dollar, ever “share,” and every email.

"I really hate this place."
Photo credit: Valerie Giacobbe.
Lighting design: Ashely W. Mills

You may have seen my most recent update on the fundraising site, but just in case, here are a few updates:

We have our first rehearsal for the NYC production on Tuesday. I am excited to see the full cast together for the first time. They keep telling me that they are excited to be getting started. One of them emailed me today to ask for the rehearsal mp3 of one of the songs, despite never having seen any of the script. I am surrounded by not only talented, but dedicated artists, and am looking forward to working with them over the next several weeks.

Of course, while we are all gathered together, we will be sure to get organized about your perks. Please watch this space for update about those in the coming days. I, for one, and looking forward to sitting down with my crafting supplies to make post cards. It will be a good way to unwind between rehearsals.

We all have ideas and plans to make the show even better. We are going to be cutting down the script and developing new music. Adrian wants to re-work and expand the soundscapes. Ashley will be faced with the new challenges presented by a new space. We are also already discussing the ways that we do and do not directly deal with the story of Eurydice and the history of that story, and how we can do so with more clarity and elegance.

On to the art stuff!


(P.S. If you meant to donate, but missed the online deadline, let us know. Just send a note to your Tactus friend and we’ll figure it all out.)

Introducing Rachel


I have exciting news! We have a new cast member and are now fully cast for our NYC production this spring. Meet Rachel, an impressive actor and dancer. And she ate cookies with us – you remember how I feel about cookies. We’ll be poking fun at each other in no time.

We are very excited to be working with her in the coming weeks and can’t wait to see what perspectives she has to bring to the piece. Want to know more about her? Check out her bio on our Who is Tactus page.

Now that we have a full cast, we should be able to start rehearsal in the next week or so. We’ll be sure to keep you posted.

Introducing Olivia

Dear all,

I would like to introduce you to Olivia Weiss – our most recent addition to Tactus.

Olivia and I worked on Nobody But Somebody together this past winter. She took on the difficult job of jumping in to re-fill a role last minute, and then did an amazing job. I cannot tell you how excited I am to be working with her again.

Also, she’s got a pretty awesome laugh and liked the cookies I brought to rehearsal. I mean, cookies are important.

Olivia is a graduate of West Chester University with a degree in Musical Theatre. Want to know more about her? Take a look at her bio on our “Who is Tactus” page.

Have I mentioned that I am excited? Because I am!


Marketing Thoughts (or, how you saved me this week)

I am beginning to think that if you want to be successful at raising money, you have to be somewhat obsessive. These days, I feel like a broken record – a slightly awkward one. One that is constantly asking people to hit the “like” button or to donate money or to email links to friends.

It is more than that. Whenever I think of a new project – of a piece to develop or a festival or read a play I would really like to produce, I wonder first if it is financially possible. And I am often very unsure. Even though we do “really low budget theatre,” the costs add up. It makes it hard to think about the art itself, hard to find the excitement and energy that drives it forward. I had my personal “this-doesn’t-make-sense-art-is too-hard-I-should-give-up-it-doesn’t-matter” moment last week. It is a moment that tends to drop it periodically.

I think we all wish it weren’t like that.

But here is something else I am starting to realize: I really do believe in this art enough that I am willing to keep learning how to raise funds for it, keep being this broken record. And more than that, the extraordinary generosity of my friends, family, collaborators, and their communities makes me wonder if this art doesn’t mean a lot other people too.

Tactus is pretty much made up of people in their twenties, who’s friends are in their twenties or artists or often both – not the most money-having types. And yet I watch donations roll in from the most surprising places. Simply put, you guys are amazing.

Art is amazing.

People coming together over art is amazing.

If art is about reaching a someone or few, then this process is proving artistic. After a tough few days last week – a week where I spend a lot of time wondering if I should be doing art, if we really needed another show or yet “another theatre company in Philly,” I found myself stumbling into peers and friends who wanted to talk about art – this project and others. We talked about questions we are asking, about logistics we face, about communities we were proud to be part of. And then I came home and logged onto our fundraising page and discovered that we were up to over the one-third mark.

I have thought about how theatre depends on a partnership between audience and performance, but this is a new connection that I had not made before. You guys restore my faith in the work we are all doing. I had not realized how much I would need that, and how amazing and motivating it would be.

Remember that broken record? Here it is again – because I owe it to everyone who has donated to keep pushing so that their donations help us reach a fully-funded project.

Ways you can help – the count down begins:

First, please, if you have not already, consider donating to the campaign. We are down to under a month.

Second, please spread the word. If you do not have money to donate right now, this is a great way to help us that does not cost money. I was reading around this week and heard that this is the most effective way to raise money because people are much more likely to donate if they hear about a project from a friend. Here is how:

  1. “Like” us on FB.
  2. “Like” “+1” or “Tweet” on the fundraising page itself.
  3. “Like” or “+1” the posts on this blog.
  4. Email the links to the fundraising page, this blog, and the FB page to friends and family.

If you have already donated, spreading the word will help make sure your donation goes the farthest by being part of a project that is funded well enough that we can focus on creating the best art we can.

Final words – my promise to you:

So yes, I will continue to be a broken record. I will continue to become obsessive about funding. I want to make sure that those of you who donated see your donations going the farthest possible.

But more than that: I promise to make every kind word, every dollar, every supportive email, “like” on FB, or text shout-out count by pushing forward, even through the though weeks. I will work to make the art better and better. I will keep searching for community and participating in it. I will keep finding ways to keep costs low so that we can bring work to as many people as we can as often as is possible. I will keep finding new ways that theatre and audience connect. I owe you that much and more.

Thank you.

One Third

Dear all,

First, thank you thank you thank you! We made it past the 25% mark! And we have you to thank!

Which makes me think that it is time for a new challenge.

Yes, we can reach for the stars – the one-third mark. 33%. 767 dollars. And you know what? We are only 84 dollars away. So, if we can get another 84 dollars by the end of, oh, let’s say, Wednesday, everyone who has donated up to that point will get an awesome one-third of the way thank you card – wallet sized for showing off. One of three types! I just spend the last few hours making them – we really are going for the hand-made goodies this year aren’t we?

"One-third" Cards

"One-third" landmark thank you cards by Sarah

Please excuse the poor-quality picture and instead, get excited about the awesome quality cards you will receive when we reach this goal. And help us get the word out so you can get your card!

Here is the breakdown. To get 84+ dollars we need:

  • 5 20 dollar donations or 4 21 dollar donations OR
  •  3 25 dollar donations with one ten dollar donation OR
  •  8 ten dollar donations with 1 5 dollar donation OR
  • Some other combination

So hurry and donate here, or get your friends to do so. And remember, we will keep rolling out landmark goodies, so the earlier you donate, the more little things you’ll get as well as your main perk.

I have some other news though too:

We are in the process of finalizing the contract to perform this spring. Once it is signed, we will be able to release the days, times, and locations of the performances. Keep watching this space – I hope we’ll be able to share this soon. I just wanted to let you know that we are working on it and that we should know soon.

Also, we have a new way to keep in touch with us: we have a new email list! You can sign up by clicking this link or by selecting the “Sign Up for our Email List” tab at the top of our blog. It has been my goal for a while to sign up with a service that would manage any emails lists we wanted to create so that there would be an easy way to subscribe or unsubscribe from the list at any time. So yes, that is the promise: we will not re-distribute your email addresses and you will always have the option to change your mind about being on the list. So why sign up and see if you like what we have to say?

Rehearsals will be starting soon for our Spring trip to NYC. Can’t wait to tell you all about it!

Thank you again for all your support. Please keep it up – we depend on it.


I’m born!

It’s our first post! How exciting!

We’re still working out the kinks and getting everything all ready for the launch of our IndieGoGo campaign in a few days. So, as usual, Sarah is awake during witching hour, I (Sammi) am not doing my homework, and Nina is probably upside down. Oh, art. In the meantime, check out our facebook page, and spread the words about us like spreading butter on freshly toasted bread, until the words have permeated all the nooks and crannies in the farthest corners of the interweb, and I think I need to eat something.

To the toaster!


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