MARYSVILLE — Pop Up Theatre introduced itself to the Marysville community in the Jennings Park Barn on Jan. 18 to try and recruit some partners in its efforts to foster more spontaneous live theater in Marysville.
Red Curtain Foundation for the Arts Board members Scott and Beckye Randall and Courtney Calkins were on hand to explain the concept of “Pop Up Theatre,” which was inspired by “pop up restaurants” that are staged in a single location for one night only.
“Our biggest challenge is to develop new energy, a new audience and new talent,” Scott Randall said. “With a pop up restaurant, the space is rented, and you go to it that night and it’s gone, and you either went to it or you didn’t.”
Scott Randall was unable to find many precedents for Pop Up Theatre outside of New York City and Tennessee, so he believes that such a virally promoted series of performances, each at a different location on the first and third Fridays of the month, could provide affordable short-term venues for theater.
“We could be real groundbreakers here in Marysville,” Randall said. “Everett has been our closest resource to date, and we have a great relationship with the Historic Theatre, but it’s been so long since we’ve had a cohesive art movement in Marysville that I’m not sure the providers of such spaces know how to respond to it. We can use this to teach people what local theater and art can be like. Each show will let people catch on.”
While venues such as the Marysville Opera House can host larger productions, Randall touted the tight budgets and limited casts of Pop Up Theatre as affording broader creative flexibility, beyond the 150-200 plays he deemed the traditional standbys.
“Because each engagement is only for one night, we can do original pieces that people are passionate about,” Randall said. “And if a show stinks, then there’s another play coming in two weeks.”
Although Pop Up Theatre will strive to showcase a diverse array of material, certain productions may not be able to be performed at certain venues, such as a play with a great deal of foul language at a church. Likewise, in keeping with the Spartan sets, the actors will be allowed to perform stage readings of scripts, to reduce the amount of time they’d need to commit to memorizing their lines.
“Our biggest key is manpower, so thanks for coming,” Randall told his audience on Jan. 18.
Actors, directors and playwrights can contact Scott Randall to reserve dates for their own Pop Up Theatres by phone at 425-501-7604 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, log onto www.redcurtainfoundation.org.