Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Exquisite Clutter in a New Space

I want to lead the Victorian life, surrounded by exquisite clutter.
-Freddie Mercury

Were he still alive, I think Freddie Mercury would appreciate theatre KAPOW. He would love the work, certainly (clearly the man had a flair for the dramatic), but I’m sure he’d also appreciate our “exquisite clutter.” For seven years now, tKAPOW has been accumulating stuff. I’m reminded of Peter’s performance this past weekend in our most recent production, Russian Roulette and Parisian Poker, when his character, Ivan Ivanovich, in describing the perils of summer life in the country exclaims, “Have you ever tried to make a single package out of twenty bottles of beer and a bicycle?” Well, I ask you, have you ever considered what it’s like to fill your attic and basement with two settee sets, 38 chairs, and five speedos (little known fact: one of the guys in Penelope actually had a back-up speedo)? Not to mention the masks from Agamemnon/Thebes, the leotards from The Birds, the garden arches from Is She His Wife?, the prosthetic leg from Buried Child, the cast iron stove from Hedda Gabler, the yoga ball from Circle Mirror Transformation, the hoof pick from Desdemona, and hundreds of other costumes, props, and set pieces (some of which have yet to have their tKAPOW debut). Well, I am so happy to announce that all of that stuff has vacated the premises on Orange Street and has found a new home at tKAPOW’s studio and storage space at 52 Garvins Falls Road in Concord. This is a momentous occasion for the small company that started in our living room.

While our own daughter is only in middle school, it kind of feels like our tKAPOW child has moved off to college and taken the contents of his room with him. The space in Concord is really special and we hope it will serve the needs of tKAPOW for many years to come.  In addition to gaining over 1,200 square feet of storage for all the clutter we have accumulated over the years, we are converting one of the rooms into a 1,000 square foot studio space that will give tKAPOW dedicated rehearsal space for the first time in our history. But -- and this is important -- have no fear, while our stuff may be going off to Concord, we are still very much committed to the audiences we have built in and around Derry and Manchester. We do have some plans in the works to expand our programming north and east of our current home base, but all of our mainstage shows will still be at either the Stockbridge Theatre or the Derry Opera House next season.

The Concord space offers us more freedom and more flexibility.  First, it frees up space in the Cahoon household, and second, it allows us the luxury of longer rehearsal blocks, ready access to rehearsal props and furniture, and the ability to work with new artists. Sometime in the near future (perhaps when it is a little warmer outside) we’ll invite everyone up to see the new space and to dream alongside us about what this space might mean for the future of tKAPOW. It will also be a great opportunity to see all the items we have collected over the years and maybe to relive some favorite tKAPOW moments. This big move would not be possible without the support of all of our audiences and donors. This support of tKAPOW over the years has been encouraging and inspiring and without it we would not be the company that we are today.

Moving forward, there will be even more ways to be involved in what’s happening at tKAPOW. As we get comfortable in our new space, I know that we’ll need help sorting and cataloguing props and costumes, painting the walls of the studio, installing track lighting and other such housekeeping that we never really had to worry about before. Please let me know if you are willing to share your talents and time to kick off this new phase in tKAPOW’s history in the best way possible. I’ll promise you that you’ll get to experience Freddie Mercury’s Victorian life when you find yourself surrounded by seven years of tKAPOW’s “exquisite clutter.”

-Matt Cahoon