New theatre company gains community support
By Cheryl Minns, Arts Editor
When Sharon Crandall started Two Monkeys Productions in January, she founded the company on the ideal that everyone involved in a Two Monkeys theatre production would have an opportunity to explore their talents and share their opinions.
“Everybody is allowed and encouraged to contribute their ideas as well as their thoughts on a lot of things,” Crandall said. “I want to make sure that everybody’s voices are heard. That’s what Two Monkeys is all about.”
For such a supportive group of people, it made sense to fundraise for their first show via Kickstarter where friends, family, and fans could contribute to the project.
“We had a lot of support from the community as well as people who are not in the city who are friends or family,” Crandall said. “This is Two Monkeys’ inaugural show, so we thought Kickstarter would be the perfect fit since this is going to be our kick-starter.”
Two Monkeys will be performing Edges by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, a song cycle about four young people exploring coming-of-age questions, such as making friends online in the song “Be My Friend (The Facebook Song).” The musical stars Crandall, Devon Busswood (Theatre Under the Stars’ Legally Blonde), Adam Charles (Arts Club’s Hairspray), and Brandyn Eddy (Arts Club’s Altar Boyz).
“All of the songs in Edges are from the perspectives of different characters at different points in time at different ages telling stories that are very relatable, heart-warming, hilarious, touching—you’ll go from crying at one song to busting your gut laughing at the next,” said Matthew Fedorowicz, the show’s associate producer who managed the Kickstarter campaign.
The campaign had a funding goal of $1,000, which would help cover the various production costs, such as the set, props, theatre rental, insurance, and more. The campaign received $500 in the first 24 hours and reached the funding goal of $1,000 in five days. It then doubled that by receiving over $2,000 from more than 30 backers by the end of the campaign.
“It was extremely successful. So much support,” Fedorowicz said. “We created a gusto for people in the community here in Vancouver. If you contributed $50 or more, you got free tickets to the show. So it is a reward for people who are here to help fund and support us in the beginning and then also come see the show because they are officially backing us in our production.”
Crandall and Fedorowicz have received a lot of positive feedback on selecting Edges as Two Monkeys’ first show, especially since local theatregoers’ have a current interest in Pasek and Paul’s works. Last December, Pasek and Paul performed a concert of their greatest hits at Waterfront Theatre while their James and the Giant Peach musical was performed at Carousel Theatre. Awkward Stage Productions will be performing the duo’s musical Dogfight at the end of April. In November, the Arts Club will be performing Pasek and Paul’s A Christmas Story: The Musical.
Edges will run from April 1 to 11 at Studio 1398 on Granville Island. For more information or to purchase tickets, check out TwoMonkeysProductions.com