Wednesday, February 28, 2024

PAP announces headliner for New Horizons Festival

The Performing Arts Project announced today it is teaming up with New Horizons on their 2024 Summer Performing Arts Festival. The partnership came together after PAP worked out a new talent agreement for this year's festival including the first appearance of the "Organized Confusions" in Colorado. The new music ensemble has added Denver to their upcoming 2024 World Tour concluding later this Summer in Edinburgh Scotland.

"We are so pleased that we could secure such an exciting act for the first night of the festival this year" said a New Horizons spokesperson. "We're proud to be working with PAP on this project and that they were able to bring such a talented group to Denver. Details are forthcoming as the event schedule is finalized.

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Performing Arts Project announces new sponsor

Earlier this month, we picked up our first major sponsor of 2024. Viewmark®, a privately held Colorado Corporation, has signed a definitive agreement to support PAP on upcoming Colorado productions with knowledge, expertise and financial assistance. The marketing communications company has a long history of domestic and international success with digital content creation and design.

Viewmark staff near Fairplay Colorado

Viewmark® was one of the first web design agencies in the country and has a long history of providing state of the art software and project management for many of Colorado's largest firms including Hewlett Packard, Baby Einstein (now Disney) and Frontier Airlines. "We are confident that our commitment to the Performing Arts Project will make Denver a better place to live", said a Viewmark spokesperson.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Eigg Musical wins "Best Musical" from Broadway World Denver

It's not everyday a new Musical comes out of nowhere and is selected as the best music theatre show of the year. It's hard for a small theatre troupe to compete with the public media outlets and the larger venues in the area, but that's really part of the magic of theater. Every year Broadway World provides the Denver theatre community with an online portal to get the people's vote for the year's best theatrical productions around town.  This year is the 20th anniversary of the event and "Eigg the Musical" was nominated in nine categories and snapped up four of the 2023 awards, more than any other show. Eigg wins included "Best Musical", "Best New Musical", "Best Director of a Musical" and "Best Supporting Performer in a Musical." BroadwayWorld requires the performances premiere between Oct. 1, 2022, and Sept. 30, 2023. Audiences members and their friends can then vote and make their selections on an online portal for the best in each category through December 31, 2023. Winners were announced on January 9th, 2024.

2023 BroadwayWorld Denver Awards 

“I’m ecstatic for the cast & crew and the show too,” said April Alsup, producer and composer of the work. “The amount of time and effort that goes into a production like this is unreal. To see those efforts acknowledged in a regional and statewide way is really fabulous. The people voting validate that the work we’re doing is high caliber and at an elite level. It acknowledges the hard work that the leadership team has put into developing the show and the performances of the actors.” BroadwayWorld is an international organization that’s broken down in different regions across America, Canada, Central and South America, Europe and Asia. “This is a peoples' choice award and it's really the only theatre award like it in our area, so it’s a big deal. Kelly McAllister and Antigone Biddle did such a great job and deserve to be recognized for their individual roles, but everyone in the cast was fantastic and it was a team effort for sure." Alsup said.

Cast & Crew of Eigg Musical

Situated in Scotland's Inner Hebrides, the Isle of Eigg has a fascinating history of sovereignty. Not long ago, the inhabitants of Eigg faced a different type of invader; a celebrity Laird looking to create his Gaelic island utopia. The transfer to community ownership hatched on Eigg is arguably the most captivating example of Scottish land reform. "The shows at Vintage theatre were packed and it's always nice to have your theatre friends support and vote for you." Alsup said.

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Denver based musical about the Isle of Eigg takes Scotland by storm

Perhaps the most captivating music theatre work to ever come from Denver Colorado, Eigg the Musical took Scotland by storm this Summer at the Edinburgh Fringe. The festival is the world's largest performing arts festival and features performances from theatre companies from around the world. Established in 1947 as an alternative to the Edinburgh International Festival, it takes place in Edinburgh every August and this year's festival was bigger than ever.

With so much competition from other shows and venues, it's hard to get any sort of traction in Edinburgh, but by luck Eigg the Musical was selected as one of only 20 shows to kickoff this year's festival at an hour long press gala attended by all the major media outlets in Scotland. The event would provide the momentum needed to propel the show through the rest of the festival, but the story doesn't stop here.

The actors performances delighted the public and the locals quickly adopted the story as their own. The show sold out nearly every night and Eigg the Musical became an overnight sensation at the 2023 Edinburgh fringe festival. The critics agreed and the show was labeled a five star performance and given a unanimous thumbs up by the Scottish media. Learn more about this wonderful show at eigg.show

CRITIC REVIEWS:

"This show has great potential to be something big. It tells an important story and is expertly performed. It is an ultimate show of the power of community, telling an important story of Scotland's history. Could this be Scotland’s next Sunshine on Leith?"
* Abi Whitefield - The Scots Reviewer - August 10, 2023

"Eigg the Musical: Before we even talk about how great this show is, I just have to mention that the cast is full of wonderful people. So down to earth and so talented! The show itself is AMAZING. The music is awesome, the story is lovely, and it’s chock full of humor, love, and strength. If you want to see a wonderful musical based on a true story, this is the one!"
* Dan Lentell - Get Your Coats On - EdFestivals 2023

"The Hebridean story of the Eigg community and hopes of creating a Gaelic utopia are brilliantly told and wonderfully performed. Well worth the ticket."
Posted in Edinburgh Inquirer - August 14, 2023

NOTE: Broadway World selected Eigg the Musical as a top ten show you really don't want to miss at this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival... Thank you Broadway World!

PERFORMANCE VIDEOS:

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Here's the opening scene of Eigg the Musical from a 360 degree camera hanging from the chandelier stage right in Riddles court. It seemed only fitting, the venue is over 500 years old and once held a coronation party for James VI. Check out the ceiling!

Here's the complete performance of Eigg the Musical in Edinburgh Scotland on August 10th, 2023. It's a small thrust stage venue, but it really allowed the actors to engage with the audience during the show. Thank you Scotland for all your support!

AUDIENCE COMMENTS:

"It’s really good and entertaining! You should tour it around the Highlands and Islands! I met Keith Schelenburg in the 80s. I worked for the Council. He sent his little plane to fly me from Fort William. The pilot was Patrick Burns. We flew from Camisky. He had really ambitious ideas for the island." Ken Johnston - Highlands, Scotland"

"Eigg the musical was fabulous with great storytelling of the history of that little island.Joyce Staniard Bell - Ayr, Scotland 

"We really enjoyed it! There were some great singers in the cast, it's a great story about the community buy out of Eigg.Wendy Weatherby - Edinburgh, Scotland."

"Brilliant! thank you for bringing this show to the festival.Ian MacGowan - Aberdeen, Scotland"

"What a refreshing, hilarious and beautifully written musical." David Hewitson - Glasgow, Scotland

"Never a dull moment, we really enjoyed your show.Sandy Byrne - Carnwath, Scotland"

"Really enjoyed watching your show....loved the music and choreography....and hats off to Lord Skillington for wearing that Aran jumper in such a warm space!" Stewart Furini - East Sussex, England

Thursday, September 14, 2023

The theatrical research behind Eigg the Musical

In 2019 members of the development team visited the tiny Isle of Eigg. They stayed at the Glebe Barn and made friends with a group of lovely people from Ayr, Scotland. During the day they explored Massacre caves, the singing sands of Laig Bay and hiked up Mount Squrr to Loch nam Ban Mora. In the evenings they drank scotch and discussed the history of Eigg. One of the members in the group was connected with Keith Schellenberg and later the Island Trust. It was very insightful and had a lot of impact on the Eigg show.

Drinking Scotch and exploring the Isle of Eigg in 2019

Four years and a pandemic later they came to Edinburgh to see the results at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It takes several years to write a full length music theatre work and this one included moments from our visit 4 years earlier. It was so rewarding and truly one of the most meaningful moments of this year's trip to Edinburgh and one I will always cherish.

Good friends at Eigg the Musical in Edinburgh

Monday, August 21, 2023

Developing the musical score for Eigg the Musical

The Eigg show has been a wondrous musical journey. Early on, I knew we needed to supplement the score with traditional Scottish music and after visiting the island I decided on the instrumentation of the music ensemble (accordion, violin and keyboard). My goal would be to compose and perform the work with the ensemble, I like to call it method composing. I had never played an accordion before, but it felt so natural. Well, I searched the internet and found Sandy Brechin, a Ceilidh accordion maestro from Edinburgh. He knew all about the story of Eigg and of many others too, he'd even performed on the island and knew some of the locals. So over the next year we used the marvels of technology to connect with each other and he helped a lot with my playing.

Sandy Brechin and April Alsup using Skye
On Sunday August 6th we met in person for the first time at Ensign Ewert tavern, a small pub which ironically is a stone's throw from the venue of our show. Then, on the 10th he came to our show I was able to return the favor by performing for him. It was truly a special moment for me. I find traditional Scottish music to be comforting, honest and humble and hope I was able to capture some of it's beauty in our show.

Sandy Brechin with Eigg Ensemble (April, Mark and Cieran)

Saturday, June 3, 2023

Integrating poster(s) into your music theatre show

There's always a whole bunch of collateral ideas considered when a music theatre marketing team embarks on their production journey and one of the most memorable is the poster. It's often used as a memento for the cast & crew, to market the event in local coffee shops and signed copies can be big sellers for audience members exiting your theater. Sometimes new shows implement a strategy using multiple posters; for example, the show Eigg the Musical rotates through images that correspond to the perspectives of different characters in the show. This can breath life into the overall campaign by providing intriguing clues on the storyline. Here's the result.

Eigg the Musical poster "Land Grab" Eigg the Musical poster "Margie's Flick"
Posters for "Eigg the Musical" performances in Edinburgh Scotland

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest performance arts festival on the planet, in 2019 it spanned 25 days and featured more than 59,600 performances of 3,841 different shows in 322 venues. Established in 1947 as an alternative to the Edinburgh International Festival, it takes place in Edinburgh every August. 🎭 😀