Wow, what a long and strange 16 months it has been. We have spent the past few months planning for an exciting future at Strike Theater.
During the pandemic, we did the one thing that made the most sense, we expanded! We now have an addition space in our building that will house a classroom space, rehearsal space, and offices. It can also be used for a larger green room for larger cast shows. We can't wait to get it all put together for you to come visit.
We've also spent a lot of time painting, tracing, steam cleaning and sweeping up as we get ready to welcome performers and audiences back into our space.
We know so many of you can't wait to sit in a sparkly golden chair again, and we can't wait to see you!
For those of your looking to get on the Strike Theater Stage, we have some updates about how that can happen.
There are three ways to get on the stage at Strike Theater!
1. Become a Strike Theater Co-op member. This is the only way to get multi weekend runs at Strike Theater. Applications for 2021 are due by August 15th. You can find out more and apply here.
2. Apply for a Strike Single Show Spot.
Applications will open August 1st.
Full multi-night/weekend runs at Strike Theater are only available to our Co-op members and fully Strike Produced shows. We do have rolling applications open here for single night shows! What do we mean by a single night show? Oh! Thanks for asking.
-A show that is one night only
-A show that happens one night only for perhaps 2-4 times, probably monthly or quarterly
-On rare occasion we may be able to offer 2 nights in a row
-These shows will be co-produced with Strike Theater. We are offering these as part of our mission to grow producers in the genres of Sketch, Storytelling, Spoken Word, Improv, and cross-genre weird fun.
-As a co-produced show, we look forward to helping new producers learn the ropes, old producers grow their audiences, and working together to make the most successful show we can. We recognize some groups will need more help than others.
The first $100 of ticket sales will go to Strike Theater to cover the cost of operations (front of house staff, rent, admin, marketing, Strike help, etc.) The rest of ticket sales will be split 50/50. If the show sells more than $500 your percentage will go up to 60% and 40% will go to Strike.
You can submit this form anytime during the year, but we will be looking at application scheduling on these dates:
Deadline #1: October 1st 2020 (For shows after Jan 1st)
Deadline #2: January 15th 2021 (For shows after May 15th)
Deadline #3: May 15th 2021 (For shows after Sep 15th)
Deadline #4: Sep 15th 2021 (For shows after Dec 1st)
3. Be a part of a fully Strike Produced show or festival. Look out for calls for participants in all sorts of our zany projects, or reach out to us and let us know how you want to be more involved!
Rehearsing at Strike Theater
Rehearsal room rental is $20/hr. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
We will be sharing more really soon!
We are heartbroken and angry about the murder of George Floyd. Minneapolis needs change and we fully support working towards reforming the police and other systemic problems that result in racism and injustice. We believe personal stories matter, and original art can help create change. We have been listening and dreaming and will have more concrete plans to announce soon. We will be looking at our practices overall and are open to ideas with how we can creatively create change. We want to be part of the solutions and look forward to having an evolving conversation and space in our theater to help create and support change.
There are so many organizations and projects to help support this work. One we've supported and encourage you to look at is Sha Cage's Radical Art Restoration initiative here.
With everything going on in the world we want to wish our LGBTQA+ community a Happy Pride Month. To all our LGBTQA+ performers, producers, volunteers and audience, you are part of the DNA of Strike Theater and we celebrate you. OUTspoken!'s Pride Show was cancelled to show support and make space for protesting in Minneapolis. It will be rescheduled soon. We applaud all the work Valin and Paul do to make their show a brave space for Queer voices and allies. We also want to shout out Ollie Schminkey and their super awesome writing group, Well-Placed Commas, that meets weekly at Strike. We are honored to have y'all call us home.
Hi Strike Friends:
We hope this update finds you as well as you can be.
We miss you. We miss hearing laughter in the lobby. We miss hauling cases of water around. We miss seeing students on stages for the first time. We miss seeing you put stickers on the community wall.
We know some theaters are opening up at limited capacity right now. As much as we miss you, we don't feel like the time is right for us to safely welcome you all back into our space yet. We will continue to have virtual offerings to entertain you as the world continues to evolve. At this time we don't have any actual show or class announcements, but they will be coming soon.
Thanks so much for your support during these last few months. It is allowing us to make plans and stay closed until we can ensure your safety.
Stay Safe All!
Thanks so much for your continued support!
-Allison Broeren and Mike Fotis
As a new theater we care deeply about implementing policies that will build a healthy community. With that in mind we introduce our standards of conduct.
Strike Theater (sometimes referred to herein as “Strike”) as an institution, and each of its instructors, creative and administrative managers, staff members and interns are very seriously committed to maintaining a safe and supportive environment where creativity can flourish.
The greater Strike Theater community is here to learn, perform, inspire each other, build careers, foster friendships, and make our lives better through infinitely rewarding art forms. The following policy is in support of those goals, and is in keeping with the values necessary to sustain a supportive educational and creative environment.
Strike believes that with a combination of respect, communication, common sense, and empathy, the community can create an environment that prioritizes safety while also doing work of the highest quality.
It is the policy of Strike Theater to maintain an educational, performing and working environment free from sexual, racial, ethnic, religious, age-based, disability, sexual orientation, and gender expression harassment and bullying. Such harassment is expressly prohibited.
STRIKE THEATER DOES NOT TOLERATE DISCRIMINATION, HARASSMENT, BULLYING, OR SEXUAL HARASSMENT.
No individual should be subjected to any unwelcome conduct that is or should be known to be offensive because of his or her gender, race, age, religion, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity and/or expression.
Strike is a private institution and the opportunity to perform or take classes at Strike or participate in any other Strike activity or event is always at the sole discretion of Strike Theater and its management.
Strike Theater is within its rights to revoke, suspend, and/or permanently ban anyone from participating in some or all Strike related activities, with or without cause.
Current or prior permission to enter, take classes, or perform at any Strike location is not a promise or guarantee of future permission.
The reinstatement of any permission to participate in any Theater-related activity will be at the sole discretion of Strike Theater.
WHAT ARE HARASSMENT & SEXUAL HARASSMENT?
Harassment means any form of unwelcome written, verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct that has the purpose or effect of interfering with a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from programs at Strike or makes Strike an intimidating, hostile, degrading or offensive environment.
Sexual Harassment means any form of unwelcome written, verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature (including but not limited to unwelcome sexual advances and requests for sexual favors) that has the purpose or effect of interfering with a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from programs at Strike or makes Strike an intimidating, hostile, degrading or offensive environment.
Sexual Harassment can be verbal (using language of an overtly sexual nature, making sexual comments about a person’s body, making sexual innuendos to a fellow student, artist, or employee, talking or asking about sexual preferences or history, making unwanted advances), non-verbal (looking a person up and down in a suggestive fashion, giving unwanted personal gifts, displaying sexually suggestive visual materials, offensive jokes, gestures, comments, or emails), or physical (unwanted touching of a person’s clothing, hair, or body, standing close or brushing against a person, giving unwanted massages.)
Sexual Harassment also includes sexual assault. No one at Strike (management, employee, instructor, performer, coach, etc.) may request or require an employee, student, instructor, applicant, performer, or anyone else to submit to sexual harassment as a condition of receiving any benefit such as a raise, promotion, or selection for a performance.
Harassment & Sexual Harassment may be subtle, manipulative, and is not always evident. All forms of gender harassment are included – men can harass men, women can harass women, men and women can be sexually harassed by either gender. Sexual Harassment also includes sexual assault which will be reported to authorities.
WHAT IS BULLYING?
Bullying is repeated aggression conducted by an individual or a group against others - such aggressive behavior may be verbal, cyber, psychological or physical.
For the purposes of this policy, the term bullying also encompasses harassment and sexual harassment.
Types of Bullying Behavior that are not tolerated:
Damage to property
Silent telephone/mobile phone calls
Abusive telephone/mobile phone calls
Abusive text messages
Abusive email/Facebook/social media messaging
The production, display or circulation of written words, pictures or other materials aimed at intimidating another person
Isolation & exclusion
Harassment based on any of the nine grounds in the equality legislation e.g. sexual harassment, homophobic bullying, racist bullying etc
A combination of any of the types listed
WHO AND WHERE DOES THIS APPLY TO?
This policy covers conduct that takes place at Strike Theater and any Strike sponsored events not at its physical theater location. This policy applies to the entire Strike community, including its visitors, volunteers, teachers, employees, directors, and managers. This policy also pertains to any electronic communication that occurs on social media accounts or pages involving, hosted by, or about Strike Theater or its events.
WHO DO I REPORT INAPPROPRIATE CONDUCT TO?
If you become aware of discrimination or harassment in violation of the policies stated above, you are responsible for immediately reporting the matter to the manager, supervisor, instructor, or coach. You may also report the matter to Mike Fotis at email@example.com, Joe Bozic at firstname.lastname@example.org or Allison Broeren at email@example.com. If you’d rather reach out to a third party that isn’t on staff please email Javier Morillo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Strike will conduct a prompt and thorough investigation of all complaints of harassment or discrimination. The board conducting the investigation may include staff and outside perspective committee members. The scope of the investigation will depend upon the specific circumstances, but may include interviews with the person making the complaint, the person against whom the complaint is made, any potential witnesses identified by either person, and any others whom Strike believes may have relevant information. The person making the complaint will be requested to put his or her complaint in writing.
You are expected to cooperate in this process, if asked to do so, and to provide truthful information. Strike will make every effort to respect the privacy of those involved in an investigation under this procedure. However, it should be understood that Strike may need to disclose certain information to complete our investigation or otherwise address the matters raised in the complaint. A request not to investigate a reported violation of this policy cannot be honored.
The results of the investigation will be discussed with those individuals involved and Strike will determine whether any action is warranted in response. Individuals who are found to have violated this policy will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action up to and including warnings, probation, and termination of employment or affiliation with Strike. The specific action taken will be consistent, reasonable, fair, and match the severity of the incident.
Any person who knowingly provides false or fabricated information in connection with an investigation under this policy may be subject to appropriate discipline or other corrective action at the discretion of Strike.
Strike will not retaliate against any person for making a good faith complaint under this policy, regardless of the outcome of the investigation. Similarly, Strike will not retaliate against any person for providing truthful information in connection with an investigation under this policy. Any employee, instructor or performer at Strike who retaliates against another for utilizing in good faith the procedures in this policy will be subject to discipline, up to and including termination or termination of their affiliation with Strike, as the circumstances warrant.
Please note that if in the course of an investigation Strike learns that a crime has been committed, Strike may be obligated to report that crime to the relevant authorities. Similarly, Strike will comply with any requests for records or information made in connection with any Police investigation as required by law, or with any subpoena issued lawfully in any legal proceeding.
Thank you so much everyone that celebrated Opening Weekend with us! It's been a long journey, be we made it! Thank you for celebrating this milestone and this new beginning. We hope to see you in our classes and at our shows soon!
Thanks to the amazing Adam Iverson for photo documenting our opening!
Hi, Allison here! If you are on social media you might have noticed we launched our Kickstarter yesterday. It was a really stressful moment. A simple push of the button, but so many questions. Did we set the right amount? Will people want our rewards? Will you be into it? Deep down we were hopeful. In reality I shouted at Joe about five times, "Are you sure I should push this?!"
It's hard to ask for money. It doesn't feel awesome. But a lot of you have asked how you can help, and this is a big thing that we need help with. Any amount really does matter. If you can afford to skip a couple days of coffee, or a drink, or dessert and shoot it our way, we appreciate it. If you an afford more than that, we won't turn that down either.
We're pretty excited about what you'll get out of it too! A chair with your name on it! Awesome t-shirts, sweatshirts, posters! Opening weekend tickets! An opening gala! Season passes! Could you grab the rarest opportunity of a golden chair in your name? Do it!
In the first 24 hours we've met 20% of our goal and it feels SUPER. In our wildest dreams we didn't expect that. But we want to keep the momentum going. We have a month, but you know, we'll sleep again when we hit the goal, so you don't have to wait until the end.
Go check it out. There's even a bonus update with a funny story about silent disco, and a video of Mike dancing.
Please consider giving and sharing as you can. THANK YOU so much to those that jumped on the opportunity to show support right away. We are so honored to have you be a part of Strike's creation.
Kickstarter info: http://kck.st/1RBNK6o
The plan was that we would be announcing a couple of things this week (a fundraiser, a class or two, etc.), but we have to wait until some paperwork gets... worked, I guess. There's a lot of "hurry up and wait" when it comes to starting a new business. I'm trying to get used to that.
In the meantime, let's talk about two reasons (out of many!) why I'm so damned excited for this theater!
Reason One: The main purpose of this theater is to build a home for sketch comedy, storytelling, and poetry. These are three communities whose circles probably wouldn't overlap if you Venn Diagrammed that shit five years ago. However, we've recently seen some folks crossing those boundaries and trying something new. Sketch comedians performing at poetry slams. Storytellers and poets getting into improv and sketch comedy. Berets everywhere. It's neat! It's challenging, and out of challenge comes growth.
We saw the improv community explode due, in part, to the opening of Huge Theater (a space dedicated to offering a stage and a home the local improv scene.) It's not hard to imagine a similar thing happening to the sketch comedy, storytelling, and poetry scenes with the opening of Strike. With these three communities working in tandem, we'll be witnessing the start of something really special.
Reason Two: We're partnering with the SEIU Local 26, and that's tremendous. Why? The members of this union (janitors, security guards, window cleaners, etc.) have incredible stories to tell, and Strike Theater will be a place for them to tell their stories and to let people laugh and cry and scream along with them. It's so much more fun to be in a scene when diverse voices are welcomed and celebrated. It's also something that's sorely needed in this world of divisive politics and the echo-chamber nature of social media. I'm not naïve enough to say that Strike will change the world, but I do believe there is power in this partnership to create some wonderful conversations. Conversations that will probably change the world.
Now back to waiting.
Last week, Allison wrote about all of the FEELINGS associated with opening a theater. Well I'm happy to report that none of those feelings have dissipated at all. We're a mix of excitement and nerves. I suppose that's what happens when you go after something you really want, right? I hope so, because I haven't slept for more than 3 hours a night in about a month and a half. I'll be lying in bed and counting sheep when all of the sudden one of those sheep will turn to me and ask, "How are you ever going to pay for that fire grade door? Bah bah bah."
ANYWAY, want to see a preliminary drawing of Strike Theater? Cool. All of this is subject to change of course, but we wanted to give you all a better idea of why we're so excited. There's a chance that a lot of this will change. Dreams and financial realities aren't always neighbors. We might end up with two lights and a tiny platform made out of cardboard, but that's fine. We're building a home for original comedy and spoken word. A place where you will come to see shows and perform in shows and drink beers with pals and it's all because you (like us) want to give words a place to live. If that is the case, then I will sleep very well.
by Allison Broeren
You all! What am I doing?
This is a question I've been asking myself frequently the last month.
At the heart of it, I'm trying to live my dream. Of starting a theater. Of providing a home to amazing artistic communities. Of having a stage of my own to share with people. Of having a theater dog that wears a tuxedo. Of having a space to make ideas into reality. Probably not of having a glitter cannon though, because Mike and Joe think that sounds messy.
I'll admit. I was the nervous one when we announced that we were opening at HUGE's Anniversary Show. Did I want to tell people? Of course. But I also wanted to have every shiny permit and detail buttoned up so there was no room for error. The response we got that night humbling, as all the responses we've got since then. I've been moved to tears multiple times by people's offers to help in so many different ways.
Since then people have been enthusiastic to perform, to sign up for classes, to be in the audience. People keep asking when our doors will be open. It seems surreal. It feels like it'll all work. I'm so excited to be working on those things. Those are things we're so good at.
But people keep asking for an update on all the fun stuff. And it's coming. I promise. But right now if you are wondering where we are at, we're doing all the stuff that we aren't good at. Like figuring out permits and how to install a sink through cement, and if we need a crane, or can just roll an air conditioner around on the roof, or what price point barn doors come in, or taxes. Why, not matter what, is there always taxes? This stuff is the scary stuff. The stuff that makes us all nod our heads quietly at each other in meetings. The stuff that makes you think, "What am I doing?"
So, what am I doing? Learning to meditate, for one. The Headspace app is saving me. I'm also writing fears down and putting them in the mouth of this little stuffed monster and zipping them away. They say it's supposed to help little kids let go of their fears. It can't hurt, right?
What else am I doing? In those quiet moments, being so excited. For years I've tried to find the right words, the right community, the right circumstances to make something like this happen. As Strike was born, it all came together-really weirdly-but just perfectly. The partners, the partnerships, the place, all of it. I don't think it'll feel totally real to me until I'm sitting there watching our first show happen. And maybe that's just it. That's how it feels as your dreams are coming true-like you are dreaming.