Like their fellow thespians over at ACT, PianoFight hopes to be a presence in the neighborhood as well as on the stage, which makes their new arts complex more than just seats in a box. Shortly after their production of horror-comedy-ballet masterpiece Duck Lake started winning rave reviews in 2012, the group broke ground at the old Original Joe's space on Taylor Street. The new space is 90% complete, but it still needs one last infusion of funds via a Kickstarter campaign with a $120,000 goal to tie up loose ends and buy the last bits of equipment. They're nearly three-quarters of the way to that goal with just a week left, but here's how the company envisions the final complex:
The 5,000 square foot Tenderloin complex will include rehearsal and office spaces, 54-seat and 96-seat theaters in the back of house, and in the front of house a 60-seat restaurant and bar with a full liquor license and a cabaret stage. The complex will be a collaborative hub for artists and a creative destination for audiences. It will meet all the production and performance needs of up-and-coming independent companies and take risks to entice non-traditional audiences hungry for inventive live performance.
In addition to the traditional stages and full bar — both a big win for the local independent theater and comedy scene — the space will also be set up to record or stream live shows before a studio-style audience. And don't just take our word for it, Tenderloin District Supervisor Jane Kim, as well as the Mayor's office have both given their stamp of approval on the project. (Not to mention the scores of accolades the group has already gathered.)
You can donate via PianoFight's Kickstarter page, which offers some perks for pitching in like naming a backstage bathroom after yourself or free passes to upcoming shows when the venue opens in March. In case you need further convincing, PF's Artistic Director Rob Ready points out that the business will be for-profit, meaning you won't be hit up for funds again down the road. And, of course, there's a promo video, which are like the infomercials of our time: