No theatre happens alone.
Even a one-person show like Rakugo cannot be produced alone.
The key is collaboration.
When on stage, you rely on the lighting and sound, you perform in front of a set designed by a designer and constructed by craftspeople, there is the box office and ushers, so many people involved in making even a single performance by a single performer happen. Not to mention you also need an audience! If a Rakugo-ka performed in an empty theatre it would be a rehearsal. lol
Producing is no different. Producers need producing partners, designers, theatre owners to rent theatre space from, PR and promotion experts, production manager, stage manager, company manager, and maybe most importantly, investors and donors!
Today I would like to focus on one of our most unique and very special partners. They are a non profit organization based in Brooklyn which is devoted to promoting Japanese culture in the United States and around the world. You could say that collaboration is their middle name. In fact it is their name.
The name of the organization is "J-Collabo". The J stands for Japan, and Collabo is Japanese for Collaboration (in the common syntactical way that Japanese incorporates English and then makes it more compact - cf Conbini for Convenience Store, Pasokon for Personal Computer, and Burapi for Brad Pitt!?!?!)
J-Collabo's mission is best summarized by the mission statement itself, from their home page:
J-Collabo is a social network created to bring artists of different disciplines and genres together, provide the stage for them to collaborate, and make their collaborations accessible to the public.
With Japanese culture and its underlying aesthetics and values as a common focus, we invite anyone who is interested to take part in this next generation cultural exchange and rich learning experience, regardless of age, race, education and background.
Taking full advantage of digital, social media,we present unique content and a community of unimaginable width and depth, where cross-cultural and cross-sector communication flows without physical or financial limits.
J-Collabo will educate, entertain and inspire those who are interested in exploring a culture rooted in a deep respect for nature and the desire to live in harmony with it,
which seems very appropriate for today’s world at large.
For more information of J-Collabo please see their home page here: https://www.j-collabo.org/
I met the founder of J-Collabo, Mr. Hitoshi Sagaseki, through one of the foremost ambassadors of Japanese culture in New York, Mr. Stephen Globus. Mr. Sagaseki loved the idea of putting Rakugo on off-Broadway, and immediately suggested starting a "Sunshine Fund" in order to solicit support in the form of donations.
We have set the goal of our campaign to be $100,000 to be used for building the production in New York and for educational outreach - bringing students in to see Rakugo off-Broadway or bringing me out to schools to perform Rakugo during the off-Broadway run and beyond.
If you are interested in joining our team as a generous donor, that would be great! J-Collabo is a registered 501(c)3 so all donations are fully tax deductible if you pay taxes in the US.
The donation page is here: https://www.rakugo.lol/sunshine-fund
Thank you in advance for your generosity and support!