East of the Sun: A Heroine's Journey

By Nautilus Music Theater

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Once upon a time...

Two clever artists, Laurel Armstrong and Natalie Nowytski, met while performing with the dance/theater troupe, The Flying Foot Forum.

Inspired by the company's innovative, genre-blending shows, they decided to create their own. A piece based on the fairy tale East of the Sun, West of the Moon that would blend haunting music, diverse dance-forms, and traditional theater together in a style described as: "You know, if Cirque du Soleil had some dialogue and a plot."

It would also feature a female protaganist going through a heroine's journey in a dark world, characters who represent different aspects of the feminine, as well as a cast with diverse performance backgrounds that could be highlighted.

Fellow clever artist, Amanda Schnabel, found this vision so inspiring that she leapt on board as dramaturge and thus, Seven Spells Productions was formed.


But the journey was long and they needed supplies...

After several exploratory workshops, (you can find a few music demos from those here), the Seven Spells team realized that to fully develop their vision, they needed to workshop portions of the show with a full dance ensemble and choreographer. In order to pay everyone fairly, $8,500 would need to be raised.


That funding will be used as follows:
$2,900 goes to the creative team to finish the script, continue development of the score, create new choreography, and take care of all the behind-the-scenes needs.
$5,175 goes to the performers for workshop development in 2018.
$425
goes to Nautilus Music Theater for fiscal agent fees and support.


You will also have two opportunities to see our work in 2018!
1. Monday, July 9th 2018 at Park Square Theater, we will be presenting a section of our 2017 workshop as part of The Flying Foot Forum's night of new work.
2. Sunday, September 23rd 2018 at the A Mill Artist Lofts, we will have a casual, open-invite presentation of the segments we have been developing with the funding from this campaign.


Those who joined the quest found great reward...

As a thank-you for helping us develop this important and beautiful work, we bring gifts!
$25 A free download of 1 of Natalie's incredible songs from the show.
$50 A handwritten postcard of thanks - featuring original, East of the Sun inspired artwork, by local artist Jessica Barnd - and a free download of 1 of Natalie's incredible songs from the show.
$100 A handwritten postcard of thanks and free download of 3 of Natalie's incredible songs from the show.
$250 All of the above, plus an invitation to sit-in on 1 rehearsal.
$500 All of the above, plus a beautifully illustrated copy of the original fairy tale East of the Sun, West of the Moon signed by the production team.
$1,000 All of the above, plus a piece of choreography and music - created and customized especially for you by our team! - as a thanks to you, or an ode to a loved one. (This can be presented live or filmed depending on your global location and/or preference.)

PLUS Like our Facebook page for updates on special, limited-item perks donated from some of our favorite artists, and to follow our journey!
facebook.com/eastofthesunproduction


*This project is made possible thanks to Nautilus Music-Theater, which is serving as fiscal agent for all of our fundraising activities. Tax-deductible donations for East of the Sun may also be made to Nautilus Music-Theater. When you donate to this campaign, you will receive a receipt from Chuffed that may be used for tax purposes.


The creative team...

Laurel Armstrong (Director/Creator/Producer) is a singer, actress, writer, and producer. As a performer she has worked in Japan for Universal Studios, toured nationally with Sesame Street Live!, and appeared on many stages throughout the Twin Cities. She studied music-dance-theater at BYU where she also wrote, performed, and directed for a sketch group that was the precursor for the popular cable and YouTube show, Studio C. She is currently based in Minneapolis and works regularly in voice-over and theater as both a talent and producer.


Natalie Nowytski (Composer/Creator - natalien.com) is a classically trained village singer, composer, multi-faceted performer, and educator specializing in traditional Eastern European vocal styling, who has appeared on international stages and on A Prairie Home Companion. She has received awards from the McKnight Foundation, Jerome Foundation, American Composers Forum, SAGE Awards, and Minnesota State Arts Board. Performing as a musician, actor, and dancer, Natalie is also a member of Orkestar Bez Ime, Traki, Nomadi, Flying Foot Forum, and AM Supperclub. In 2014, Natalie (whose Eastern-European music stylings you can find here), was awarded a JFund for New Music from the Jerome Foundation and American Composers Forum to write the music for our production of East of the Sun. In March of 2016 her first East of the Sun songs—built around a trio of female voices—were presented in the Flying Foot Forum dance studio, with subsequent public workshops featuring a live band and electronic music presented as part of Nautilus Music Theater's Rough Cuts series. She continues to create unique soundscapes and haunting vocal harmonies for our production, inspired by a wide variety of influences: folk traditions from around the world (Republic of Georgia, Bulgaria, Finland, Corsica, China, etc.), in addition to American hip hop, bluegrass, and R&B.


Amanda Schnabel (Dramaturge/Producer) is a Minneapolis based singer, actor, director, and dramaturge with a keen interest in the development of new work. She holds a B.A. in music, with a concentration in theater, from the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University and her work has been seen on stages both across the Twin Cities - and as far away as Cincinnati, OH and St. Louis, MO. Over the years Amanda has been deeply involved in the creation of new theatrical and choral works and she is a passionate advocate of arts education.

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Team Members

Laurel Armstrong

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