Budget cuts force student actors to self-promote
March 12, 2010 6:37 PM
Most people correlate budget cuts to furlough days, fewer sections and higher tuition, but students in the creative arts department, like those involved in SF State's "Fringe Festival," see it as less money available for sets, lights, costumes and publicity.
This annual festival features eight one-act plays--all in one show--written and acted by students. Although it is known as being a "low-tech" production, its lack of budget this year has led to no publicity when in years past it had the traditional posters and fliers around campus.
"We are depending primarily on word-of-mouth," Holly McKay said. McKay is the 25-year-old stage manager and director of two of the plays. "As actors and writers we have to self-promote. That's part of the job."
Due to lack of funding, "Fringe" has been on the theater arts department's financial chopping block before.
"It was actually cancelled in the fall due to budget cuts," said Nick Pappas, who is pursuing a master's degree in playwrighting and is the director of "Fringe." "We thought it was bullshit that they would cancel it, so we brought it back in the spring."
Pappas said that he and Professor Roy Conboy, head of the playwrighting program at SF State, took it upon themselves to sneak under the radar in order to make the show work for all of the students that use it as an outlet for acting and writing.
Other productions, like the current season's "Juliet," are feeling the financial constraints as well. "Juliet" features six women and one man all playing the role of Juliet in Shakespeare's tragic love story. The New York Times recently reported on how the show's costumes and roles had to be scaled down in order to compensate for the lack of money.
And things are worse for smaller productions, like "Fringe."
With the creative arts department hurting all around, "Fringe Festival" has had no luck getting any funding for publicity, leaving many students in the dark about the upcoming shows.
Costello, 21, is a theatre major who agrees with Pappas that their production has been greatly overlooked.
"I feel like although it's on a lower scale and we don't have a budget to work with, it is that much harder to get our messages across," he said. "And there are a lot of great messages."
In efforts to get more people to the show, Costello has made fliers of his own and a Facebook page highlighting all of the plays beginning March 15.
Even without money problems, publicizing can still be difficult on campus considering flyers are not allowed in Cesar Chavez, according to Travis Northup, a sophomore representative for Associated Students, Inc.
"Online is the best way to go," he said.
Since most students may not know about the Facebook page, the actors, writers and directors of "Fringe" are still hoping people hear about their production through the grapevine.
Leah Navarret, 19-year-old graphic design major, is unaware of "Fringe" and most productions held on campus.
"I would consider going if I saw more posters and stuff," she said. "Ever since the budget cuts you don't see publicity about anything and you only hear about stuff through word-of-mouth."
POST A COMMENT
|BACK TO TOP|| |
Copyright © 2008 [X]press | Journalism Department - San Francisco State University