Salty Brine: They let me imagine, so that I can help you imagine

I want to talk to you about Pipeline Theater Company — and about imagination.

There is a moment in the theater— a holy moment— when the house lights dim and the audience quiets and the performers take a breath— and then a leap.

What happens after that moment is any audience member’s guess. My hope— sitting in the house— is that I’m going to witness the impossible made possible before my very eyes.

This is why I go see everything Pipeline produces.

I’m not talking about illusion. I’m talking about imagination; The thrill your brain gets from a story told well— and in surprising ways; A feeling that you’ve been transported somewhere— though you haven’t moved; Memories of your own life flipping up and around you as the characters on stage remind you of your own humanity.

I’m talking about imagination. You haven’t taken leave of your senses. You don’t believe what you see on stage is actually happening; You imagineit. You are lead, by the company and the artistic team, toward imagination.

When theater is done well it is our imaginations that reap the rewards. And our imaginations need rewarding. They need tending to. Theyneed attention paid. It is where we find and know and create ourselves; In our imaginations. It is how we dream the world a better, more brilliant place.

As a performer I was fortunate enough to roam the funhouse-mirrored halls of a deranged, musical clown brain in Pipeline’s 2014 production of Adam Szymkowicz’s Clown Bar.

As a playwright I was thoroughly supported through a year of dreaming, playing, and creating— imagining— in the 2015 Pipeline Playlab.

This dedicated, joyful team brought me through each process with grace and truth and an unbelievable amount of hard work. Their dedication to my imagination as an artist was inspiring— remains inspiring to this day.

They let me imagine so that I can help you imagine.

I hope you’ll take a moment today and donate to this incredible company. It is a gift you give to them, to artists like me, and to yourself.

Bottom Photo by Ahron R. Foster from Clown Bar (2014).

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Nicole Spiezio: I was there when it all started

What must it have been like to get in on the ground floor at a big company like Apple? What was it like to see child girl group Destiny’s Child perform at some outdoor fair in Texas and think “Hey! That Beyoncé has something special!”?

Well, I can tell you what it’s like to be there from the beginning because I, Nicole Spiezio, am a FOUNDING MEMBER of Pipeline Theatre Company! You may know me as an actress/comedian/beautiful plus-sized model (THANK U, HONEY!!!) but you may not know that I was there when it all started at the Atlantic Theater Company acting school aka the mothership aka the womb. I was there when we produced our very first show despite being wildly unqualified to do so. I was there when we painstakingly wrote draft after draft of our first mission statement in a small classroom with uncomfortable chairs and no windows. I was there when we came up with the name “Pipeline” (thank goodness that’s where we landed – the other options were, to put it mildly, “not good”).

I was there when a group of child-adults came together to form a theater company as a LITERAL class project and I was there when we transformed into adult-adults. From college acquaintances to BFF’s to a true family (I’m the fun aunt who gets too tipsy at parties). I’ve been there as we’ve added incredible new artists into our family and onto our stages. I’ve seen us literally grow up and become a real live non-profit theater company that gets reviewed by the New York Times (!!!) and gets nominated for Drama Desk Awards (!!!). I’ve worked with artists I’ve met through Pipeline time and time again both within our shared home base and out in the wilds of the NY theater scene. I’ve seen my friends and fellow Pipeline artists continue to lead the pack in their respective fields. I’ve been to our shows when it was just our friends and families in our audience and now I look around and don’t recognize so many faces and I cannot begin to tell you how exciting that is.

I am proud to be a founding member of Pipeline. I am proud to be an ensemble member in a company being run by 3 fearless women I am continuously awed and impressed by. I’m proud that above all else, Pipeline makes big, bold theater and says yes where so many others say “lol, absolutely not”. I am so elated that Pipeline Theatre Company is in its 10TH SEASON of continuously producing work and being a home for the weird and the brave. Thank you for coming along on this ride with us so far, and for staying on board for what’s next. Your support, in so many ways, has directly impacted us being able to make wild, fantastical theater. To help us pay our artists and produce the art only they can make. As we launch into our 10th season, I BOLDLY ask (I am in Pipeline after all) for any help you can give and donation you can make to support this family and business I love so much.

Top Photo by Alice Teeple.
Bottom Photo by Ahron R. Foster from The Ash Girl (2012).

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Sam Gonzalez: I was lucky enough to have Pipeline

It’s Sam Gonzalez. I’m an actor, producer, teaching artist, and one of Pipeline’s newest ensemble members.

From my first few weeks as an undergraduate in NYC pursuing a life in theatre I was lucky enough to have Pipeline in my periphery. I saw a company of artists that insisted on having as much fun as possible and that worked tirelessly to ensure it. Serious play. This incredible paradox has become a philosophy that I take with me in almost every endeavor I embark on artistically, both in and out of Pipeline. I ask myself: What are the steps I need to take to make this happen? Who’s help can I employ to make this possible and enjoyable? How can we, then, when the moment comes, toss all that hard work aside and just have a blast?

I’ve seen this sense of serious play give Pipeline the resilience to make bigger, better, and more ambitious theatre for 10 years now and am thrilled now more than ever to be a member of the ensemble that sits at the heart of this powerful machine of a company. The connection and philosophy that Pipeline and I share, since my days as an admiring patron, has and continues to help me bravely persevere as an artist even in the face of the slings and arrows. In large part thanks to Pipeline – the family it has, the theatre it creates, and the whimsy it injects in everything it does – I insist on fun and never settle for less.

Pipeline has given me so much as an artist, and is such a vital part of our artistic community. I want to make sure the next decade of artists and audiences get to benefit from Pipeline’s integral and singular brand of serious play, or as they put it, “Serious Make Believe.” Join me in supporting Pipeline’s first ten years and help us get the next ten years off to a strong start.

Photo by Sub/Urban Photography

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Jaki Bradley: Pipeline makes the impossible, possible

Jaki Bradley here, I’m a Pipeline ensemble member and a director — if you’ve been to a Pipeline show in the last few years, you might have seen me pacing nervously in the back or running backstage to give an actor a prop.

I have been lucky enough to direct for Pipeline several times in the last few years, and this year am honored to be directing Playing Hot for Pipeline’s 10th anniversary season.

Playing Hot centers on Buddy Bolden, a day laborer in the early 1900s who pioneered America’s art form, jazz. The show tells the story of his incredible rise and fall, and transports us to an evening in New Orleans. It also tries to tell Buddy’s story in the style of the music he made, riffing on the structure of a play the way Buddy riffed on the notes on the page.

The show is about history, legacy and the nature of invention. It’s also about making art and how race, class and history are intrinsically embedded in which stories we know and why. It’s also a dance party. With a live brass band.

If you didn’t catch my drift, this show is A LOT of things, and it flat-out wouldn’t exist without Pipeline. They have supported and nurtured it since it was just an idea, and at every step of the way, they’ve let us dream big and tell exactly the story we want to.

You’ve probably heard many times that Pipeline makes the impossible possible – and that’s absolutely true – but I want to drill down into how they do that. Because it isn’t just about their taste or their enthusiasm; it’s about the insane work ethic, skill, and resourcefulness they put into their shows. It’s because they work relentlessly hard to make the kind of art they believe in.

There’s no one I trust more with my work, and no one I believe deserves your support more.

So join me in pledging your support to Pipeline. With a company this enterprising, every little amount helps (but don’t be shy, big amounts help too!).

Join me in supporting this incredible group of artists and their boundless vision.

Thanks for your time, and come share some gumbo with us this spring!

Bottom Photo by Marcus Middleton

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Join Us for a Pizza Party on October 21!

We’re kicking off a season full of 10th anniversary celebrations with our first ever Pipeline’s Amazing Race on October 21! For those who’d like to join in that day as spectators rather than as competitors, we’re harkening back to the early years of Pipeline and are throwing a good old-fashioned pizza party at 47 Great Jones Street. GET TIX

Festivities start at 1:30PM, so that spectators can watch moments of the race live and greet our winners (and almost-winners) as they cross the finish line. We’ll keep the beer and pizza flowing until 5:30PM.

Join the whole Pipeline community, including artists, staff, audience, and supporters on Sunday, October 21, for a family celebration and the most happy of happy hours. We’ll drink beer, eat pizza, congratulate the winners, and raise our bottles to the last decade of bold and impossible theater-making.

Party Entry | $10
Party Entry Plus | $20 (includes a slice and 2 beers)
Party Entry Plus Plus | $25 (includes unlimited slices and open bar!)

Interested in in signing up to be a contestant in the race? There’s still room! Learn more and sign up!

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Introducing Our New Managing Director!

Today we are pleased to announce a thrilling step forward for Pipeline with the addition of Caileigh Scott, Managing Director, to our leadership team.

We are excited to take this vital step to foster sustainable, long-term growth for Pipeline. This evolution of our team will greatly enhance support both for our artists and for the business we’re building to support them.

Cailiegh brings years of experience in fundraising, marketing, and event planning to her new position with Pipeline. While serving as our part-time Managing Director, Caileigh will continue to serve as Deputy Executive Director for Eleanor’s Legacy, a nonprofit that recruits, trains, and funds pro-choice Democratic women candidates across New York at the state and local level. Previously, Caileigh served as an Associate Event Planner & Fundraising Strategist for a non-profit fundraising consultant firm, and as Youth Program Coordinator for several acting programs throughout New York City. Caileigh also co-founded IBG Inc, an event and experience based fundraising organization in Los Angeles where she served as Chief Creative Officer for 6 years before moving to New York. Read Caileigh’s full bio.

“So often artists are made to feel that they have to earn their big ideas by spending years creating work that plays it safe. I’m thrilled to join the community at Pipeline that values and supports an artist’s vision, no matter the scale, and works hard every day to bring that vision to life on stage.” – Caileigh Scott, Managing Director

Caileigh joins Ari Schrier, Artistic Director, and Natalie Gershtein, Producing Artistic Director. Together, the three leaders will exist on a spectrum from art to business: Ari on the artistic side, Caileigh on the business side, and Nat forming a bridge between the two.

We’ll be celebrating Caileigh’s arrival, as well as our milestone 10th season, on October 21 at our inaugural Amazing Race and Season 10 Kick-Off Party. In our Amazing Race (October 21, All Day!), teams of two will race through downtown Manhattan, and will conquer mental and physical puzzles in order to get points and move from place to place. It’s all in support of Pipeline and for the chance to win VIP tickets to Hamilton. Click here to learn more and sign up!

Not quite up for the Race but still want to celebrate? Join us the evening of October 21 for our Season 10 Kick-Off Party! More details coming soon.

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Announcing Pipeline’s Amazing Race!

We’re celebrating our 10th anniversary season all year long, and we’re kicking things off on October 21 with a very special, very Pipeline event. We’re calling it Pipeline’s Amazing Race, and it’s exactly what it sounds like.

Teams of two will race through downtown Manhattan, and will conquer mental and physical puzzles in order to get points and move from place to place. Think scavenger hunt…but with a Pipeline twist. The first pair to pass the finish line and rack up the most points wins two VIP tickets to Hamilton.

To participate, teams must sign up here and complete the first challenge by the morning of the race, Sunday, October 21, 9AM. What’s the first challenge? Using a Facebook fundraiser (or by making your own donation) each team must collectively raise $500 for Pipeline ($250 per participant). Race day will culminate in a Season 10 Kick-Off Party, where the winning team will be announced.

**SIGN UP NOW**

We’re known for challenging our artists to stretch the parameters of what’s possible and to go as far as they can dream. In honor of our 10th anniversary, we’re bringing that challenge to our whole community. Our audience and supporters will compete alongside teams of Pipeline artists, staff, and ensemble. With Pipeline’s Amazing Race you’ll test your mind (trivia! games! brain puzzles!), challenge your body (well, a little), and support Pipeline while you do it! Learn More

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Exciting Developments in Our Leadership Team

At Pipeline, the art and the artists are our top priority. As a company dedicated to bringing to life the biggest, most impossible dreams of our emerging artist community, we’re turning our focus to growing our capacity over the next few months in order to foster sustainable, long-term growth. Toward that end, we are pleased to announce an exciting development in our leadership structure, which will greatly enhance support both for our artists and the business we’re building to support them.

We are overjoyed to announce that Natalie Gershtein, Producing Director since 2015, is now Producing Artistic Director. Natalie joins Ari Schrier, Artistic Director, as the two primary artistic leaders of the company.

This shift enables Ari to focus her leadership on building relationships with artists, curation, and supporting artistic development. Nat will partner with Ari on these endeavors while continuing to produce all mainstage productions and grow the business with a new third leader, whose primary focus will be on fundraising and marketing. Today, we are thrilled to begin the search for a Managing Director. Click here to learn more and apply.

Together, the three leaders will exist on a spectrum from art to business: Ari on the artistic side, our new Managing Director on the business side, and Nat forming a bridge between the two in her new role as Producing Artistic Director.

The addition of a Managing Director is a huge milestone for Pipeline and will be the second part-time salaried staff position for our growing company. This expanded leadership team will be supported by Pipeline’s remarkable volunteer staff which includes: Kristy Bodall, Director of Production; Tom Costello, Associate Artistic Director; Laura Been, General Manager; Philip Santos Schaffer, Literary & Community Manager; Amy Gijsbers van Wijk, Artistic Development Manager; and Mia Hull, Artistic Intern.

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We’re Hiring! Currently Seeking a Managing Director

Pipeline Theatre Company was founded in 2009 as a class project at NYU’s Atlantic Acting School and is now entering its 10th season. In the past three years, the company has gone from an operating size of $75K to $300K based on the hard work and dedication of the volunteer staff, and the unbridled imaginations of our community of artists. We have always put our artists first and have prioritized fundraising to pay artist fees on our mainstages. As our company continues to grow, we are, for the first time, able to dedicate resources to growing our staff capacity, in order to create sustainability and support our long-term artistic vision. In season 9 we introduced our first salaried staff member, and in the upcoming season we would like to bring an additional leader into the fold to help bolster our growth and the future of Pipeline.

POSITION: Managing Director
ORGANIZATION: Pipeline Theatre Company (New York, NY)
CATEGORY: Administration
JOB TYPE/SALARY: $20K annually, part-time, with a flexible schedule (average 15-20 hours/week; and 25-30 hours/week during productions and major events).

REPORTS TO: Report to Producing Artistic Director in the first year, reports directly to the board in the second year onward.
OVERSEES: Pipeline’s Volunteer Staff, External/Independent Contractors

PIPELINE PHILOSOPHY

  • Say yes to artists and big ideas whenever possible
  • Work collaboratively and compassionately

GENERAL RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Work closely with the Producing Artistic Director (the only other paid staff position) to manage a growing organization with a $300K operating budget
  • Oversee and manage Pipeline volunteer staff and interns
  • Strategize and execute growth plans in fundraising and general operations

DEVELOPMENT RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Major focus on fundraising and strategy with a goal towards increased income
  • Take lead on grant applications (Government and Foundations) for continued financial growth
  • Take lead, with support from Producing Artistic Director, staff and Board of Directors to plan annual Gala and all additional fundraising events (donor cultivation, thank you events and smaller fundraisers)
  • Maintain donor database and manage donor follow-up, acknowledgements, and yearly tax-letters
  • Cultivate show-specific sponsorships
  • Plan show-specific events (Opening night, VIP nights, fundraising events, etc.)

MANAGEMENT RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Operational oversight and goal setting, growth planning and execution
  • Financial reporting and accounting
  • Creating and maintaining annual budgets, cash flow documents, and show-specific production budgets with Producing Artistic Director
  • Oversee all marketing initiatives with support from Marketing staff position
  • Develop ticket sales projections and oversee the development and execution of sales strategy

THE IDEAL CANDIDATE WILL:

  • Have a passion for Pipeline’s mission and our community of emerging artists.
  • Be a leader who has the vision and energy to continue to grow our burgeoning company into a sustainable and healthy home for artists.
  • Be a creative-thinker and problem-solver.
  • Be comfortable with a flexible schedule and working remotely.
  • Have experience in fundraising. Prior experience with a theatre company is highly desirable. Marketing experience is a plus (Those with a Master’s Degree in Theatre Management, Arts Administration or comparable experience are highly encouraged to apply).
  • Have a sense of humor and boat loads of courage.

We are a growing company and are looking for a leader to grow along with us. This is a major opportunity for growth, leadership and integration into our company.

Application deadline: August 19th, 2018

To submit: Email cover letter, resume and 2 references (Name / Affiliation / Contact – no letters required) to jobs@pipelinetheatre.org

Pipeline Theatre Company is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, race, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or status as a protected veteran. We celebrate difference. Therefore, applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences are encouraged to apply.

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Introducing the PlayLab Class of 2019

The Pipeline PlayLab, a year-long series of monthly meetings and workshops, provides a developmental space for playwrights to turn their biggest, wildest ideas into finished plays. Through an extensive application process, we seek out big dreamers who are taking big risks with their plays, we put them all in a room together, we provide structure and support, and we make magic.

This year, the Pipeline artistic team received applications from about 225 playwrights. We then selected 7 outstanding artists to be in residence with us through June 2019. It is with great admiration and excitement that we now introduce our sixth PlayLab class:

SKYLAR FOX & SIMON HENRIQUES
Society

Skylar Fox is a playwright/director who makes big, weird, funny/sad plays about the feelings that scare and comfort him at the same time. He also likes to make up dances. Simon Henriques makes strange, funny, sad plays about the stories we turn our lives into as we’re living them.

About the Project: Part play, part participatory focus group, part collective fever dream, Society explores what happens when the silent contracts we make with one another are pushed to extremes. Learn More

 

SEVAN K. GREENE
When Bees Last Whispered

Sevan K. Greene is an experienced polyglot refugee enculturated in the South with a penchance for being an actor, telling stories about things no one thinks about, and annually watching the extended LOTR films in one sitting.

About the Project: A world-wide one-child policy. A couple expecting twins. A future where the planet is about to collapse. An angel just fell from the sky. And why won’t the bees shut the hell up? Learn More

 

SUKARI JONES
Metropolis-ville

Sukari Jones writes raw, unflinchingly real stories that are also somehow highly imaginative and otherworldly.

About the Project: Whimsical and terrifying journey into a parallel reality, courtesy of Evil Dr. Excellent: racism is reversed and white people were the slaves. Learn More

 

 

SAM SCHANWALD
COOP

Sam Schanwald is a writer and designer who sometimes performs.

About the Project: COOP probes isolation and hunger through a human child’s relationship with his infertile pet chicken. Learn More

 

 

ANDREW SIAÑEZ-DE LA O
The River Becomes a Family

Andrew Siañez-De La O is a Chicanx playwright from El Paso, Texas. His work has focused on the people and politics of the American southwest and the Latinx diaspora.

About the Project: The Ortiz siblings Andrea and Mateo must discover the forgotten history of their family tree in order to repay an old debt to an ancient Aztec god. Learn More

 

 

KRISTIN SLANEY
Let’s Hex The President

Kristin Slaney is a playwright/ screenwriter/ singer-songwriter originally from Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia.

About the Project: A coven assembled via Craigslist ad meets monthly to cast spells on the President of the United States– but what starts out as innocuous soon takes a turn for the supernatural. Learn More

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