Howdy, folks! My name is Anthony Williams. I’m a company member here at BrickaBrack.
It has been about a month since our first, big, party! And let me just tell you. As a new company, we do not quite have a “home” outside of the general city of Oakland, California. But ask the company members and many would respond that the Temescal Art Center is about the closest place to home we have found in our less-than-two-years as BrickaBrack. The 23’ x 38’ x 10’ space with a fantastic energy was not only the home of Duck Duck Octopus, but also that of Never Fall So Heavily Again auditions, and The BrickaBrack Benefit Bash! On the evening of September 28th, 2013, we welcomed guests into our home to show them what we are all about.
There were definitely some nerves among the company, though. We started planning for the event about three months beforehand. But with a new, small company, and with people working full-time, there was a lot to organize! Who is going to do what, when are we going to get it done, and possibly most importantly: who is going to show up? We have friends, people like what we produce, but who is going to show up?! We were in the fourth grade again, wondering if any of the people we invited would show up to our party, and if they did, when would they? Flash forward to the day of the event, which started at 3pm for us, the company members. From that time on you could see us adjusting lights, lighting candles, arranging chairs, rehearsing, and many other tasks! We had a lot to do and we accomplished it in a short amount of time. Those fearful feelings quickly dissolved as we took a step back to look at our work right before our guests arrived.
Our ticket prices were reasonable, the cause was good, the food was delicious, the drinks were plentiful, and the prizes were excellent, to say the least. To start, advance tickets sales received a discount and all proceeds went to our current production of Never Fall So Heavily Again. The dinner selection included delectable beef, sliders, lentil sliders, and those tots from Phil’s; homemade items from company members such as jalapeñopoppers; cookies from Luisa Frasconi; and fruits/veggies aplenty! And with sponsors like Aurora Theatre, Simple Green Smoothies, Sugar Knife Artisan Sweets, Shotgun Players, Pat Paulsen Vineyards, and many others, the raffle prizes were definitely fought over! Not only did each raffle prize stand alone in it’s fabulosity, many were paired with a lovely bottle of wine. Let us not forget Shoot the Wheel, the popular party game for those risk takers with some extra money to donate! The night began with just company members shouting the lovely phrase, but by the tenth time someone paid their money to see how many raffle tickets they would end up with, the whole party would chant “SHOOT. THE. WHEEL!” in unison!
Now if you’re still not feeling envious of those who were able to make the event, this should definitely do the trick. Maura Tang created beautiful art on patrons thanks to her face painting kit and immense skill. Adriel Socrates photographed anyone who wanted to feel fancy for the night in our lovely frame.Throughout the evening the company performed a selection of pieces from our Spring hit, Duck Duck Octopus. Later in the evening we reprised the famous dance from Stalking Christopher Walken, including company member Lindsey Cook. We ended with an inspirational speech from Artistic Director Gabriel Grilli, who talked about the purpose of BrickaBrack and how it came about. The glint in his eyes as he spoken transferred over to some of the cast and some company members reading and dancing their asses off in the first public preview of Never Fall. The party continued on late into the evening with a little bit of dancing, a lotta bit of talking, and a wonderful sense of community.
Despite all of the stress that came come with planning, this event was well worth it for us as company members and our donors as guests. Thank you to everyone who attended, donated and helped! I can’t wait to see you all at our workshop in December and next year at the next Benefit Bash!
Musings by the BrickaBrack Ensemble