Mischievous & Troublesome Productions was founded in the summer of 2014, but kicked off at the end of 2015, as a nod to a line in the Salem Witch Dungeon Museum script, and because I like to throw shows sometimes. We are a loose collection of theatre artists local to the Salem, MA area for now. We don’t have an official mission statement yet, but if we did it would sound something like this:
We aim to build community through art, particularly new work, work which has potential but consistently gets overlooked, edgy and experimental work, and work which actively brings people out of their comfort zones. We aim to scare ourselves when we need to.
We aim to produce mostly theatre-related projects, but we aim to incorporate all the other arts as heavily as possible, creating more well-rounded artists in our community.
We aim to provide accessible and frequent training, performance, learning, and growth opportunities to those who would normally not be afforded them.
We believe artists should be compensated for their work.
We aim to further social justice for all through art, particularly by working with artists of all ages, sizes, gender or sexual orientation, religious beliefs, and backgrounds, by performing works that were written by, about, or of particular concern to same, and through conscientious directing.
We aim to help others when we can, and not just when it is convenient.
We aim to have fun.
We are struggling upward with some of the projects we’ve had on the back burner for awhile, and we would love to have you be a part of them. Here is a list of projects we are considering moving forward on in the near future:
- Monthly or twice monthly mock auditions
- A regular event where actors, musicians, and dancers can come and try out an audition piece before their real audition. It will be as similar to a real audition experience as possible, complete with paperwork, waiting area, and stage management telling you to keep it down. Suggested donation of $5-$20. If you have donated at least $5 that month and provided an email address, you will receive written feedback. The money will go toward hiring a pianist to play for a musical theatre audition.
- Classes, workshops, and training
- We want to have regular training available to members of our community. Specifically, we would like to offer some general performance training at all times, but offer some workshops or lessons that are significant to whatever production we are working on at that time. (i.e. if we are doing an opera, we will offer voice lessons, language pronunciation workshops, etc.)
- 24 hour festivals
- Festivals of new work (theatre, music, choreography, 2D art, etc) in which people sign up and are given a theme or task, work for 24 hours on a project that reflects that theme or task, and then displays them when the 24 hours are up. We would also like to do 5 day festivals for filmmakers, fashion designers, etc.
- Carrie the Musical
- A musical based on the book and movie of the same name. We think it has a lot of potential, but needs a lot of work. We hope to sit down with a thoughtful and intelligent group of actors, tweak the material until it works, and then do a 2 or 3 night run at Club Oberon, hopefully at the end of next year.
- Promotion of lesser-known work
- We love the Phantom of the Opera, Fiddler on the Roof, and Romeo and Juliet as much as the next theatre group. But we believe there is some great work out there just waiting to rock the socks off an unsuspecting audience, like Carrie (right above this bullet point). We want to share some of that work with an audience who is ready for some new stuff.
- One of the ideas we are currently playing with is performing very unknown operas, particularly ones based on novels or movies. Some we have in mind are The Handmaid’s Tale, Of Mice and Men, and The Crucible.
- Classics, reimagined
- Some of us are scholars of classic works of theatre such as Shakespeare or the Greeks. We would like to perform some of the classics, but we don’t want to give our audiences something they have already seen a million times. We want to present the theatrical classics in an energetic, timely, relevant way that makes you rethink everything you thought you knew about that piece. (But, in theory, in ways that fit with the spirit of the piece. No Hamlet in Space, I don’t think.)
- Two such projects we currently have in mind are: an all-female production of a Shakespeare play, which we are still working out, and a dance performance set to the music the opera Carmen from start to finish. Like a ballet, but slightly different.
- Location-based theatre
- We would like to do some literary favorites as written, but only if they are fitting in the location we do it in. We would love to do The Crucible in Salem.
- Variety shows and Open mics
- We would like to host shows where we are less producers and more curators. We would like to invite other performers (dancers, musicians, burlesque, etc) to compose short acts and perform them either in a structured show setting or in a less-formal “open mic” setting.
- Open mics will also frequently serve as fundraisers for bigger projects and as a platform for local artists to have a chance to be featured on a regular basis.
- A space
- Yes, like all companies, one day we hope to have a home space. It will, in theory, consist of an active playing space that can be changed to suit our production needs, a separate rehearsal studio, an office, restroom facilities, shop space, costume/prop/scenery/equipment storage, a booth and boards, as well as the capacity for fully functional lighting and sound equipment.
- We also hope to be able to rent out our home space relatively inexpensively, so that it can be accessible for groups who wouldn’t normally have access to a performance space.
- Play library and readings
- We hope to operate an active theatrical lending library out of our space. This will include plays and musicals, significant works on or about theatre, criticism, technique, biographies, and anything else we can get our hands on. We will catalog each book and encourage community members to borrow and read plays frequently.
- We also hope to have regular informal (and possibly also formal) play readings, followed by discussion. Plays are meant to be seen and heard, and we hope that a reading will broaden our understanding of a work, even if we have read it a million times already.
- Concept photography
- We want to produce print photography and modeling as well. Current projects include seasonal, setting-driven shoots (“Red” on a backdrop of snow for winter, cemetery for autumn, etc.).
- And (way too) many more…
If you want to be involved in any of these upcoming projects, or if you have a particular project you are interested in seeing happen faster, feel free to leave a comment below, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, too.