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Orlando Theatre Kids want Coworking Too

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Over on the Orlando Sentinel Theatre blog, there has been a recent discussion about how to get Orlando's Theatre (and theater) community together. They decided on having a pot-luck dinner in a local theatre space, namely Mad Cow. The date is April 6th at 7PM, the same day as BarCamp Media Day, one hour after our event wraps up, right across the street from our event.

These thespians have the same desires and pains we do, and it's all been coming out out on Elizabeth Maupin's blog in the last few weeks, and then earlier today one of the actors made a big leap into Coworking land. I instantly recognized the model and ideals behind Coworking, which we at the Florida Creatives have been dedicated to realizing as a space as well as a community for some time.

Here's what Scott Sidler of Little Fin Creative Proposed:

Brother & Sisters in Theatre,

There has been a lot of talk over the years about ways to strengthen our vast yet fractured theatre community here in the Greater Orlando area. After hearing so many "fixes" or temporary solutions to this peculiar problem I have rolled this challenge over and over in my mind and with lots of input from others I have come up with a proposed solution that I have been working on for some time. This is a co-operative solution which I do firmly believe can bring us all together as a community and allow us and our audiences to enjoy more and better theatre than we have previously been able to put forth. We can indeed be greater than the sum of our parts! Here is my vision.

The Green Room is a space that is centrally located. It is a theatre. It is a rehearsal studio. It is a coffee/wine/tapas style cafe. It is THE place where creative and artistically minded people of Orlando can come together to mingle, network, create, learn, research, produce and play. The Green Room is a theatrical co-op, if you will, with a year-round feel like a fringe festival. There is always something going on whether it is a cabaret, a new work of theatre, a dance concert, a class on puppeteering or a music festival.

But how can we, the poor theatrical masses, afford a place like this? Together! How many of you work with, know of, or have your own "homeless" production company? How many of you would love to have unlimited access to a space where you can bring your creative ideas to fruition? And how many of you would like to produce your own works of theatre, music, dance or anything in a location that every actor, musician, dancer, artist, critic, graphic designer and writer not only knows about but frequents for their morning coffee, afternoon snack or nightly spirits?

How do we afford this? Let's say there are 5 "Member-Companies" that pay $500/month and 50 "Individual Members" that pay $40/month. That equals $4500 a month in income to cover the expenses! And when you are a member you don't pay reduced fees for use of the space. You don't pay anything!! It is your theatre! The more members the less we all pay and the greater this theatre co-op can become.

This can take the shape that any of us desire! It changes with the needs of its members and is a truly flexible artistic entity. But before we can move forward with this I beg your indulgence. Since this will be a creation of its members I need to know what the members would like it to be. Below is a short questionnaire to determine the who, what, where and how of The Green Room. I encourage you to please answer the questions below to describe your thoughts and to let us know at Little Fin Creative if you would be interested in pledging your support to this endeavor. We don't need hard commitments at this point, simply an expression of genuine interest will do. Lastly, please forward this to as many people as you can who might be interested in this. Dance companies, theatre companies, production companies, actors, musicians, anyone. Post it on blogs, myspace, bulletin boards or wherever, so we can see if this idea can truly fly!

Scott Sidler
Little Fin Creative
PO Box 692204
Orlando, FL 32869

If ye be a theatre type and checking out this blog, I urge you to head over to our Coworking Mailing List and start posting there. Please use the community tools that already exist.

We also have a Florida Creatives Happy Hour coming up this Monday at the Crooked Bayou - the details for this are always on the right sidebar of this page, but it helps to know that it always happens on the third Monday of the month at the Crooked Bayou, from 6-9PM. Crooked Bayou is just around the corner from the Mad Cow, where the pot-luck dinner will be taking place. No, really, it's just around the corner.

Update: This is also post #100 here on the blog. Nice timing.

Update 2: Gavin Baker left a comment pointing to another Orlando Sentinel blog post by Etan Horowitz. The Central Florida Computer Society is looking for meeting space for approximately 50 people on third Sundays of the month.


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