A grass-roots theatre company has less than two weeks to fund $3000 to produce an original Kiwi musical.
Day After Night director and producer James Wenley knows he's taken a few risks banking on the pop-rock original which tells the story of a gay man who wants a baby.
But he's confident the show's "light-hearted comedy" and the universal theme of a desire to have a child will make it a winner with the masses. And he hopes the audience – and potential funders – agree.
Mr Wenley has joined writer and composer Benjamin Cleaver to sign up to the Kiwi website PledgeMe.
They are trying to fundraise $3000 through the site by July 14.
"It's a little bit scary, I'm slightly anxious," Mr Wenley says.
His company Theatre of Love has already secured $4000 through a grant but he's hoping to raise a total of $20,000 to cover all costs for the play which is on at The Basement in late September.
The money raised through PledgeMe will go towards that total.
"It's sort of a new wave of things that the audience is able to help get works produced.
"They're becoming empowered and it's very much about them having ownership of the show," Mr Wenley says. "So we're going to have to deliver."
The love story is set in Auckland around Karangahape Rd and the city waterfront.
It follows the life of late-night drag performer Harry who wants to have a baby but his partner David can't think of anything worse.
Seven actor/singer/dancers and a band complete the cast and well-known thespian Paul Barrett is in charge of musical direction.
The concept of taking a few risks with an original play and involving the audience in producing it is not new to The Basement manager Charlie McDermott.
He's pushed a wide variety of bold and unseen works through the Greys Ave theatre and says it's important to create a community around an idea or project.
"Philanthropy and giving is not ingrained in our society so it's up to a new generation to change our culture to one that values the arts.
"That leads to wanting to give money to a cause and in turn the `wants' for an arts experience turn into `needs'."
The concept of crowd funding and philanthropy is a recent addition to the New Zealand performance scene but Mr McDermott says it's been around in the United States for a long time.
Earlier this year he went to New York and spent time with the founders of KickStarter which is the American model PledgeMe is based on.
He says the arts sector in the US gets no state funding so it's normal to fundraise to put shows on.
New Zealand is just starting to catch on to the concept – Taika Waititi raised more than $110,000 through KickStarter to take movie Boy abroad.
Visit pledgeme.co.nz and search Day After Night to donate to the show.
- © Fairfax NZ News