We have taken a significant forward step in the development of our planned Festival Tour.  A group of 16 of us met in Ann Arbor, MI at the administrative office building of the Anthroposophical Society in the USA for 4+ days.

The New Mystery Drama: We read through the sixth edition of The Working of the Spirit and came away with the agreement that, as written, the play is the basis of our next steps.  We recognize that it will go through a further tightening both as preparation for publication and with reworking for stage presentation.

Shakespeare Decision:  After serious consideration and discussion about which Shakespeare play will serve our Vision and Mission statements, which were reconfirmed in the meeting, we have arrived at a decision.   A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be the production, along with a Symphonic Eurythmy program and The Working of the Spirit, that form the heart of our Festival Tour.

Directors:  We have created a short list of potential theater artistic directors and will begin to contact individuals that we hope might be interested in that aspect of the project. 

Michael Burton’s U.S. Tour: Michael is now in Chicago, heading to Milwaukee, WI, Chapel Hill, NC, Asheville, NC, Princeton, NJ, New York, NY, Austin, TX, Phoenix, AZ, Tucson, AZ, and Los Angeles, before he returns to Australia.  He will be back in May for the Readers’ Theater and will perform again as is possible.  His one man Shakespeare performance has been very well received.

Readers’ Theater: The play will have its first public reading at Whitsun in Fountain Hall, Camphill Copake, New York.  This will take place on Saturday, May 14. This will be followed by subsequent readings in Chicago (May 21 or 22) and on the west coast (May 28 or 29).  It is our hope that these events will give us an opportunity to meet new actors who might be interested in the project.  We will have some of those who have been part of our work in the past, either from days of Portal Productions or from the work last year in Spring Valley with all four of Rudolf Steiner’s Mystery Dramas, travelling to each location but the process of expanding the company of stage artists in anticipation of the tour will be started.

We anticipate something similar happening in Europe, probably in England, in the summer and in the southern hemisphere some time after that.

Eurythmy:  I expect that a similar type of announcement will be made soon about how the Eurythmy constellation will be developed. The directors of the symphonic eurythmy production will be Benedict Zweifel and Corinna Schmidt.

Finances:  We had new members who work on the financial side of the process with us for this meeting and a further refinement is underway in the overall financial planning and communication.  Work is underway towards the sources of larger funding organizations and individuals but it is the combination of multiple sources that give us the hope that we will be successful.

Gift Tickets: On the financial side we have had an idea for some time now but have only begun open it up now in coordination with Michael Burton’s one-man Shakespeare performances.  This new idea is in the form of a Contribution/Ticket.  As I am sure you will understand we need substantial funds to get to the opening of the tour and as part of that we have developed our own “crowd funding” concept.  In principle the idea is that if we sell enough tickets, the project will work well financially.  We are asking people to make a donation of $100 now, knowing that there is no guarantee that we will actually get the full funding necessary to bring the tour into being.   We are hopeful, but it is a big project.  If we succeed in accomplishing the tour, then the numbered card that has been issued can be redeemed anywhere in the world for one ticket of value up to $100.  In essence we gift the funds back to you.  We have been surprised at the very positive response that this has generated and funds have begun to flow to keep us going. 

Do you want to help?  If you are interested in this idea at the moment you can make a contribution on the web site and put in a note that it is for a contribution/ticket.  We will send you the document.  Eventually we will have this available fully electronically. Having discovered that it works we are just beginning to add this mechanism into our work.

The mood is a very positive one for those who have been working on this for the past three years.

All the best in your work,

Marke Levene