Designing a Teaching Program in Thailand

I was planning on spending New Year’s with friends in Taiwan, but it turns out that my contract in Thailand has been extended!  We are in the process of negotiating a year-long teaching contract with their school and the theatre here wanted to keep at least one of us in the country until our visitor visa expires.  The opportunity has broadsided me so I am a little stunned right now; just trying to say as little as possible and making sure that what I do say is the right thing!

Teaching

As a starting point, I’ve prepared a complete picture of The Rocker’s and my 2007 touring schedule and it looks as though we would be able to teach a maximum of about 22 weeks in 2007.  Essentially. we would be teaching a month at a time with about a month’s break in between.

For now, the owner of the theatre, The Matriarch, has agreed that we can come back any time we are free to teach in 2007.  Exactly how many weeks we’d be paid will depend on how much support she can get from her sources, but she wants to move ahead.

End of year show

The matriarch has proposed that the year of teaching could include a six-week creation project at the end of the year.  We’ve discussed three versions of this:

1) a version with Asian-looking people to play in Thailand.

2) a version with only Thai citizens to play international global events (like expo, for example)

3) a fully international version to play at festivals and corporate events where they are only interested in the show value.

I think we could make all of these versions in accordance with her vision, and since we know how to make a commercially-viable international show work, we’d like to influence the casting for that version.

Rigging training

She also wants us to cover travel, lodging, and fee for The Rigger to Thailand for February for 7-10 days or so to:

  • Give feedback about how to update their equipment in their theater to have raiseable/lowerable attach points for tissus, trapeze danse, straps, etc.
  • Teach them about the relevant safety points and to teach the technical staff here how to inspect the security of the equipment once it is installed.
  • explain to them how they can best build a new theater being built by the beach so that they can use aerial circus in their night productions and act as a circus school during the day.

If it all goes well, they would like to work through him to buy all of the specialized equipment in the future.

Local events

I’ll also be in contact with her producer network starting tomorrow because she is excited about the possibility of us teaming up with their venue as consultants for rigging, lighting, and special-events.  She is hoping that her producer friends cover part of the funds, but she is ready to pick up the slack if they offer less than she is expecting.  I will develop this slowly and wait until February to really get involved.

I forced one of our students The Prodigy to get his acrobatic table piece finished by holding special rehearsals with him over the weekend and he presented the final version yesterday.  Everyone was impressed because it was the first time he had ever finished a creation project and because it looked high-quality and professional.  Of course, I still only saw all the shit that we need to fix, but in the end, The Matriarch asked him to present this number at their New Year’s Eve event.

In short, so far, she is very happy with our work and would like us to continue working with her ‘for life.’

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