Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Being Bohemian: Charles Riffenburg

BoHo Theatre's Marketing Director/Graphic Designer Charles Riffenburg, on what it means to be bohemian:

When I joined the cast of BoHo Theatre’s The Merchant of Venice in the summer of 2008, I immediately sensed something different about the company. For the first time in Chicago, I had encountered a group of artists who went out of their way to make the rehearsal and artistic process something uniquely special and supportive. I felt like there was true collaboration going on, and that the voices of the cast were valued in the overall process.

It was this supportive environment that motivated me to want to become a member of the company the following year. When I joined up, it wasn’t as an actor joining an ensemble of other actors who all perform onstage. I joined as the website designer, and soon took on more and more tasks, like graphic design and overseeing the company’s marketing and social media presence. BoHo gave me an encouraging place to explore all of my talents as a multi-disciplinary artist.

Many theatre companies have a focus with their work that makes their point of view special. Perhaps they believe the work of the playwright is the most important, or they specifically celebrate an ensemble of actors. Maybe visual or aural spectacle is their thing. What makes BoHo Theatre not only special but UNIQUELY BOHEMIAN is a commitment to ALL artists and their artforms. In a BoHo production, the artistic work of the set builder or props designer is equal to that of the actors or choreographer or director. The “ensemble” in the Bohemian Theatre Ensemble is truly that of ALL the artists involved, not just those whose faces you see onstage. To me, this approach of working together creatively across multiple disciplines— environmental design, writing, acting, singing, dancing, etc— to create something that makes the world better is what it means to be Bohemian.

It was this philosophy that I used as my primary inspiration in directing our current production, Veronica’s Room. The amazing success of this show is not due to any one person or discipline; it is because all of the artists on the show worked collaboratively to create something greater than any one of us could individually. Like a true Bohemian community, BoHo Theatre gave us the most supportive environment it could to foster our creativity.

Throughout BoHo Theatre's milestone 10th Season, BoHo company members will be revealing what being "bohemian" means to them. What does Bohemianism and BoHo Theatre mean to you? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

From the Desk of the Executive Director

Welcome to BoHo's 10th Season.
BoHo Theatre Company Picture

There is always a flurry of activity within every theater company and BoHo is no exception. This post will be the first of many monthly updates heading your way. We invite you to consider this series as your “Go-To” resource for upcoming projects, opportunities, and announcements as well as sharing exciting news and updates from our Company and Board.

Our goal is to share those activities and spread the word about everything there is to get involved with. If you are interested in lending a hand, assisting with a build, or just learning more about BoHo Theatre, I encourage you to follow this blog series, and reach out to us for more information.

BoHo Partners with the Arts & Business Council of Chicago:
Business Volunteers for the Arts

Last month, BoHo's Board of Directors proudly kicked off a project with the Arts & Business Council of Chicago - BusinessVolunteers for the Arts (BVA) program. The BVA Program recruits and trains experienced business professionals, and then assigns them to serve on pro bono consulting projects for small-to-medium sized nonprofit arts organizations. Over the next six months, our fantastic board members will work alongside our BVA team to develop a formal Strategic Plan to take BoHo into the next three years. The Strategic Planning Initiative will provide a focus for BoHo as we continue to advance our mission in the storefront community.

Call for Board Members: Become a Pillar of the Art

As we continue to advance through our 10th season, BoHo Theatre is still actively seeking board members. Serving as a “pillar” of BoHo Theatre, the Board works to drive the direction of our fiscal and organizational planning. By assisting with community outreach, donor stewardship, and network building, you would help BoHo continue to advance its mission within the Chicago Arts Community.
This month also marks the opening of our 10th Season. On Friday, September 27, BoHo opened Veronica’s Room by Ira Levin. I’m proud to announce that tickets are moving fast – and we only seat 31 people per show. So if you are hoping to catch this “downright terrifying” production, we recommend you hop over to our website for your tickets as soon as possible.

Become a Member of BoHo: Share the Season

Lastly, we recently announced our newest program – BoHo’sMembership Program. Many of you may have seen our posts on FB, or perhaps received an email announcing this exciting program. What I personally love about this offering is the flexibility it gives you, our patron. BoHo's flexible ticket program affords you the opportunity to see one show - or all our shows - for one low cost. Our membership program also allows you to reserve your seat in advance so you are guaranteed the spot you want for an evening with BoHo.