House Next Door Productions Funds Alternative Theater with Kickstarter

Behind the bright lights and red velvet curtains of "professional theater" is an alternative that is challenging the norm. House Next Door Productions is a group of students from the Miami area looking to spread awareness of so-called "alternative theater" throughout the city. They're hoping that their production of Stephen Belber's Tape will do just that.

Maury Abascal, recent University of Miami graduate and producer of the piece, describes Tape as "a very powerful story." Some might recognize the play from it's 1999 screen adaptation starring Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman.

It centers on Jon Saltzman, a filmmaker premiering his latest work at a 

festival while also visiting his best friend from high school, Vince.

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When the two reunite, they begin to discuss their complicated history

with Vince's high school sweetheart Amy Randall. Most important, however, is the

situation surrounding John's one-night stand with Amy on their

graduation night, which she deemed rape. The three come together and the

dramatic night unfolds.

Current FIU theater student Victoria

Collado is directing the piece in a way that brings the audience as

close as possible. "She wants to make sure the audience is very immersed

in the story so they are right in the middle of the space," says

Abascal. The entire show is set in a motel room and in this case, that

motel room is Collado's very own living room. The audience sits on

chairs, couches and pillows to feel as if they are with the characters

inside the room. The bathroom scene? Uses the actual bathroom too.


any college students strapped for cash, the production team used unique

means to find funding. With the fundraising web site Kickstarter,

the group pledged a goal of $600. In 12 days on the site, they

have received $630 -- mostly from family and friends.


show itself is free and will run June 3 and June 4 in Collado's home. Seating is limited to 30 people a night so it is

clear the overarching goal of the production is not necessarily


"What we wanted to get across with this is that there are

people in South Florida doing alternative theater," says Abascal. "We

eventually want to become a for-profit film and theater production

company so any money we make off of this will help start a company where

we put on Spanish-language plays and expand alternative theater and

independent films."

Those wanting to make donations can continue to do so until this Friday, May 27th via Kickstarter.

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