Two Pianos: Playing for Life
CRITERIA FOR LOCAL VENUES AND SPONSORS
Productions generally involve: pianist fees; travel/per diem for 2 pianists plus 3 narrators; scripts tailored to the venue; multimedia projections and sound; an accompanying Exhibit; site-specific exhibit design; performance recording; print materials (posters or flyers; performance program; exhibit brochure); PR, advertising, and other audience building; logistics management; license fees; and post-production video/audio editing. To date, local venues and sponsors collectively have provided (in kind or cash) approximately half the full costs of each production, with Papers Please providing the balance through a mix of U.S. tax-deductible contributions and other funding. Strong local support is critical to successful outcomes, both financially and to secure an audience.
While they often overlap, we separate below the criteria most pertinent for venues and the criteria most pertinent for local sponsors.
Not all these criteria need be met. However, the more criteria that a potential local venue or sponsor can meet, the higher the likely quality of the performance, exhibit, and resulting videos, and the greater the likely audience satisfaction. We welcome comments on these criteria and possible alternatives.
Local venue criteria
• A secure performance space to accommodate 150-500 audience members.
• A secure “green room” for performer preparation/personal items.
• An auditorium with raised stage sufficient to accommodate 2 grand pianos plus narrators (stage at least 25’ [8 m] wide).
• Secure adjacent space and floor plan for display of Two Pianos Exhibit materials, as/if applicable (materials may include up to six standing 7’ (2 m) pop-up portable story panels, physical artifacts, and 4 battery-powered tablet units running video-loop excerpts related to performance or exhibit).
• Appropriate adjacent space and facilities for a light post-performance reception.
• Available piano(s) of appropriate quality (plus tuners), plus 5 adjustable music stands.
• Large drop projection screen behind performers.
• Adjustable or programmable lighting.
• Integrated audio-visual system, including remote overhead projector; ability to coordinate projection images with script; ability to deploy 5 wired or wireless microphones, without audio feedback; ability to record direct from sound system (if necessary); centralized controls.
• Sufficient technical support personnel with English-language capability, to communicate with performers and operate the above.
• At least 2 days of venue availability for set-up, artist practice time, rehearsals and full technical run-throughs, plus 1 day post-performance for take-down.
Local sponsor criteria
• Designate coordinator to: select performance and exhibit venues; schedule main/satellite events; identify and secure local donors for cash or in-kind services; communicate with Papers Please on anticipated levels of budget support; plan and manage event logistics and action items; identify sub-contractors (e.g., equipment operators, local printer, videographer, photographer) if/as needed.
• Manage public relations activities, including channels for social media, local print/radio-TV press releases, posters or flyers, performance invitations, RSVP tracking, following up press contacts, related matters.
• Provide support staff to assist with exhibit set-up, security, installation, and take-down.
Provide exhibit tables or cases with covers (“bonnets”), if/as required.