FATHERS OF THE DARK KNIGHT

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The true story of Bob Kane, Bill Finger, and Jerry Robinson's creation of the iconic and enduring BATMAN comic book legend!
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Roberto Williams
Theater
New York, New York
United States
1 Team Member

SUMMARY

Greetings!  Welcome to the FATHERS OF THE DARK KNIGHT” indiegogo.com fund-raising campaign!  This is a non-profit full-length stage play featuring an all-Drama Student cast!  The play is targeted to premiere in the early fall (October) of 2013, on the campus of a Bronx, NY university.  A short run of five (5) performances of this theatrical event will be presented for the benefit of the surrounding community, and BATMAN / comic book industry fans near and far!  Log on to  www.fathersofthedarkknight.com for an in-depth look at the production!

 

THE PLAY

In March of 1939, an ambitious, young comic strip artist by the name of Robert Kahn was presented with an exciting and life-changing opportunity.  Vince Sullivan, the Editor and Publisher of National Periodicals Publications (known today as DC Comics), was trying to come up with another super-hero sensation to match the success of the recently debuted SUPERMAN.  Sullivan called Kahn into his office and presented him with the challenge of creating just such a character. Motivated by the lure of a lucrative weekly paycheck and steady employment, Robert (working under the pseudonym of  “BOB KANE”) spent the following year collaborating with his writing partner BILL FINGER and artist JERRY ROBINSON to create the Caped Crusader of Gotham City… THE BATMAN!


From his very first appearance in the May issue of Detective Comics (issue #27), the character was an instant success!  Having shrewdly negotiated a deal retaining half ownership of what would ultimately become a world-wide, multi-media sensation, Bob Kane went on to become a very wealthy celebrity artist over the following decades.

But behind the scenes, The Batman’s comic strip success was bitter-sweet.  While Kane enjoyed the sweetness of fame and notoriety, The Dark Knight mythology co-creators Bill Finger and Jerry Robinson saw mostly the bitterness.

How could this happen? How was it that Finger was never given the proper credit nor financial reward for his substantial role in the creation of the iconic Batman mythology?  Why did Kane refuse to give Robinson his deserved credit for his conceptualization of The Joker or for his design contributions for Robin The Boy Wonder?  In the stage production of “FATHERS OF THE DARK KNIGHT”,you will learn the answers to these burning questions, and so much more!

Set in Bob Kane’s studio apartment in The Bronx, circa 1939 and beyond, this ambitious theatrical drama is designed to play out on one half of the performance stage.  Here, you will witness the dramatic, humorous, and informative real-life creative process undergone by this intrepid trio as they flesh-out characters and build the fictional world of The Batman’s Gotham City!

But equally compelling will be the action playing out on the second half of the stage, where each fantasy character and environment developed by Kane, Finger, and Robinson excitingly comes to life before your very eyes!  You will be delighted by a live, gothic spectacle of sights and sounds, as classic comic book heroes battle the most terrible villains for the very soul of Gotham City!

As biographical drama meets fantasy adventure, you too will agree that “FATHERS OF THE DARK KNIGHT” is a stunning theatrical achievement!

PLAYWRIGHT, PRODUCER, AND DIRECTOR

Overseeing this entire production as Playwright, Producer and Director is NYC Department of Education-registered Teaching Artist Roberto Williams.  With over 25 years of professional experience as a stage performer in New York City, Mr. Williams has enjoyed several careers in the arts, and now brings his passion for entertainment to his many performing arts student.

Having already written, produced, and directed numerous school presentations, Mr. Williams now embarks upon his most ambitious showcase of student talent to date:  The dramatic stage production of  “FATHERS OF THE DARK KNIGHT”!

Initially conceived of as a small high school production in October of 2011, Mr. Williams has steadily transformed the scope and scale of “FATHERS OF THE DARK KNIGHT” into something that will become the new standard of excellence in student-produced theater.  For the sake of maintaining full creative control, and total faithfulness to the classic comic book source material, this production has been moved out of the (often confining) parameters of the school system, and is being produced independently.

Each student will be instilled with an invaluable sense of artistic pride and ownership from their involvement in this enterprise.  And this sprawling real-life tale of three poor boys from the Bronx who create an iconic, American mythology will serve as powerful inspiration to the production’s youthful cast, crew, and audience.

With The Batman mythology at the center of this production, a life-long dream  to create this gothic world on stage will be realized by playwright / director Williams and his excited students!

On a personal note, Mr. Williams feels that it is absolutely vital for disadvantaged inner city students to have ambitious artistic opportunities like “FATHERS OF THE DARK KNIGHT” provided to them as often as possible. This need is particularly urgent now in the wake of yearly public school budget cuts to Arts-in-Education programs nationwide. With the generous help and support of the PARENTS of the student performers, Mr. Williams has developed “FATHERS OF THE DARK KNIGHT” into a sprawling, ambitious production that boldly defies that unfortunate statistic!

With the launch of this inaugural production, Mr. Williams plans to quickly realize his dream of an elite All-Student Theater Company of talented performers as his pupils!

 

FUNDS ALLOCATION

We are working to raise $20,000 of production capital.  We are aware that this is a significant amount of money.  However, we can assure everyone that the money is being put to very good use. We need professional resources to make our student stage play as polished as it deserves to be.  

Mr. Williams has already invested over $10,000 of his own money to develop “FATHERS OF THE DARK KNIGHT” as a showcase for his students.  He has personally hand-fabricated many of the props and costumes that have been created thus far, and designed the stage sets that will feature prominently in the play.  Please feel free to log onto the official website for an in-depth look with TONS of images and up-to-the minute production info! www.fathersofthedarkknight.com. 

This money will cover the expenses for:

 

Theater Space Fees

Stage Set Construction Materials

Set Furniture Pieces,

Construction / Carpentry

Practical Stage Effects (smoke / fog/mist machines, pyrotechnic squibs)

Video Projectors and Projection Screens Rentals

Lighting Purchases and Rentals

Sound Purchases and  Rentals

Additional Costumes

Props Purchase and Fabrication

Transportation

Rehearsals

Publicity / Promotion, 

Documentary Videography

Permits

Meals

 

OTHER WAYS YOU CAN HELP


If you cannot help by contributing money to our production, you are still in a position to get the word out about this page!   We humbly ask that you PLEASE share this link on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social networking website.  In addition, PLEASE share our official website:  www.fathersofthedarkknight.com

We still need production stagehands, and key production positions still need to be filled.  If you would like to JOIN the “FATHERS OF THE DARK KNIGHT” production team by donating your services, please contact us through the official website and tell us all about yourself!

Thank you SO much! We are SO excited to bring this production to life, and we hope to see you all on opening night!

 


NOTE: REGARDING THE LEGALITY OF THE PROJECT

This is a 100% NON-PROFIT student-made stage play.  We are making no revenue from the project. Any donations we receive on Indiegogo will directly fund the play.  They will never go into anyone's pocket.

Regarding our rights to make the series, Warner Bros. (owner of DC Comics/Entertainment) issued this statement regarding fan films/creations in 2004 that has been their policy ever since, a statement we strictly adhere to:  

"Warner Bros. definitely appreciates the enthusiasm and respect of its fans. We will continue to monitor the use of Warner Bros. properties as used in fan films / creations. However, we will only consider taking action against such films/creations that are either commercial in nature, are commercially exploited or otherwise engage in or depict inappropriate activity."

 

 

 

Find This Campaign On
$225USD
raised in 2 months
1% funded
No time left
Verified Nonprofit
$20,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on July 17, 2013
In partnership with
Select a Perk
  • $1USD
    ALFRED PENNYWORTH

    You will get: Our eternal gratitude. The satisfaction of knowing YOU contributed generously to the support of Arts in Education for our kids!

    0 claimed
  • $10USD
    THE PENGUIN

    You will get: A personal thank you on our Official Website, and a listing in the show Play Bill as a Patron of the Arts.

    3 claimed
  • $25USD
    THE RIDDLER

    You will get: All previous perks plus a beautiful 8-1/2” X 11” production still of the character of your choice, personally autographed by the performer.

    1 claimed
  • $50USD
    CATWOMAN

    You will get: All previous perks, plus free admission to any performance of your choice of “Fathers Of The Dark Knight”!

    1 claimed
  • $100USD
    HARLEY QUINN

    You will get: All previous perks, plus free admission for YOUR GUEST to any performance of your choice of “Fathers Of The Dark Knight”!

    1 claimed
  • $200USD
    THE JOKER

    You will get: All previous perks plus Reserved Elite FRONT ROW SEATING for you and one guest to any performance of your choice. DVD (featuring a filmed performance of the play itself and exclusive bonus behind–the-scenes material… all in stunning HD!)

    0 claimed
  • $250USD
    NIGHTWING

    You will get: All previous perks plus a “FATHERS OF THE DARK KNIGHT” poster signed by cast and crew.

    0 claimed
  • $500USD
    BATGIRL

    You will get: All of the previous perks PLUS an after-show backstage pass, and YOUR photo taken with the entire cast (autographed by the entire cast)! show.

    0 claimed
  • $800USD
    ROBIN THE BOY WONDER

    You will get: All of the previous perks PLUS a copy of the Production Script, autographed by Playwright / Director Roberto Williams.

    0 claimed
  • $1,000USD
    THE BATMAN

    You will get: All previous perks PLUS Executive Producer credit listed is show’s playbill, plus an actual set flat of one of the trophies from Batman’s BATCAVE stage set (autographed by the cast)! Three flats are up for grabs! The Giant Penny, The Giant Dinosaur, and The Giant Joker Playing Card! Each flat is mounted on lightweight foam core and includes rear supports for display! (First come / First choice)

    0 out of 3 claimed
  • $1,500USD
    DARK KNIGHT FATHER

    You will get: All of the previous perks (up to the $800 level)… PLUS Executive Producer Co-Credit listing in the show’s Playbill… PLUS your choice of a stage-used ReevzFX Batman, Batgirl, or Catwoman COWL… autographed on the inside by the appropriate performer! (Cowls are First come /First Choice)

    0 out of 3 claimed
  • $2,000USD
    DARK KNIGHT GRAND FATHER

    You will get: All of the previous perks (up to the $800 Donation level) PLUS the BATMOBILE Stage Flat with light up head-light feature!

    0 out of 1 claimed
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