The Orphans Feast

This holiday season keep a song on your lips, your friends by your side, and a baseball bat in your backpack.

In partnership with
The Monocle is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the purposes of The Monocle must be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

The Orphans Feast

Hello!  We are The Monocle.  We are a performing arts ensemble from Kansas City, MO.  We are producers, composers, writers, singers, and actors who have joined together to create new musical and theatrical works.

We are preparing our debut production, an original musical theatre experience entitled “The Orphans Feast.”  Inspired by the meals shared by friends during the holidays, the story follows various characters as they pursue the meaning of family through music, comedy, drama, and time travel. It features original music and new takes on holiday classics by a live band with some of the best jazz players in the city. It also features zombies. What's not to love?

It will be playing at The Arts Asylum, 1000 E 9th St KCMO:

  • 11/30 - 8:00 pm
  • 12/1 - 7:00 pm and 10:00 pm
  • 12/2 - 2:00 pm

This play is the culmination of a year of planning and hard work. Our goal of creating a funny, beautiful, and compelling play is almost complete.  But we are missing one vital ingredient.


To stage the play at its full potential, we need to hire professional musicians, actors, and crew.  To allow these professionals to focus their time and talent on the production – rather than split their attention between this and a second or third job – we need to pay them fair, livable wages.

The only way we can do this is with your help.


How Much Does It Cost to Stage a Play? 

We have hired 11 professionals:

  • 5 actors
  • 4 musicians
  • 1 assistant director
  • 1 stage manager

Each professional will spend 88 hours working on this production:

  • 16 days of rehearsals x 3 hrs/day = 48 hrs
  • 4 days of tech and dress rehearsals x 6 hrs/day = 24 hrs
  • 4 shows x 4 hrs/show = 16 hrs

At only $10/hr, it will cost $880 for each of these professionals to appear in our show.

11 x $880 = $9,680

And then there are the part time professionals:

  • 6 part time actors
  • 1 part time prop maker
  • 1 part time costumer
  • 1 part time set builder
  • 1 lighting designer
  • 1 sound engineer 

But that's not all:

  • Space rental - theater and rehearsal space
  • Advertising - print flyers and buy ads.  Can we afford to hire a graphic designer or do we do it ourselves?  How does that decision impact the effectiveness of our advertising and our ticket sales?
  • Personnel - ushers, box office help, security. 

Our final budget for this show is just over $12,000.  If we sell 100 seats for all four shows, we will make $4000, leaving another $8000 that we have to cover.  And that's why we're turning to you.


What Do You Get For Helping Us?

We aren't asking you to give us your hard-earned money for free.  We would gratefully accept your hard-earned money for free, but that's not what this campaign is about.

This is about perks!  We have 10 levels of perks available, starting at only $5 and proceeding up to $500.  All of the donation levels include mention in our program.  All but one include a copy of our show poster, which features an image by Tyson Schroeder.  Most of our perks include tickets to the show.  Higher levels include invitations to the wrap party, post-show backstage passes, and even dinner or private concerts.

Finally, we are fiscally sponsored by Fractured Atlas, a 501(c)(3).  Contributions for the purposes of The Monocle are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.


What Impact Will Your Financial Contribution Have?

The Monocle was founded by four KC performing artists:

  • Nathan Granner - Producer, writer, and internationally know operatic tenor.  Appeared as one of the American Tenors on the Sony Masterworks imprint.  Produced "A Night With Virgil T" in conjunction with PBS at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City.
  • Katie Gilchrist - producer, director, and nationally recognized actor.  Founding member and producer of The New Century Follies.  Actor in numerous Kansas City productions, including The Unicorn's staging of Everyday Rapture in it's post-Broadway national debut. 
  • Shay Estes - jazz, brazilian, and fado vocalist, arranger, and actor.  Leads her own jazz quartet, and performs with The People's Liberation Big Band and Snuff Jazz.  Founding member of Fado Novato and Mistura Fina.  Performs and arranges with The Barclay Martin Ensemble.
  • Christian Hankel - composer, producer, and performer.  Founding member and songwriter for Alacartoona and The Hillary Watts Riot.  Writer, producer, composer, and actor in "The Oil Boiler."  Scriptwriter and actor in Alacartoona's film "Night Is the Mirror," and stage play "Bought & Souled."  Actor and composer for "Sexing Hitler."

Over and over, we’ve seen first hand the power that music and theatre have to bring people of varying beliefs and backgrounds together, to celebrate, to laugh, to feel love and loss.  And over and over again, we’ve worked with amazing artists who pour their time and effort into scripts and songs, often with no more compensation than the love of creating good art.

We founded The Monocle with two goals in mind:  1.  to create a production team capable of staging full-length professional-grade works of theatre, musical theatre, and opera, and 2. to build a self-sustaining performing arts company that can provide artistically satisfying and fairly compensated work to performers.

Your financial contribution today will help us stage The Orphans Feast in a way that provides artistically satisfying, financially viable work for local performing artists.  It will also provide us with seed money to help The Monocle become a self-sustainable, artist-supporting performing arts production company.

Btw, if we don't make our goal, we do have a plan B.  We will trim back the cast to an appropriate number and minimalize props and sets.  It won't be easy to strip down our vision, but we'll put our producers' hats on, roll up our sleeves and make the hard decisions necessary to keep the show viable.


Other Ways You Can Help

Whether or not you are able to financially contribute to our cause, you can help in other very important ways:

  • Please spread the word about our fundraising campaign.  Email a link to this page to your friends and family.  Post a link on your facebook wall.  Tweet about the show.  Indiegogo has a set of share tools built in to the site that make it easy to spread the news on your social networks.  Anything you can do to make people aware of our campaign will help us immensely.
  • We need materials for building sets and props.  If you live in the KC area and you have building materials, paint, and/or fabric that you can donate, let us know at info@themonoclekc.com.
  • We need volunteers.  If you would be interested in being an usher (which could include work outside during the last week of November), contact us at info@themonoclekc.com.



Team on This Campaign: