New Organization Formed to Produce and Present Productions at Regional Theatres

News   New Organization Formed to Produce and Present Productions at Regional Theatres
Trish Santini, Peter Flynn, and Frank Butler are the founders of Mainspring Arts Cooperative.
Trish Santini, Peter Flynn and Frank Butler
Trish Santini, Peter Flynn, and Frank Butler

Trish Santini, Peter Flynn, and Frank Butler have founded Mainspring Arts Cooperative (MAC), a not-for-profit organization that will produce and present productions that can tour regional theatres nationwide.

The company was created in response to the industry conversation “about preserving artistic scale while protecting financial sustainability, along with an increased dependence on co-productions and presentations,” according to a press release.

“Our goal is to bring productions to regional theatres that can be incorporated seamlessly into a subscription season or presented as a special event—and to always deliver artistic excellence and exceptional service. The theatres and arts leaders are our clients, so if we make them and their audiences happy, then we’ve done our job,” stated Butler. “We recognized that there was a need for an organization such as MAC, but there was not a model that offered a consistent infrastructure in service to the values of regional theaters. MAC will present tours that allow theatres to offer alternatives to their audiences that require fewer resources from their organizations, and therefore allow those resources (artistic, financial, staff) to be fully utilized in their own productions.”

In the 2017-18 season, the company will tour two projects from Tectonic Theater Project under the artistic leadership of Moisés Kaufman: Daniel Beaty's The Tallest Tree in the Forest, directed by Kaufman; and Uncommon Sense by Tectonic Theater Project company member Andy Paris and Anushka Paris-Carter. Casting for both productions will be announced at a later date.

MAC served as producing consultants for Anna Deavere Smith’s new documentary solo performance, Notes from the Field, currently playing in New York at Second Stage; and as executive producers of a new project with Cantus, the eight-member men’s vocal ensemble. Inspired by Romeo and Juliet, with original composition by Grammy Award winner Libby Larsen and in collaboration with the Guthrie Theater, the latter will be available for touring in the 2018-19 season.

Santini was the senior producer at the Guthrie Theater, under the leadership of Joe Dowling, and produced shows directed by Leigh Silverman, Mark Rucker, Peter Flynn, Jeremy Cohen, and Maria Aitken, and with artists including Whoopi Goldberg, Brian d’Arcy James, T.R. Knight, Jason Robert Brown, Tracie Bennett, Santino Fontana, Kate Wetherhead, Colman Domingo, Helen Carey, and Kevin Kling. Flynn is the former artistic director of the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, NY, as well as the artistic director of the Perry-Mansfield New Works Festival in Steamboat Springs, CO. Butler's background includes an 18-year tenure as production director for the Guthrie Theater, under the artistic leadership of Joe Dowling.

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