Pieces Of Us at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival
'Pieces Of Us' is a darkly humorous, meta-modern, verbatim-style, socio-political exploration of grief in the 21st century written & performed by Jessica Munna, directed by Amy Garner Buchanan, presented in collaboration with Oxia Theatre. We are raising funds to take our show to the Edinburgh Fringe Theatre Festival!
Pieces Of Us at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Hi, my name is Jessica! I am an American actor/writer based in London in the UK.
I will be performing for the first time at the EdFringe with my first solo show, Pieces Of Us and I would love to ask for your help! But first, a few intros:
Who Are We?
I am Jessica. I am a US-born, UK-based theatre-maker, filmmaker, and actor. I am the writer/creator/solo performer for Pieces Of Us. In my work, I attempt to tackle topics like female experiences, capitalism, and trauma/loss. I am an alumnae of Offie-winning Degenerate Fox, SOHO Young Company, and the Shrill Writer’s Residency. I'm a member of the Young Vic Creator’s Program and I was a recipient of a 2022 Barrel Organ commission for my live-streamed intersectional feminist comedy drag extravaganza with fellow artist Madiha Ansari, “What A Drag!”
My director, Amy Garner Buchanan, came to the UK from Australia via Texas. Amy creates epic theatre that leaves audiences with hope and a sense of feeling seen. “Pieces of Us” marks their directorial debut, an exciting expansion of their dramaturgy practice.Their work as writer/performer has appeared at Dublin Gay Theatre Festival (winner Sean Meehan Identity Award 2022), Spotify, Trafalgar Studios, and Young Audiences of Houston.
Amy & I met through a mutual friend in 2019 as graduates of the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art (LAMDA). Our friendship & artistic collaboration has been growing & developing ever since.
Oxia Theatre is a London-based, award-nominated theatre company, whose founder Emma Wilkinson Wright and co-producer Sarah Lawrie are forces & huge talents in the local London theatre scene and they have been huge champions and supports of this show from the beginning.
What Is the EdFringe?
The EdFringe (Edinburgh Fringe Festival) is a huge arts festival that happens in Edinburgh, Scotland every August. Going to the EdFringe is a big deal and a big opportunity for any artist. I guarantee that many of the successful comedians and actors you love have been to the Fringe at least once in their career.
Actors that got their big break at the EdFringe include Alan Rickman, Graham Norton, Russell Brand, Emma Thompson, Rachel Weisz, and Robin Williams.
The problem is that there is a huge barrier to entry because of the cost for many people. Most people leave the EdFringe with significant debt because it is a costly endeavour between festival registration, accommodation, marketing, production costs, and travel. Our goal with this crowdfunder is to be able to break even financially, to give ourselves that peace of mind, so we can focus on the thing that matters to us: THE ART!
What is Pieces Of Us?
Pieces Of Us, is a meta-modern, verbatim-style performance in which five American characters are interviewed by an Artist about their individual experiences with grief in the 21st century.
Think Anna Deavere Smith meets Everything Everywhere All At Once (in terms of meta style, not action sequences). This show is a real labor of love and a show that, after the last 5 years on this planet, I think people need to see.
Meet the Characters:
Meet the Appalachian, the last generation of miner in her family & history buff who hates it when people judge a book by its cover.
Meet the Descendant, a granddaughter who is devoted to her family, and a believer in the importance of one's legacy.
Meet the College Graduate, an intensely pragmatic tech entrepreneur who decided that idealism is naive and who finally decided to "grow up" in college.
Meet the Public School Teacher, a thoughtful thinking, an educator who cares about young people, and who is paying a steep price for her dreams.
Meet the EMT, a lifelong New Yorker who loves movies, family, and is a hopelessly hopeful romantic.
What support we’ve received so far:
I am very lucky that I have had an entire village of people supporting me in this journey. I have received mentorship, expert feedback, labour, and encouragment by other incredible artists, colleagues, and friends. People have also volunteered their free time to lend their expertise towards developing this show. Special shout out to Anja Kulessa & Sophie Woolley for donating free time. They and many more have also paid to come watch early iterations of the show and have offered their time, attention, care, and feedback.
We've been given free rehearsal space, theatres have generously offered us spaces with financially viable arrangements making it possible to test early iterations of the show with audiences. Special shout out to : Migrants in Theatre, NDT Broadgate, The Writer’s Corner, Oxia Theatre, Rosemary Branch & Golden Goose Theatres.
Most recently, we’ve been offered a producing partnership with Oxia Theatre who have opened many of the doors that have made this possible for us including connecting us with the theatre venue in Edinburgh (as well as venues in London) and who are working with me on cross promoting my show with other shows, offering me invaluable advice in self-producing, connecting me with many resources needed for a successful run and covering the cost of my travel to and accommodation in Edinburgh. Special shout out to dynamic performing/producing duo Emma Wilkinson Wright & Sarah Lawrie for making this happen.
The most important support I’ve received is from Amy Garner Buchanan, a phenomenal writer & performer in their own right who has donated countless hours of free time, attention, and care to this show as my brilliant director & dramaturg and who has paid out of their own pocket to come to Edinburgh at the start of the run to support me and help ensure a smooth and successful EdFringe premiere. Amy deserves more praise and thanks than I can give for the impact they’ve had on me and this show.
WHAT YOUR FINANCIAL SUPPORT WOULD MEAN:
£215 - Digital Advertisements: The Ed Fringe is huge and there are several thousand shows that are going simultaneously every day. Trying to get noticed is quite a challenge and any way you can ensure your work is being seen ensures more ticket sales, that programmers will want you if you have a record of good ticket sales, and you are more likely to get reviewed which will also help build audiences and interest from venues. Meeting this target will pay for a digital advertisement package offered by our venue to help ensure greatest visibility for our show short of hiring a PR firm.
£1300 - Costs Covered: So far our team has paid out of pocket for festival registration, props, printing posters & flyers, costumes, sets, the use of spaces, the cost of a stage technician, and travel & accommodation for our director. Meeting this target will reimburse our team for those out of pocket costs associated with the EdFringe and we will be able to financially break even.
£1515 - Digital Advertisements + Costs Covered: If we meet this target, we will be able to cover the costs of promoting our show and be able to reimburse ourselves for the costs incurred so far.
£2050 - Digital Advertisements + Costs Covered + Paid Artists: If we meet this target, we will be able to pay ourselves a small fee for the 100+ unpaid hours we've spent putting this show together since we began on top of being able to cover production costs and pay for promoting the show at the EdFringe. This tier is particularly helpful to me, so I can be sure to cover food while I am in the Fringe and I can pay Amy a small fee for their the monumental their work they've put into making this show, and possibly offer Oxia a small fee, as well, should they wish for it!
+£2050 All Of The Above + Invest In The Future: If we raise any funds beyond £2050, we will be able to meet every target we've set for this campaign and we will be able to put money aside for future runs. Many artists grants in the UK tend not to offer grants unless they are matching funds that the artist has already raised on their own. So for very £1 we are able to raise over £2050, that is a £1 we can ask for from UK government art grants organisations by asking them to match the funds we have already raised. This could allow us a run in London in the next year or even an international tour in festivals & theatres around the world (possibly to a theatre near you)!