CURBSIDE THEATER FOR PRESENTERS AND ORGANIZATIONS
If you are an arts professional who is considering a Curbside Theater performance, please realize that the format and audience experience is unique. To our knowledge, Curbside is the only product of its kind. Below, we provide loads of information about scope and logistics, including:
- Production details
- Support materials
- Content and audience appropriateness
- Adverse weather
- Fee and contract
- Video samples
- Other descriptive materials
Ultimately, a successful Curbside show requires some magic from you: location, community, and vibes. You too have to think outside the box. But, after doing this for three years, we can promise that the reward is worth it.
Curbside Theater is a mobile outdoor platform for concert dance-theater and music. It packs an impressive level of craftsmanship and spectacle into a manageable and adaptable footprint. Over the past three seasons, we have seen Curbside shows put to use for place-making, community-building, and inclusiveness strategies that many organizations previously struggled to meaningfully achieve. It is produced by SB Dance, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that received a prestigious National Endowment for the Arts Grant for the Curbside 2023/24 season.
Curbside Theater was made in response to the shutdown of 2020, an obstacle that prevented audiences from engaging with live performing art. As it turns out, Curbside addresses many other obstacles: geographic isolation, affordability, the sense of belongingness, and changing cultural attitudes. Indeed, recent data suggests that, since the pandemic, “demand has been redistributed away from stationary indoor experiences” and toward “those that offer outdoor experiences….a revolutionary opportunity for [arts] organizations to fundamentally adapt engagement methods and means to change up these experiences as we currently know them.”
The Curbside Theater season runs from August through the beginning of October. The show begins at dusk to allow our stage lighting to be visible. In Utah, dusk is approximately 8:30pm in August and 7:15pm by the end of September. Even on the hottest days, nights are pleasant in Northern Utah, and that’s a message always included in marketing. On 9/7/22, with a daytime high of 103 degrees in SLC, an unshaded concrete surface was lovely and comfy at 7:45pm as the audience arrived.
Completely self-contained and requiring no support or infrastructure, the production features 5 dancers, a musical duo, one technician, and a technical package of lighting, audio, stage, backstage, power, and controls. The time frame is 1 hour set-up, 50 min performance duration, and 45 min take-down. Audiences members are usually asked to bring folding chairs or blankets and pads for seating. Some hosts provide supplemental seating. We encourage presenters to plan some kind of pre-show activity- social hour, food, drink, mini-market, celebration, recognition, or welcome.
Curbside requires a relatively level performance area roughly 20ft wide x 12ft deep. The audience area should be at least 30ft wide and 20ft deep. The trailer-mounted stage is elevated 4ft above grade to accommodate sight lines for instances when the audience sits on level ground. It requires access for a mid-sized truck towing a 12ft long, high-axle light trailer. If access isn’t available, please contact us about options. Preferably, the audience area is slightly sloped like a amphitheater.
Marketing support consists of digital properties including photos, copy for social and other media, and graphics. New for 2023 is the Curbside Theater Night Sky Series, a bundling of shows that invites audiences to new places and programs throughout the Wasatch Front. SB Dance publicizes the Night Sky Series through multiple outlets including tv and print media.
The new 2023 show, “Tarotville” is based on Tarot card readings and utilizes a cage-like stage set. Humorous and bold, the artistic language combines athletic physicality, devised theater, song, and storytelling. An international songbook sung in French, Spanish, German, and English appeals to a multi-generational, multi-cultural audience.
Curbside Theater is crafted for adult sensibilities, but there is no profanity, nudity, or similar content that might be objectionable for kids. We field many inquiries about audience appropriateness and have created this page to help presenters consider the issue.
A show completed in 2022, “All Those Kinds of Love” centers on the diversity of human love and might be available on a limited basis for the ’23 season. We can discuss which production is best for your audience.
After seeing fire and rain, we now suggest that presenters choose a “rain date” on a subsequent Mon, Tue, or Wed. There is no obligation to use the rain date but it can be a viable alternative, especially when included in promotional material from the beginning. If adverse conditions arise, there is a procedure in place to discuss options and make final decisions. This procedure is detailed in the performance contract.
COST, TICKETING, AND CONTRACT
Total expense depends on numerous factors: travel, site characteristics, presenter type, and the availability of public funding to underwrite the cost. Please contact us for a quote.
Presenters can choose to offer the event as free admission, ticketed, or free with reservation required.
After confirming date, fee, and other details, SB Dance and the presenter sign a contract that describes payment schedule, rights, and other terms.
Boulevard of Broken Dreams (2:30 min, excerpt from All Those Kinds of Love)
Long Road (3:30 min, excerpt from All Those Kinds of Love)
Sustained excerpt from All Those Kinds of Love (10 min, contains first and second excerpt above, with occasional dogs and kids, 2022)
Reel: All Those Kinds of Love (overview 14 sections, 1:30 min)
• Photo gallery
• Media coverage
• Video introduction in photo and words