Stage 33 Live documents performances and presentations on a simple stage in a former factory building for downstream web, radio, and TV audiences. Most sessions are also public listening events with admission by donation.
Only original material is allowed.
We do this to help passionately creative and knowledgeable local and regional community members find ears and eyes on multiple platforms. Established performers and presenters are also welcome; their participation helps bring attention to others still getting their foot in the door.
We’re not a plush theater or a state-of-the-art facility… just good folks doing this fine thing — the homegrown love child of Tiny Desk Concerts, Ted Talks, Science Friday, Midnight Special, and The Little Rascals.
Our listening events turn the band-in-a-bar ethos upside-down: We’re all about honoring the stage — not sticking it in the corner and talking over it, or using it as an add-on to get people through the door to sell them drinks and food. (Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with that; it’s just not what we do.)
Stage 33 Live is driven by the best parts of post-industrial small-town rural New England come-together and can-do Yankee bootstrap ingenuity and hard work. We’re an independent, unaffiliated, unfunded, local nonprofit that relies on donations, underwriting, and sponsorships to exist and improve. Everyone involved is a volunteer: before, during, and after, offstage and onstage. We hope that will change, but for now our economy is part barter and mostly volunteer. In addition to the media production and distribution that we provide, participants are encouraged to use the documentation however they see fit to promote the thing that they do.
We present one-off concerts and presentations throughout the year, but our main activity is a monthly series running October through May. The 2018/19 season is Third Thursdays @ 33. Each session features short performances and presentations in the first hour, followed by a set from a featured performer or presenter in the second hour. From time to time there may be an additional third set as well. Audiences may choose to attend some or all.
Nearly everything that Stage 33 Live has hosted has been the result of performers or presenters reaching out to us. This means that the people on the stage, like the people in the audience, are there because they want to be and chose to be. Each is motivated for the other, the ideal symbiosis.
We also attempt to accommodate closed-set requests. Touring musicians, for instance, may be contractually restricted from additional public performances if they’re playing a concert nearby.
We’ve been accumulating documentation to create 54-minute radio and TV variety episodes, and in the meantime trickling out edited actuality to the web. The radio and television programming will be an evergreen mix of music and spoken word, available to all broadcasters. The programs will also be posted to the internet subsequent to broadcast release.
Locally produced quality programming is always desired by regional broadcasters. Additionally, making the material widely available on multiple platforms — including in perpetuity in the web — makes it doubly effective as an outreach vehicle for sponsors and underwriters.
Equipment upgrades are an ongoing effort. Currently, getting better cameras is the most important thing on the list, and unfortunately also the most expensive. We keep a very sharp eye on cost-benefit; bells and whistles are nice, but the lowest level of technology required to do a task well still isn’t necessarily dirt cheap.
33 Bridge Street in Bellows Falls, Vermont, is the ADA compliant venue for Stage 33 Live. Seating capacity is limited to an intimate 40, first come first served. Standing room is available after the seats are filled; it’s also OK to bring your own chair as long as you take it back home with you afterward. 33 Bridge Street is a creative economy incubator owned and operated by The Island Corporation; Stage 33 is not a venue for hire through Stage 33 Live.
In addition to boosting local pride by shining a light on our performing and academic communities, Stage 33 Live contributes to the local and regional economy by showing a wide audience that the southern Vermont and New Hampshire borderlands is an embracing and engaging destination for art and intellect.
While Bellows Falls is rich in culture and nature (we love this place), it has the lowest per capita and median household income of any incorporated village in southern Vermont, with a poverty rate of 22.6% — yet the community has rallied to support this project by supporting the physical and technical infrastructure, providing professional advice, volunteering time and muscle, and more.
Certain key equipment has been difficult to come by; any incoming funds go toward filling those gaps. Admission to the listening events is by donation. Freewill donations can also be made online via PayPal (you don’t need a PayPal account).
Checks payable to “Stage 33 Live” can be dropped off at any Stage 33 Live event, or mailed to our administrative address: Stage 33 Live; 8-A Atkinson St; Bellows Falls VT 05101. (For tax deduction reporting, Stage 33 Live Ltd’s nonprofit EIN is 82-2349941.)
By providing programming that inspires support from individuals and is a desirable underwriting vehicle for businesses and foundations, we hope to eventually be able to provide at least one paid position in our community, and stipends for performers and presenters.