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An experiment in rock 'n roll theater
For an artsy type of guy, Marcel Nunis is a pretty shrewd businessman. His TAO of B.I.T.S. (that's butts in the seats) is sort of famous around here for rethinking how do-it-yourself performers market their goods.
“If you're in the arts, it's all about the gigs,” says Nunis, a playwright, director and producer.
And if gigs need audiences, Nunis delivers.
His original one-act “Tale End,” was a sell-out (we're talking people standing in the aisles for an hour) at the 2007 Rogue Festival not because it was good — it was — but because Nunis promo-ed the heck out of it, with video teasers, tantalizing posters and a classic tag line: Does she get naked?
So, when Full Circle Brewing Company started looking to step up its offering of music and theater, it made sense to approach Nunis. They needed someone who knew how to schedule and promote events. And Fresno needed the venue, Nunis says. One that is friendly to non-traditional theater — the one-act plays and solo shows that are staples of the Rogue Festival.
As its first offering under Nunis, Full Circle will host two performances of “Tale End,” 8 p.m., Aug. 15 and 22, as a warm-up before the play's six performances at the San Francisco Fringe Festival. It's a good way to get the cast ready for the trip while recouping some of the cost of sending a show on the road, Nunis says.
And, in Fresno, that's not always easy.
Most existing venues are complicated to book, and not set up or willing to house these types of shows. When Nunis debuted “Tale End,” he held the preview shows at his house, in a garage-turned venue he called the Turtle Dove Theater. “Garage Theater” he called it. So, while there a lot of good one-acts and solo shows coming out of Fresno, the performers are limited.
“There's a lot of groups that just do the Rogue show.”
Ease is the word here.
Starting in September, booking for the venue will be done via a Web site, www.showshout.net, where bands can skim the calendar for open dates, submit a booking request via e-mail and have an answer back within two days. Nunis and his group will handle the box office (or “the door” to our musician friends) and can get a crew to help with lighting, sound and other tech. Bands, you will have a sound check, Nunis says. Even if you don't want one. (FYI: Full Circle has updated their sound and lighting systems.) A $1 fee will be added to the price of each show to pay the doorman, though there are always exceptions to the rule, Nunis says.
But the Web site will offer more than just booking info. It's a resource for those marketing-challenged performers, with links to things like Gimp GNU Image Manipulation Program (to make those pretty fliers), openoffice and WordPress.
More than that, the site will become a database, connecting performers and musicians with other performers and musicians. The idea is to create a double-header night of theatrical fun.
“Tale End is an experiment in that thing,” Nunis says.
This won't be the place for full-on wall-shaking-rock — Full Circle has always been for the cafe-band crowd — but it's what you imagine when Nunis talks about “the Rogue year round.”
“Theater becomes rock and roll again, in a way.”
8 p.m., Aug. 15, with music from Suicide Lounge
8 p.m., Aug. 22, with music from Scats of the Sly
Full Circle Brewing Co.
620 F. Street, downtown