Quick Q+A: Mike Fotis + Strike Theater
Even though MPLS + STPL has established scenes for comedy, storytelling, and spoken word, the different showcases frequently bounce around between a few regular venues or piggyback on other events. That’s all about to change in a big way with the launch of Strike Theater, a brand new venue in Northeast MPLS kickstarted by Allison Broeren, Joe Bozic, and Mike Fotis that caters to and combines the three styles of material and performance into one cool space.
Ahead of this weekend’s grand launch and gala rewards parties at Strike, we checked in with co-founder and Director Of Fill In The Blank Awesomeness Fotis about their incredible fundraising, the weekend’s shows, their rogues gallery of initial performers, and more.
Secrets of the City: Is the Strike Theater kickstarter—which was actually met, and even surpassed!—the most successful kickstarter of all time? What are your fundraising secrets. (Please tell us!)
Mike Fotis: It definitely the most successful kickstarter of all time…that I’ve been a part of.
Seriously though, it was successful because we’re trying to create a space for original comedic work, storytelling and spoken word. That type of space doesn’t exist and it seemed like people were excited to help make that vision come true.
How many “Mike’s sexy eating” kickstarter rewards do you need to fulfill?
About 10. I’ve recorded them a few times. One time I lost the hard drive they were on and the other time the files simply crashed. I got to get back on it. But there’s a chance my eating has gotten TOO sexy for technology to handle.
The new theater is located in the Thorp Building, also home to Tattersall Distilling. Aren’t you very, very worried that the proximity will either inhibit productivity or make you all very very creative?
So far, in my experience, it has made me VERY VERY CREATIVE.
How do you see the intersection of sketch comedians, storytellers, and poets here in MPLS + STPL, especially performance space-wise?
I think it will be really interesting and rewarding because not only is a physical space necessary to create new and fun work, but it will allow for relationships and collaborations to form that otherwise might not have. Basically when creative people are allowed to be around other creative people, really good things tend to happen.
We’re excited to finally have a theater space that can do whatever the hell it wants because it’s politically untouchable—what other favors will Strike Theater leverage out of Javier Morillo besides his opening weekend set?
Hahaha. I don’t know about that, but I do know that Javier is an amazing storyteller and partnering with the SEIU is exciting because the members of the union will have a place to tell their stories and create their work and we think that’s really important. Also, this type of partnership is unique and a sign of how arts orgs can find ways to exist and succeed in a very expensive world.
Will Strike Theater become the Sixth Humor of Four Humors’ troupe?
No, but we sure do love them and look forward to working with them a lot.
There’s a bunch of other great performers lined up for opening weekend and the vibe is going to be crazy. What are you most looking forward to? What should attendees most look forward to?
I’m most looking forward to standing in the back of the theater with Allison and Joe during the show and taking a moment to enjoy seeing something that has taken a long time to come together finally come to life. Attendees should look forward to a really fun night filled with a lineup that is weird and hilarious and amazing. It’s groups paired with groups that normally wouldn’t be paired together and I think that’s really beautiful.
Even if you didn’t back their kickstarter, tickets for the Friday and Saturday night opening night(s) festivities for brand spanking new Strike Theater are still available to you.
You can also check out our Quick Q+As with other busy bees helping to build up Twincy’s arts and culture scene here.