Hello, dear Collaborator! My name is Toby Cryns, and I’m co-producing Happy Endings Church for the 2022 MN Fringe Festival along with my good friend and amazing human being, Ryan Arnholt. One of my favorite people, Mahmoud Hakima, is directing the show. Below you’ll find information about this project as well as why I feel performance art is so very important.
About the Material:
Happy Endings Church is a satirical comedy about Gayle Haggard, whose husband, Ted Haggard, was one of the leading anti-gay Evangelical Christian activists of the early 2000’s in the USA. If you Google Ted’s name, you’ll find:
- clips of him on Oprah,
- a documentary about him by Nancy Pelosi’s daughter,
- clips of him from the breakthrough documentary Jesus Camp,
- an episode of This American Life that features him,
- best-selling books,
- some clips of him riding a Harley motorcycle inside his church,
- and lots and lots of news articles where he bashes the GLBTQ+ community while promoting his growing megachurch.
Ted’s wife, Gayle, cheered him throughout it all, then….Ted got busted having sex with a male prostitute. He shamefully fell from the limelight, was booted from the church he founded, was expelled from the state of Colorado by his church board, and Gayle took over the Haggard ministry from there, starting a new church, writing best-selling novels, and, basically, becoming Ted! I am endlessly-fascinated by Gayle’s ascent to power, and that’s what this musical is largely about.
“Ted served as president of the 30 million member National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) from 2003-2006. During these years, he often represented evangelicalism in the media and with world leaders. He also built The World Prayer Center and worldprayerteam.org. which was the largest network of praying believers in the world coordinated at the World Prayer Center.”Source: https://saintjameschurch.com/aboutthepastors/
I’m passionate about building stronger communities and contributing to thought-provoking & respectful dialogue in our community.
What to Expect:
Ryan, Mahmoud, and I will collaborate with you to build a safe space to express yourself through my favorite art form – the musical!
- Expect to be supported as a unique human.
- Expect direct conversations about the art.
- Expect jokes about Evangelical culture in America (that’s the topic of this musical).
You’ll be expected to attend scheduled rehearsals and be available for all performances. This includes:
- Mandatory Rehearsals at Phoenix Theater (2605 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408):
- Tuesday, May 24th, 6pm-10pm
- Monday, May 25th – 6pm-10pm
- Wednesday, June 1st – 6pm-10pm
- Monday, June 6th – 6pm-10pm
- Wednesday, June 8th – 6pm-10pm
- Monday, June 13th – 6pm-10pm
- Wednesday, June 15th – 6pm-10pm
- Monday, June 20th – 6pm-10pm
- Wednesday, June 22nd – 6pm-10pm
- Monday, June 27th – 6pm-10pm
- Tuesday, June 28th, 6pm-10pm
- Wednesday, June 29th – 6pm-10pm
- Wednesday, July 6th – 6pm-10pm
- Monday, July 11th – 6pm-10pm
- Wednesday, July 13th – 6pm-10pm
- Sunday, July 17th (Preview rehearsal) – 6pm-10pm
- Monday, July 18th (Preview TBD) – 6pm-10pm
- Tuesday, July 19th, 6pm-10pm
- Wednesday, July 20th – 6pm-10pm
- Sunday, July 24th (Preview rehearsal TBD) – 6pm-10pm
- Monday, July 25th (Preview TBD) – 6pm-10pm
- Tuesday, July 26th, 6pm-10pm
- Wednesday, July 27th – 6pm-10pm
- One TBD rehearsal during Tech Week: Sunday July 31st-Wednesday, August 3rd
- 1 Preview night performance (either July 18 or 25)
Public performances at Augsburg Studio Theater
- Sat. August 6 at 1:00 PM
- Sun. August 7 at 7:00 PM
- Wed. August 10 at 10:00 PM
- Sat. August 13 at 5:30 PM
- Sun. August 14 at 4:00 PM
I know you aren’t doing this strictly for the money, but we want to pay you. All cast members will earn a $100 stipend, PLUS a percentage of profit (e.g. whatever is left of ticket revenue after out-of-pocket expenses). We’ll be very transparent about the money – how much, what it was spent on, who gets what, etc. You’ll be paid after we are paid by MN Fringe Festival (likely in Sept/Oct).
MN Fringe Festival’s Covid Vaccination Policy for Artists:
“All producers and artists performing in the 2022 Minnesota Fringe Festival and the events leading up to the Festival must provide proof of complete COVID-19 vaccination (which is either one or two doses depending on the vaccine) by July 1st, 2022, otherwise they will not be allowed to perform in the Festival.”
– Source: https://www.fringefestival.org/covid
You will be required to show proof of vaccine by July 1.
- Lyrics/Script/Book (view on Google Docs)
- Guitar chord/lyric sheets in case you want to strum along at home (coming soon)
Listen to the Music:
The music below is a pre-production demo, and there are some small differences between these songs and what you’ll read in the Lyrics & Book above – where a discrepancy exists, the Google Doc linked above has the correct stuff. In May, I’ll update these audio tracks to match the Lyrics/Script/Book linked above.
Alternatively, listen to all tracks here.
Learn more about MN Fringe Festival.
Contact me if you have any questions or ideas – [email protected], 612-293-8629.