William Balmer: Young director looking to raise funds for show

By Adriana Milian-Hernandez, Reporter

We all remember that the play “LOL (A modern computer farce)”, directed by junior William Balmer and performed at Cleveland, was a success. It was such an uproar of positivity that Balmer along with the cast are fundraising to reopen the show once again in June via a website called indiegogo.com.  

For those who don’t remember or want a recap of what the play was all about, Balmer kindly summarized the plot, so here we go: LOL (A Modern Computer Farce) is the story about an important day for a man’s career (doctor Donald Rice), who has a presentation to give in order to help him save his failing university and provide the funding he requires for his computer/science department. On that day, everything goes wrong for him. The program he’s presenting gets lost and his daughter may or may not be pregnant as well as his wife, and the catering that he orders for the investors is infected so everybody gets food poisoning. “Shenanigans happen, and it’s just a very fun show,” said Balmer.

Duncan Kass will reprise the lead role of doctor Donald Rice; Seth Prevatte will play Jack Chisel, Rice’s assistant; Rosemary Allison-Brown is doctor Terri Rice, the wife of Donald Rice; with Madeline Parvankin playing Jenny Rice, the daughter of Terri and Donald who’s also in love with Jack; and the list of actors goes on.

Balmer recounted that last year, he and his good friend Jonah Leidigh found the show and decided that they wanted to produce it at Cleveland. Before doing so, they needed to pitch the idea to the theater department and were like, “Hey we should do this show,” said Balmer, and so they put on a little presentation in front of the thespian counsel. Once approved, they provided them some resources and all of the help they needed to get the show up and running.

“The show was held in October and it was really successful. The run was amazing, so afterwards we were like, ‘We should do this again, since it was so great and so short lived.’ So we started looking for ways to put on the show again and we contacted a bunch of theaters around downtown, and we found one theater that was just over down Division called Shaking the Tree theatre,” said Balmer.  

Balmer explained that a couple of the cast members knew some people that worked in the theater, and as a group, they decided to run the second show through there.

The show’s budget is $850, and Balmer and company have raised $400 so far. To raise money, they are doing improv shows at Homebase and have used the money to buy rights to the show, which allows them to advertise on indiegogo.com and raise more money. The show will be held June 2-4 for a total of four shows.   

“We just want to get the voice out there that we are fundraising, and the people can actually buy their tickets online if they wanna see the show. Tickets are $15 dollars on the indiegogo website and they’ll be sold on the day of the show for $10 dollars,” said Balmer. They’re more expensive over indiegogo because you get reserved seats, rather than looking around once you bought your ticket for an open seat.

Balmer also said that he was thinking about offering free food for people who buy tickets online. By doing so, this would help with their funding.

“It’s an amazing project and I’m so happy to be working with these fantastic people and getting it done,” said Balmer.