2019 Viola Award Finalist for Excellence in Community Impact (Organization)
The Flagstaff Foundry is a monthly variety show held in venues throughout the community, produced by Garrison Garcia and an enthusiastic team ofvolunteers. It has held over 40 shows, one per month, over the last 3+ years. It is a wonderful place for artists and aspiring performers to learn the craft of performing in front of a live audience. It is a place for creative folks and artistic organizations to share their material with an audience. Each month is different, and there are wonderful staples as well.
Somehow, a ragtag group of volunteers produces the monthly show and arts incubator. The featured performers as well as the crew, director, sound person, etc. are all locals who want to be part of this community effort.
There are also two standing acts in every show. The first is a serialized “radio show” (all performers stand at microphones with scripts in hand) about some Flagstaff – er “Flagstone” – superheros. The series is written by Foundry founder Garrison Garcia and often incorporates current events into the (mostly) fictional storyline. The second is improv by one of the Foundry’s house improv teams, Tiny Punches or Chomsky School of Business. These groups of skilled players turns audience suggestions into unexpected and hilarious narratives.
The Flagstaff Foundry obtained its non-profit status this year. The Flagstaff Foundry also decided to change the venues month to month during the past year, hosting it at the Doris Harper-White Playhouse (Theatrikos), Coconino Center for the Arts, and the at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Flagstaff (MOCAF).
The show is not curated and acts are not reviewed or changed prior to the performance, so each artist brings what they will to the show. All they need to do is sign up ahead of time. The result is a show featuring a range of talent from across Flagstaff. In a typical Flagstaff Foundry you might see a group of seniors doing improvisational comedy, a middle-aged storyteller relaying a story about the time he flew to LA without his identification, a trio of aerial artists doing a routine on the trapeze or lyra, a singer performing their own songs, and a college student doing stand-up comedy. The Foundry may also feature a scene or song from a different show being produced in Flagstaff, for example, Flagstaff Shakespeare Festival had two actors perform some songs from their Merry Wives of Windsor production. Acts that support other arts projects are welcomed and encouraged.
Support from the Community:
“The Foundry is an art incubator in Flagstaff that gives a platform for aspiring artists and seasoned performers alike. This monthly show holds space for the artists of Flagstaff to be seen and heard. It is a great venue for artists to connect with one another, and grow their own audiences at the same time. The Foundry brings our community together.”
“It is a venue for performers to gain experience of performing in front of an audience, to hone their talents, to learn from a supportive environment of space and people. It is invaluable in that regard! ”