In April 2020 when the world shut down, two very dear friends, Emily Miller and Colleen Renee Lis, took a socially distanced hike together to combat the pandemic blues. While walking, the two lamented over missing theatre and their friends. Emily was in the middle of a monologue about how sad she was that she wasn’t in anyone’s Zoom online staged readings, when Colleen interrupted her and said let’s just do our own.
And thus their company was born. Thinking the pandemic was only going to last another month, they came up with the hilariously terrible name of the CCC (Corona Collaborative Collective) for their company. Every Monday night at 7:30 they organized a staged reading for friends and family. Originally, their company was small, with about only ten actors used for the first four readings. But as the pandemic grew, so did their audience and company and the art that they’ve created.
After staging 75 shows with more than 80 company members over the span of a year and a half, Emily and Colleen decided to make their company into a reality. But with one very key change. A new name. The CCC became the Red Mic Repertory Company.
The Red Mic Rep’s name harkens back to their original days on Zoom. The number one mistake actor’s made in the early days of Zoom Theatre was forgetting to mute their selves. An actor would be performing muted, with the red mic symbol over their name, as actors and audience members would scream out “You’re muted!!” However the new name also looks towards the future. It’s their promise to never mute artists. To always let performers have a safe space to perform, and to present dream roles.
With their new name also comes new responsibilities, which is why they are asking for help. They want to make this virtual company a reality.
Moving forward, they will be offering two shows a month. One staged reading will continue to explore and present new shows on Zoom. It will honor their roots, and their company and audience members that cannot travel. But they are excited to announce that we will also be staging one live staged reading at different theatres in the Northern NJ area. It will be a staged reading of a show they’ve already staged virtually before. This allows them to continue to build on art they’ve already created.
They have filed as an LLC and registered with the State of NJ to received their EIN Number. They are in the process of filing as a Non-Profit. They have already procured the rights to our first in person show, In the Next Room; (Or the Vibrator Play) to be staged at Studio Playhouse in Montclair NJ on January 31st.
What they need now to make this company a reality, is quite frankly, money. All expense they’ve made thus far have been out of pocket and they’re struggling to move forward. In order to continue to procure the rights to shows, and rent out spaces and administration fees, we need funds, which is why we’ve set up this fundraiser. If you’ve attended or acted in one of our shows, we hope you can donate some money back. Emily and Colleen are so grateful for any amount of money that can be donated during this crazy time of year. We appreciate all of you so much.