Earthlight Theater Official Home of Earthlight Theater

The Earthlight Plan

(preliminary)

June 20, 2017

Allan Mann, creator of the 1969-72 New Age stage revue company Earthlight, (Earthlight-Theater.org). has decided to do an Earthlight stage revival, video recording, book, documentary film and possible feature film … otherwise known as “The Earthlight Plan.”  The book would be released just prior to the stage opening.  The documentary film would be released the next day so that the opening could be used as the end of the film.  All three would cross promote each other.

He is currently seeking working &/or investing partners to help make this happen.  These do not  have to be parties familiar with the entertainment business.   This is an excellent opportunity for people in other lines of work or just out of school to get started in the entertainment business or for companies seeking to diversify.  Since Allan has worked in various production capacities in the entertainment industry (bio enclosed), most notably as Vice President-in-Charge-of-Production for Trans World Entertainment (TWE), he would be willing to accept fiduciary responsibility as an Executive Producer until an appropriate Producer  can be secured.  Since the world economy is going to have to be based less on material production, which is limited,  and more on creative production, which is unlimited, The Earthlight Plan is an excellent opportunity to move human and capital resources in that direction.

There are 2 different ways to approach this:

1) Fund the Development Budget to hire staff & facilities to begin work on all aspects of the Plan with options to fund various costs by a certain date.

2) Fund  just a stage revival in a 1st Class theater (as defined by the Dramatists Guild) and a video recording then decide, on the basis of their success, to proceed with the book, documentary and feature … or not.

Excerpts from reviews of Earthlight shows:

“… nothing less than pure, essential theater "
- L.A. Times, Frederic Milstein

“… the kind of experience that is rare in any theater… It is the style of each individual piece that really makes the show.  Some have a verbal brilliance that suggest what Pinter or Joyce might have done if they had been born in this country.”
- Harvard Crimson, George Sim Johnston

“… a near-perfect balance of theatrical tightness and free-form expression … the audience … comes as close to enjoying a total theatrical experience as it is ever likely to get.”
- Queens College Phoenix, Pat Henry

“… excellent modern theater entertainment … Earthlight is a play of life … Its effect is strong and leaves one feeling…HOPEFUL. It’s something everyone should see.”
-The Stute (Stevens Inst. Of Technology), Bernard A. Mallon

“This is a superb musical legit offering which is honest, simple and moving … It is excellent entertainment.”
- Variety, Sege.

“…pure contemporary adrenaline…witty, deeply satirical, intellectual…a captivating piece with a lot for the mind in it.”
- Red Deer Advocate (Alberta, Canada), Don Towers

“… this troupe … might well take the rock opera out of its rigid all-musical stages and add the dramatic element that is now lacking in the form.  ‘Tommy’ and ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ were fine starting points in the dark.  Now let’s shed a little Earthlight on the matter.”
- Cash Box, T. B.

“… ‘Earthlight’… is strictly on the beam …a corking good time … thoroughly enjoyable … musical sunburst and elastic warmth…”
- NY Times,  Howard Thompson

“After seeing their show several times now, I’m left with the same desire I felt after the first show – wanting each and every individual I know to see them.  Their show is at once funny, serious, revealing and an artistic whole, and leaves me with a real, positive sense of human potential … their short pieces betray an inventiveness in sounds and movements I’ve rarely, if ever, seen.”
- Kathy Patterson, Co-chair, Northwestern U. Symposium Speakers’ Committee

“… someone will eventually realize just how brilliant they are … The members of the company have relied on magnificent simplicity to get their message across."
- The Hollywood Reporter, Tony Lawrence

Development Budget for “THE EARTHLIGHT  PLAN”

June 1, 2016

RESEARCHERS 2 $900/wk 6 wks $10,800
AUDIO EDITOR` 2,000/wk 3 wks     4,000
VIDEO EDITOR 2,000/wk 4 wks     8,000
ATTORNEY 400/hr 50   20,000
PRODUCTION MGR. 2,000/wk 14 wks   28,000
ACCOUNTANT 250/hr 30     7,500
TECHNICAL COSTS   25,000
OFFICE/REHEARSAL SPACE 4,000/mo 4 mos   20,000
OFFICE EQUIPMENT, SUPPLIES & UTILITIES 1,000/mo 4 mos     4,000
PRODUCER 2,500/wk 18 wks   45,000
PRODUCER’S ASSISTANT 900/wk 20 wks   18,000
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER   10,000
CASTING DIRECTOR    7,500
MUSIC DIRECTOR   10,000
PERFORMERS 12 900/wk 1   10,800
PERFORMERS  8 900/wk 3 wks   21,600
MUSICIANS  3 900/wk 2 wks    5,400
ALLAN MANN   25,000
PR FIRM   10,000
BOOK WRITER    7,500
SCREEN WRITER    7,500
TAXES/BENEFITS/INSURANCE/ETC.   15,000
FINANCING COSTS 20,000
SUBTOTAL:  340,600
CONTINGENCY 10%    34,600
SALES COMMISSION 8% 27,200
TOTAL: $402,400

RESEARCHERS:

  1. There is a lot of material on Earthlight in various place in the US & Canada: photos, 8 & 16 mm film or B&W video of performances in theaters & parks, reviews, articles and people’s remembrances of what they saw and felt. One old time audience member said that when she first saw Earthlight her “jaw dropped.” “What is that!?” she said. She had never seen anything like it - and neither had anyone else.  Time for people to see it again.
  2. Researchers need to get worldwide numbers on sales of comparable products to TV, DVD, through the internet, stage performances, movie theaters, etc.
  3. Costs for theaters in So. Cal. and/or NY.
  4. Contact former Earthlighters to get their stories, memorabilia, etc. for use in the book and documentary & see if they would like to become involved in some manner.
  5. Gather information on prospective producers.
  6. Contact all the people who wrote those glowing reviews, letters and articles about Earthlight to see if they would like to help this Plan in some way even if it’s just to augment their comments or help secure other written or Audio/Video (A/V) materials.
  7. Contact all the places Earthlight played to gather materials we do not currently have & explore interest in booking performances of the Earthlight Revival.
  8. Assist the Producer in finding a writer for the book

SOUND EDITOR/MIXER:

  1. “Sweeten” and edit the various audio and audio and video recordings of Earthlight shows to use for promotional purposes, the documentary and presentations to music companies.
  2. Record & sweeten sound for new video recording.

VIDEO EDITOR:

  1. Edit the ½” B&W Earthlight videotape recordings (already baked & digitized) for promotional purposes and the documentary. Some original tapes recorded by the Acme Video Rangers (archived at the Aurora Picture Show in Houston) will have to be baked & transferred to LTO (Linear Tape-Open) or DV tape.  The recent “Digital Dilemma II” report by the Motion Picture Academy and     Library of Congress makes it clear that all digital audio and video recordings should be archived on film or tape.
  2. Edit new video recording into a show that can be licensed to TV/Internet networks & sold directly through the internet & brick & mortar stores.
  3. Edit individual pieces to show on You Tube & other purveyors of short entertainment pieces as promotion for the various long form products.

ATTORNEY:

  1. Draw up agreements between Earthlight and prospective partners and/or investors.
  2. Negotiate deal with Warner Bros. (WB) for use of the 1000’s of feet of film on Earthlight shot at the Woodstock location prior to & at the Festival.  As Stan Goldstein, Chief of Staff for Woodstock Ventures said in his letter to Allan Mann (on website):

“It is unfortunate that so little of your performances were included in Warner Brothers' Woodstock film. I know Michael Margetz and Malcolm Hart filmed Earthlight extensively at rehearsals on-site and in performance during the festival.”

this could lead to WB becoming a partner in the entire Earthlight Plan.

  1. Check status of rights for all the various songs and augment when necessary
  2. Incorporate Earthlight
  3. Determine proper action in relation to false information on the internet & in the movie “Taking Woodstock.”
  4. Determine the appropriate agreements for crowdfunding
  5. Review appropriate contracts with the Dramatists Guild (DG) & Actors Equity (AE), the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) & the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE)

PRODUCTION MANAGER:

  1. Research theaters and prepare budgets for possible stage openings in Orange County, L.A., NYC and other venues including Bethel Woods Center for the Arts that now sits on the ground of Earthlight’s first performance at Woodstock. One of Allan’s motivations in starting Earthlight was to provide an economic engine for other arts production and Bethel Woods Center, ironically, is one of the results.
  2. Prepare budgets for book, stage revival, documentary film & possibly feature film
  3. Rent suitable space for Earthlight office and rehearsals.
  4. Research and interview the various craft people for stage and film production.
  5. Supervise casting

ACCOUNTANT:

  1. Review all prospective budgets
  2. Set up accounting procedures
  3. Open appropriate bank accounts
  4. Give opinions on tax consequences
  5. Communicate with investors in regard to all expenditures, timing and issue all checks
  6. File appropriate papers with the DG, AE, AFM & IATSE

TECHNICAL COSTS:

  1. Transfer of analog video, film & audio tape to Digital Video (DV) or Linear Tape-Option (LTO) tape & hard drive & transfer of digital hard drive recordings to DV or LTO
  2. Purchase computer hardware & software for budgeting, scheduling, writing, editing, etc
  3. Rent and/or purchase of audio and video hardware and software, lighting equipment, etc. so that a marketable video recording can be made whether or not funding for a theatrical opening, book or documentary film is secured.

OFFICE & REHEARSAL SPACE:

  1. Once the Development funding is in place we will immediately begin casting at our office/rehearsal space. It will take a few weeks to select 12 performers with whom Allan will do a week of workshops to select the final 8 and begin creating the unique ensemble necessary for Earthlight performances.  The 12 will all be paid 1 week Equity salary.  The final 8 will continue to do workshops and begin rehearsing the material in the EARTHLIGHT (Revival) script.   If further financing for a 1st class production does not become available, a few performances will be put on wherever possible and recorded.

PRODUCER, hired or partnered to oversee all aspects of the Plan including:

  1. Hiring and supervising all personnel,
  2. Negotiating deals with agents,
  3. Prepare list of possible venues for the revival opening & related costs.
  4. Explore coproduction and distribution possibilities, including music companies.
  5. Work with attorney, & possibly an agent, on deal with WB
  6. Participate in casting with Director & Casting Director
  7. Work with PR firm
  8. Prepare detailed budgets for stage revival, book & documentary film.

EXECUTIVE  PRODUCER:  Liaison between financing & producing parties.  Can be business person interested in learning the entertainment business.  Referee, if necessary, between producer & director or other staff.

CASTING DIRECTOR:  Putting casting notices in the right places, organizing & supervising the casting process,  having relationships with agents, theaters & colleges, knowing the appropriate Actors Equity rates & rules for different situations, being able to deal with actors for certain things instead of the director or producers.

MUSIC DIRECTOR: have lead sheets and arrangements made; hire musicians and participate in selecting cast, making sure there are at least 2 great singers and no more than one poor singer; supervise audio editor.

ALLAN MANN:  will receive compensation for granting a nine (9) month option to purchase all rights to Earthlight material & his services as director.

PR FIRM:  Need to figure out the best way to represent Earthlight to its mostly new audience.

WRITERS:  Writers will be selected & given an advance to begin work on the book & screenplay.

“Earthlight Plan” Funding Needs

PRODUCTION                             DISTRIBUTION *

PRODUCT HIGH LOW
Development    $402,400 402,400
1st Class* Stage Production  2,000,000   700,000
Video Recording    900,000   250,000    400,000
Documentary  1,500,000   400,000 1,000,000
Book    300,000 150,000 400,000
Feature 30,000,000 8,000,000  2,500,000
                    TOTALS 35,102,400 9,902,400 4,300,000

* some or all distribution costs may be covered by distributors, publishers, etc. but it’s a good idea to protect production investments by including some distribution costs, in case acceptable deals cannot be made with distributors, better deals can be made with distributors when some costs are covered by Producers or Producers decide it would be in the best interests of the products to self-distribute.

(The following Revenue Projections are based on:

“Tommy” and ”Jesus Christ Superstar” were fine starting points in the dark.  Now let’s shed a little Earthlight on the matter.” - CashBox (trade magazine) and other favorable comparisons to these shows & “Hair.”)

“Earthlight Plan” Cumulative Worldwide Gross* Revenue Projections

(in 2017 dollars)**

1 yr ***                                       3 yrs                                          10 yrs                                                         20 yrs

PRODUCT HIGH LOW HIGH LOW HIGH LOW HIGH LOW
Stage
Productions
15,000,000 600,000 40,000,000 2,000,000 200,000,000 3,000,000 700,000,000 4,000,000
Video
Recording
8,000,000 900,000 18,000,000 1,100,000 25,000,000 1,300,000 40,000,000 1,800,000
Book 10,000,000 600,000 20,000,000 900,000 30,000,000 1,200,000 35,000,000 1,500,000
Documentary 20,000,000 1,500,000 30,000,000 2,000,000 45,000,000 2,800,000 60,000,000 3,800,000
Feature 80,000,000 13,000,000 120,000,000 16,000,000 150,000,000 18,000,000 180,000,000 22,000,000
Music
Recordings
25,000,000 900,000 35,000,000 1,100,000 40,000,000 1,200,000 50,000,000 2,000,000
Ancillary Rights **** 25,000,000 1,200,000 40,000,000 1,600,000 50,000,000 2,000,000 60,000,000 2,500,000
       TOTALS 183,000,000 18,700,000 303,000,000 24,700,000 540,000,000 29,500,000 1,125,000,000 37,600,000

*    net return on investment would probably be about 70% of “Gross” estimates, after costs & fees to distributors, theaters, talent, bookstores, etc.

**   inflation may make revenues considerably higher

***  1 yr from individual release dates, which won’t coincide with a specific calendar year.

****  Ancillary Rights: merchandising, use of music in commercials, publication of the script, etc.

Allan Mann

Allan began writing in 1951 at the age of eight with “Spot the Fire Dog” which his teacher thought he had plagiarized.  He was expelled from the NYC public school system after 3rd grade because he couldn’t stand being bored & would go to the principal’s office to file record cards. Fortunately Allan got a scholarship to Columbia Grammar & Prep. School from which he graduated in 1960.  His interest in theater started in high school where he played the leads in “The Skin of Our Teeth” & “The Male Animal.”  He was awarded the Alden Award for best extracurricular activity for a chap book of poetry. Allan then attended Columbia College, on a NY State Scholarship, where he acted with The Columbia Players, playing “Bamboola” in Isaiah Sheffer’s World Premiere of “Pantegleize.”  He wrote a play & was given a playwriting tutorial by Prof. Andrew Chiappe which led to a Universal Fellowship for Dramatic Writing to attend graduate school at Sarah Lawrence.

At Sarah Lawrence Allan studied improvisation with Viola Spolin & became fascinated with actor-created theater.  He was hired by Motown Record Co. to start a theatrical division, which brought him to L.A.  When his boss left to join CBS & Allan was out of a job he started The Realization Theater.  He joined the workshop of the Committee, a successful SF improv comedy group opened in LA, & performed with them on Monday nights.  He became enthralled by the theatrical magic created by collaboration between the actors & writer/director Alan Myerson & began seeing that as the basis for more than just comedy.

In the fall of 1968 Allan returned to NY to start a new type of theater company performing short pieces of various sorts, created by him & the actors.  In April, 1969 Allan brought the company, now named “Earthlight,” up to White Lake, NY to build a theater in a double barn and perform a traditional summer stock season while continuing to work on original material.  When the Woodstock Festival lost its venue, Allan arranged for them to come to White Lake.  Earthlight was hired to create & perform theater pieces at the Festival.  They then moved to L.A., establishing a successful theater in Venice and going on college tours.  Earthlight incorporated the band Pure Love ‘n Pleasure in the summer of 1970, went on tour, opened off-Broadway at the Garrick Theater in December and ran for five months.  The company then moved to Berkeley, CA, allied themselves with composer David B. Cohen & created a new show to go on tour.  While they were on tour, Allan returned to NY to cast another company which opened at The Charles Playhouse in Boston in October, 1971.  In the spring of 1972, Allan wrote a new show & new songs with composer Joel Mofsenson & went out on one last tour.

Feeling the need to expand his horizons, Allan decided to go back to L.A. to learn to be a producer.  Starting as a property master, he worked his way up to Production Manager & Line Producer on various low-budget films & TV shows becoming VP-In-Charge-of-Production for Trans World Entertainment.  He was a member of the DGA 1984 Negotiating Committee, produced the film “Round Numbers” & successfully lobbied the U.S. Export Import Bank, on behalf of The American Film Market and Independent Feature Project, to insure payment on foreign sales contracts.

Allan always intended to do another Earthlight show some day and, hearing “Time’s winged chariot hurrying near”* has decided that that day has arrived.

* Andrew Marvell