Frequently Asked Questions
Q: We’re in (your town and state). Do you tour out here?
A: We’re based in Royal Oak, Michigan, about ten miles north of downtown Detroit. Currently we tour as far as we can without eating up bookable weekday time with travel. In practical terms, that means our current “territory” is about an 8-hour drive radius from our headquarters, such that we can start a tour by driving Sunday afternoon/evening, and get the crew home not too onerously late Friday night. So, if you’re in Michigan (lower peninsula, sorry Yoopers), Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, southern Wisconsin, western Kentucky, or western Pennsylvania…you’re in luck! Keep in mind, though, that we need a “critical mass” of bookings to justify a tour; and the further we’re going, the larger that number of shows needs to be. We’re not averse to going anywhere in North America, provided you can organize a full five-day week of shows for us.
Q: How long do your shows run, and how much time do you need for setup and tear-down?
A: As our shows are improvisationally-based, every show runs a slightly different length of time. But we average 40-50 minutes curtain to curtain. Depending on the show booked, we need 75-90 minutes of setup time, and 30-45 minutes to get our stuff out of your way. Please keep these logistics in mind when you book, relative to other events in the performance space such as breakfast, gym class, music class, lunch, end-of-day lineup, or latchkey. One of the reasons we’re successful, is that we bring a BIG show to your school…and a BIG show with BIG stuff can only be set up and torn down so quickly. So, we may have to ask you to find creative solutions (e.g., lunch in classrooms, gym class using half the gym, etc.) Believe us, we’re pedaling as fast as we can!
Q: How many shows can you perform in a day?
A: If we’re talking about your average school day, four. Two in the morning at one location, and two in the afternoon at a second location. We do have a number of accounts who schedule us as an evening invitational, with Mom, Dad and the Grands coming along to laugh it up, so in those circumstances we theoretically have time to do a third location.
Q: How much room do you need for your sets and playing space?
A: Minimum 16 feet wide, 12 feet deep and 9 feet tall. This minimum only gives us 6 feet of playing space from our set to the first audience row; 8 feet (i.e., 14 feet of total depth) would be better.
Q: Can you use our stage?
A: It depends. First, we have to be able to get our stuff up there. Our sound kit weighs 400lbs. Our sets and costumes come in on rolling carts that are 3 feet wide, 8 feet long and 5 feet tall, and weigh 800-900 lbs each. So, in order to use your stage, we need a ramp that gives us swinging room for the 8-foot-long carts. Secondly, we use lots of audience volunteers, so it’s imperative that we have steps or stairs in front of the stage that are solid, non-skid and quickly accessible, for our performers’ and your students’ safety. Thirdly, we need the minimum footprint of space (see above). Often school stages are multitasking as classrooms, band or choir rehearsal rooms with risers, or just plain storage areas…and there’s not enough room. If your stage doesn’t work out, fear not—our shows do very well on ground level, and even the kids in the back won’t miss any of the action.
Q: Both the Takeoff Show and the Skywriter Show sound wonderful, but nobody came to the Bake Sale and we can only afford one show. Which one should I book?
A: While the two shows are designed to give an effective one-two punch to your Creative Writing curriculum, we usually advise clients who can only book one show to opt for the Takeoff Show. It will provide the motivation to write that you want for your students, and it doesn’t require any extra time or effort on the part of the teachers. But before you give up on having both shows…see our Grant page!
Q: Can I book the Brainstormers! here on your website or by email?
A: No, sorry. Every venue and every account is different, so we’ll need to have a person-to-person conversation or two to determine dates, times and prices. Give us a call toll-free and we’ll answer all your questions, as well as ask you a number of our own… to ensure your Braintormers! shows will be a smashing success! You can also start the pre-booking process on our Contact page!