Bay Area Philanthropists Help Crucible Blaze New Territory by Melding Industrial Arts and Opera

Oakland, California (EastBayDaily) — The world premiere of the original fire opera MACHINE is just a few weeks away, but getting this project on stage began well over a year ago. Like previous art fusion projects at The Crucible, MACHINE is the product of countless hours of hard work and monetary donations from Bay Area philanthropists.

The new program rewards donors with tailored team-building workshops, discounts on event tickets and recognition in select print and e-marketing materials.

“What makes our new sponsorship program so exciting is how it aligns various corporate and individual sponsors’ particular interests and needs with The Crucible’s mission to continue and enhance our world-class industrial arts education programs,” said Ray Boyle, Crucible Development Coordinator. “It is exciting working with them to create unique packages that fit everyone’s needs.”

For MACHINE, the process began in 2008 when director and librettist Mark Streshinsky conceptualized the science fiction-based opera. From there, two tracks were set in motion: one for production and one for fundraising. As Streshinsky pulled together an all-star ensemble of the Bay Area’s finest operatic performers and musical directors, the staff of The Crucible sought out generous foundations, corporations and individuals to raise the funds needed to bring this awe-inspiring performance to the community.

“In these tough economic times, putting on a world-premiere fire opera is a difficult task,” said Ray Boyle, Crucible Development Coordinator. “Thanks to the continued support of our donors, we are able to bring this spectacular experience to artists, craftspeople and friends in our community.”

Performances like MACHINE serve to join the industrial arts and performing arts circles, creating a chain reaction that sparks art inspiration and appreciation throughout the community. The Crucible’s large-scale, community-minded events are as much about community participation as they are about world-class performances.

“We have been very fortunate to receive the funding needed to put together productions like MACHINE,” said Jennifer Harrity, Crucible Marketing Coordinator. “These productions are really important for the local community. Our community isn’t just the artists that participate in the show and building the stage sets, they also include our neighbors.”

In the course of eight nights, 4,000 Bay Area residents will experience the rare blend of art and industry exclusive to The Crucible. A number of tickets are allocated to residents of Crucible’s West Oakland neighborhood, who might not otherwise afford access to art and theater events.

About MACHINE MACHINE is set in a fiery industrial factory where workers have sold themselves into a lifetime of servitude. When one worker regains his power of self-determination, the story ignites into an explosive brew of escape plots, alliances and unlikely love interests. This spectacular performance features noted baritone, Eugene Brancoveanu, a rock singer and percussionists that “play” the multi level, mechanized set.

With a live molten metal pour, glass blowers and blacksmiths, MACHINE delivers the kind of awe-inspiring performance that audiences have come to expect from The Crucible.

“Machine is a world class-opera that is gaining the attention of the opera world in San Francisco and New York,” said Steven Young, Crucible Executive Director. “Supporting this project lets your audience know that you are committed to community development and to being an integral part of helping your community prosper.”

MACHINE will run for eight evenings, January 11 to 14 and January 18 to 21, 2012. To purchase tickets online, visit: For more information about Crucible corporate and individual event sponsorships, visit:

About Corporate and Individual Event Sponsorships at The Crucible From foundation grants to matching funds and corporate sponsorships, The Crucible offers a number of different ways for people to get behind Bay Area arts and artists. MACHINE has received generous support from The Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation, the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, the James Irvine Foundation and the East Bay Community Foundation’s Fund for Artists

Corporate and individual sponsorship levels range from the $25,000 Hammer level to the $1,000 Sprocket level. Packages can include: V.I.P. passes to the MACHINE Closing Night Gala, complimentary tickets to any MACHINE main performance, a backstage tour with executive director Steven Young, a meet-and-greet with the performers, and program and website branding.

About The Crucible The Crucible is an educational facility that offers Bay Area art classes in the fine and industrial arts to people at all skill levels and original Bay Area team building events. What started in 1999 in an empty 6,000 square-foot warehouse in Berkeley has now grown to a 56,000 square-foot building in the heart of West Oakland.

The Crucible offers instruction in industrial and fine art for every level from beginning and intermediate to advanced levels in formats ranging from three-hour tasters to ten-week programs. Prices vary by course and duration. Class fees include tuition, studio fees, materials, tool access and safety training. There are no shopping lists for supplies or hidden costs.


Jennifer Harrity