Comments by jaynem

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Written on Flying Anvil Theatre Aims to Refurbish an Empty, Historic Building on North Gay:

in response to Northcrow:

Yeah, this seems sketchy at best. I own some property just north of this location, at the entrance to Emory Place. My wife and I walked down to the location and took a look. No city building permits, no demolition permits, no plans to review. I also have trouble believing this location can be rated for assembly. And a bar behind KARM? Good luck with that. Any group trying to get a hundred grand should have all the necessary legal paperwork. My guess is they're just trying to collect donations from their supporters without actually having a legal or feasibel project.

Northcrow - Flying Anvil Theatre isn't renovating the building, a reputable and experienced developer, Hatcher Hill is. We're only renting from them and fitting out the theatre part, and only if we can raise enough funds. We appreciate their willingness to work with us this early in the process.

We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit and must obey all the rules and regulations thereof. Check our indiegogo campaign to see what we tell donors about the use of their funds.

I would think as a downtown property owner you would welcome us to the neighborhood, as we aim to make a positive change there. Perhaps you'd like to sit down and have a conversation about the challenges of that area? I'd value your perpsective.

The bar would operate only during limited hours - i.e. intermission. And there's already a full-time bar operating just around the corner at the Public House. So it's not unprecedented.

I realize that most comment sections attract mostly anonymous and negative comments. Not sure why. GUess it's easy to snipe from behind an anonymous screenname.

Northcrow -would you care to join NoKnox and me for a beer? I'm buying!

Jayne Morgan

Written on Flying Anvil Theatre Aims to Refurbish an Empty, Historic Building on North Gay:

One more thing.....the landlord doesn't want 90K from us. That's OUR goal and it does include uderwriting for the season. Again, be glad to answer any questions you have over that beer....

Written on Flying Anvil Theatre Aims to Refurbish an Empty, Historic Building on North Gay:

in response to NoKnox:

While I applaud the efforts of Ms. Swedeen and Ms. Morgan to bring more art to the Knoxville area, I have to question whether this is a venture ready for support that could be going to so many other proven area arts organizations that struggle to stay afloat.

This is not to say they may not be capable artists, but shouldn't an arts organization establish some sort of reasonable audience following or a track record of success before asking for hand-outs?

Who is Flying Anvil? And what have they accomplished to garner such gifts?

What qualifications do Morgan, a local character actress, and Swedeen, an unknown playright, have for producing theatre? The whole idea smacks of a vanity project.

The first rule of producing anything is know your audience. So, Flying Anvil might first want to consider that there isn't as much call in Knoxville for "edgier Off-Broadway style" theater as they may think. There is that audience, but it's very limited.

Occasionally you will find an edgy show at stalwart Clarence Brown Theatre or little- engine-that-could Oak Ridge Playhouse. Even with very strong followings, both of these companies experience sharp drop-off in attendance for the style of show Flying Anvil wants to make their mainstay.

True, Flying Anvil would fill a niche. A niche that used to be filled by a group called Actor's Co-op.

The Co-op leaders were at least smart enough to build an audience base before moving into their own space. But ten years or so later, where are they now? Defunct.

And lest we forget, Actor's Co-op's most popular, best attended shows were always their delightful non-edgy cabaret shows.

Ms. Zenni, from her comments, seems to be smart and knowledgeable. Flying Anvil would be wise to seek her advice before biting off too much before they are ready.

Good theatre is not enough to sustain Flying Anvil. Good business practice is required, as well. Say they raise the 90K the landlord wants by September. What do they use then to operate? Earned income? From edgy shows? Not likely.

And Morgan herself admits in the article that if enough funds are not made, they will use whatever is donated to fund a production?

Another rule: You use contribution money for what it was given. Or give it back.

I hope the best for Flying Anvil, because I think there needs to me more arts of any kind in East Tennessee.

But, I see all sorts of red flags in getting behind them just yet.

NoKnox - you raise many good points. I personally loved the Actor's Coop and believe that if they could have solved the problem we're facing, and found a larger space that was economically viable, they'd still be around. We have, of course, thought of these same issues when planning this theatre and learned from others (and our own) past mistakes and successes. I'd love to hear if you have positive ideas for us to consider. Certainly there is risk and speculation in any new venture, particularly the arts, I just know that doing it the way everyone else has here in the past is a sure recipe for failure.

Fortunately for us, we're not doing this alone. We have a killer Board drawn from across the community that brings a wealth of experience in business, non-profits, and yes, even theatre.

I have been involved with theatres in similar towns - Greensboro, NC and Roanoke VA, for instance, and researched other similar theatres - (in places like Greeneville SC.) I am certain that if edgier fare is supported in those places, it could be supported here. But that doesn't mean we won't do shows with broad appeal. The show we're planning on opening with - THE GREAT AMERICAN TRAILER PARK MUSICAL is just plain old laugh out loud funny. I think even you would like it!

If you want to know more about us, you'll find many answers to your questions (including our bios) on our website:

BTW: On our indiegogo campaign it states that if we do not reach our goal any money we raise (under a certain donation level) will be used for future productions. (Large donations will be refunded.) As a 501(C)(3) we have to be transparent with our donors and that's important to us. If you have questions about our campaign, I've posted the link the the first comment.

How about this: I will buy you a beer if you're wiling to have a conversation with me about how you think a theatre might work in Knoxville. Just name the date and place. You can contact me at I really hope to talk to you soon.
Jayne Morgan

Written on Who Can Judge a Judge?:

Think again, Mr. Cagle. We all have a responsibility to speak out when we notice something is wrong, whether it involves a child being abused or an impaired judge. Saying "it's not their job" only perpetuates the problem. It's everybody's job: it's the right thing to do. Instead of making it easier for people to pass the buck, make it easier for people to blow the whistle. We'd be better served by a discussion of the responsibilities of being not just a citizen, but a human. Jeez, I'm a total bleeding heart liberal and I get that.

Written on Quote of the Week: "I’ve got to be where people CARE about how they look.":

Oh the humanity! Here I am rushing around, living my life, never for one moment stopping to think how my attire might be affecting Ms. Laiken's will to I apologize and wish her much happiness and many Manolo Blahniks in her new home.

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