Helen End of Year Progress Report

I love to make spreadsheets.  I know, it's odd, but I just find them very satisfying.  In a few pages you can lay out a year's worth of blood, sweat and tears and make it all look effortless and pleasing to the eye.

Even when I look at the three-page spreadsheet that I made last week to document what we accomplished each month in 2010, I really can't believe how quickly, efficiently and joyfully we've worked this year.  Has it been easy?  Absolutely not.  Has it been worth it?  Absolutely. 

And, to be honest, while we can't wait to see what 2011 brings for Helen on 86th St., we need to take a moment to celebrate what 2010 brought.  Because regardless of what happens, our little Helen is already a success.

So, let's take a look at the progress made in 2010:



  •  2 Year Option agreement negotiated with author Wendi Kaufman.


  • Writing, writing, writing...composing, composing, composing.


  • First draft of script and score is complete!
  • First music workshop with Emma Young to work out the "Vita" songs.


  • First full reading with friends on my birthday.
  • Music Workshop with Brooklyn Children's Theatre students.
  • Helenon86th.com is launched!  Blogging begins!


  • Casting begins for September preview performance.
  • Re-writes, edits, additions to script and score.


  • Demo created with me, Robby, Leenya Rideout and Taylor Leigh Bera singing.
  • September preview is cast and rehearsals begin.


  • Rehearsals for our Helen on 86th St. preview, "A Taste of Helen on 86th St."
  • Helen on 86th St. is launched with 2 one-hour preview performances at Manhattan Theatre Club Studios.
  • I master the art of making homemade baklava.


  • Jen Rudin signs on as our Casting Director.
  • Alica House signs on as my Co-director.
  • Tracy Bersley signs on as our Choreographer.
  • We see 38 of the best and brightest young female talents in the city to fill three open children's spots.
  • Our November reading is cast.
  • Helen gets news coverage.
  • We launch our Kickstarter Fundraising page.


  • Rehearsals for our first full reading begin.
  • We hear our musical performed in it's entirety for the first time at the Snapple Theatre Center.
  • Helen gets more news coverage!
  • We hit $10,000 in Kickstarter pledges.
  • We book the Chernuchin Theatre for our spring production and put down a deposit.


  • We cast our January Equity reading.
  • We get a theatrical attorney.
  • We surpass our Kickstarter goal of $15,000.
  • We get a Front-Money investor.
  • We continue to work on the script and score and end up adding a character and a song.
  • We hire a cellist.
  • We collapse from exhaustion.  (Kidding.)

Some other 2011 Helen highlights:

  • 4,175 new visitors have found their way to helenon86th.com since we launched in June.
  • Those visitors have made 34,461 site visits.
  • We raised $16,926 on Kickstarter.com to put toward our spring production.

Here's to 2011!