2007.04.05: April 5, 2007: Headlines: COS - Slovakia: Theatre: Manchester HippoPress: Slovakia RPCV Robbi Farschman is new executive director of Red River Theatres

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Slovakia: Peace Corps Slovakia : Peace Corps Slovakia: Newest Stories: 2007.04.05: April 5, 2007: Headlines: COS - Slovakia: Theatre: Manchester HippoPress: Slovakia RPCV Robbi Farschman is new executive director of Red River Theatres

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Slovakia RPCV Robbi Farschman is new executive director of Red River Theatres

Slovakia RPCV Robbi Farschman is new executive director of Red River Theatres

Born in Ohio, Robbi Farschman originally studied to be a computer programmer, but teaching English with the Peace Corps in Slovakia and working for eight years in community development in Baltimore County, Md., redirected her life. Deciding she wanted a colder climate, she moved to New Hampshire in December 2006 and became the new executive director of Red River Theatres in February. She hopes to have the nonprofit theater open by October; the building in which it will be located is still being built in downtown Concord. It will feature two main theaters with stadium seating and a third screening room that can also be used for classes, meetings or other functions.

Slovakia RPCV Robbi Farschman is new executive director of Red River Theatres

New movie mogul
Red River gets a new director
By John “jaQ” Andrews jandrews@hippopress.com

Born in Ohio, Robbi Farschman originally studied to be a computer programmer, but teaching English with the Peace Corps in Slovakia and working for eight years in community development in Baltimore County, Md., redirected her life. Deciding she wanted a colder climate, she moved to New Hampshire in December 2006 and became the new executive director of Red River Theatres in February. She hopes to have the nonprofit theater open by October; the building in which it will be located is still being built in downtown Concord. It will feature two main theaters with stadium seating and a third screening room that can also be used for classes, meetings or other functions.

Q: What have you learned so far?
Our architects would say that they’re just shocked by how much I’ve learned in this short period of time, because I’ve never managed construction before. I’ve managed lots of processes involving large [groups of] people, sometimes 150 or 200 folks ... so this is very different. The kinds of stuff that I did in my 30-day presidential reprieve, as I called it, my 30 days where it’s okay for me not to know, I’ve really spent a lot of time getting licenses together ... all the insurances need to be put in place ... negotiating and working to finalize the contracts for our construction folks ... There’s lots of licenses we need that I think people never realized we would need.

Like what?
Well, we hope to be selling alcohol, beer and wine, so they knew we would need a liquor license, but as part of that, too, really you need a federal tax stamp license. They’re little things that don’t take a lot of time and they’re not necessarily expensive to get, but they’re things that legally you need to have to operate.

And if you don’t plan ahead, they can delay you.
Or you can get a huge fine on the back end because you didn’t know. … A few weeks ago, I was looking over some of the permits and I was pretty sure we were going to be considered a food establishment because we’d be making popcorn. So I called the health officer here in Concord who’d be responsible for that and told him who I was. I said, “Do you know Red River?” And he’s like, “Of course, who doesn’t?” And I said, “Well, I hope everyone says that.”

... The upshot is, our architectural folks came and met with him and we had to make a small change to the building plans and add a second sink into the concession area because our drawings at the time had called for one sink, but because we are really a food establishment, we have to have a second dump sink. Small, and not a big deal, but if we hadn’t known that and had gone to get the health permit that we’re going to have to have and it was two weeks before opening and they said no because you don’t have that second sink, then it would’ve been a big deal.

There’s other stuff in that building, right?
The six levels above are all different. It’s kind of mixed use, generally. They hope there’ll be a restaurant on the ground floor. I don’t think that they have a restaurant signed on yet, but the restaurant’s important, obviously, to the theater, because how nice would it be to have dinner and then just go downstairs to the movie?

Dinner and a movie, absolutely.
Some of the groups who are moving over are groups who are up and down on Main Street, and now they’re just moving into a new place. We’ve got some banks, there’s some financial folks, there’s some lawyers moving in over there. Hopefully there’ll be the restaurant over there, and then we’re in the bottom two sublevels.

It’s not just about the physical theater that you’re building, right? What kind of things do you want to program?
I plan on doing something called HOT Skills, which is Hands-On Theater. The idea is to bring in rural middle or high schools and get those kids bused in here … and connect them maybe to CCTV or NHTI and use the theater space for those kids to get some real production and editing skills. It could be in an after-school kind of environment and/or summer school kind of programming ... Another one is the idea of using film to talk about salient social issues, so we might be talking about homelessness or immigration or gay rights or something like that and showing documentaries or other films, but then afterwards we have a facilitator, we have experts who are there to have a dialog with the filmgoers.

What are your favorite movies?
One of the search committee members asked that same thing, and I said, “Now, remember, taste is subjective.” Really, one of my favorite art films is Until the End of the World ... It’s sort of like a road trip movie, the idea that the characters start in one place and they travel all over and by the end they’re just so dramatically changed ... Born Into Brothels is something that might resonate with folks. That is a fabulous movie.




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Story Source: Manchester HippoPress

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Slovakia; Theatre

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