Arts & Culture News

Kickstarter Campaign May Enable Stomping Ground to Open a Theater

Lindsay Goldapp, Stomping Ground's executive director, shows off the 4,200-square-foot space that she and her team hope to turn into a theater.
Lindsay Goldapp, Stomping Ground's executive director, shows off the 4,200-square-foot space that she and her team hope to turn into a theater. courtesy Stomping Ground Comedy Theatre


When the Stomping Ground Comedy Theatre hosted its first official show in October, it did so without a theater it could call its own. A new fundraising campaign on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter could change that.

Last week, nonprofit theater company Stomping Ground launched its first campaign to raise $30,000 to lease space in the Design District. At the time of writing, the campaign was one of the top-ranked theater projects on Kickstarter.

Lindsay Goldapp, Stomping Ground's managing director, says she and the rest of Stomping Ground's board are still completing the terms of the lease for the space at 1350 Manufacturing St. The company has enough money to sign the lease, but board members want to make sure they have enough to turn the spot into a functional performance and education space.

They raised $14,000 in a week, a feat that Goldapp calls "incredible."


"We cannot believe it," she says. "It's bananas."

An early blueprint shows the planned layout of the space. - COURTESY STOMPING GROUND COMEDY THEATRE
An early blueprint shows the planned layout of the space.
courtesy Stomping Ground Comedy Theatre
The Stomping Ground crew plans to use the 4,200-square-foot space as a multitiered facility. Plans include a 75-seat theater for shows, business offices for the theater's staff and a classroom space. Stomping Ground will offer instruction in improv, sketch and stand-up comedy, as well as Improv For Life classes, which teach improvisational principles to people with anxiety and caretakers of Alzheimer's patients.

"For us right now, especially with a lot of our Improv For Life programs, we have to go where these populations are because we don't have a space to host them in unless we rent the space," Goldapp says. "To have our own space, we can have an eight-week class for people on the autism spectrum. We can bring people to us and have an ongoing course. This is going to be a complete game changer."

Location was a key factor in choosing Stomping Ground's new space. The Manufacturing Street spot is easily accessible and can help direct foot traffic thanks to nearby entertainment and social attractions such as the Peticolas Brewing Co., the Bowlounge and Viva's Lounge.

"Dallas isn't a walking city," Goldapp says. "So walkable was never on our list of must-haves, but it's really [neat] that this space has Viva Dallas Burlesque nearby."

The donations are still rolling in, and the theater has until Dec. 27 to meet its all-or-nothing $30,000 goal. Goldapp says she's encouraged by the monetary support the theater has received, which is coming from Dallas and beyond.

"We've seen some of these donations that are coming from Kickstarter traffic that didn't come from us or social media," she says. "Some came from someone on Kickstarter who just stumbled across us and love what we're doing."

click to enlarge Goldapp and Improv for Life program director Andrea Kyprianou Baum stand outside the Manufacturing Street space they hope to turn into a theater with a $30,000 Kickstarter campaign that's underway. - COURTESY STOMPING GROUND COMEDY THEATRE
Goldapp and Improv for Life program director Andrea Kyprianou Baum stand outside the Manufacturing Street space they hope to turn into a theater with a $30,000 Kickstarter campaign that's underway.
courtesy Stomping Ground Comedy Theatre

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Danny Gallagher has been a regular contributor to the Dallas Observer since 2014. He has also written features, essays and stories for MTV, the Chicago Tribune, Maxim, Cracked, Mental_Floss, The Week, CNET and The Onion AV Club.