Film and theatre – The Free Music Directory Fri, 17 Sep 2021 19:16:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Film and theatre – The Free Music Directory 32 32 For professor’s latest show, woodcut sets in motion a story of UW-Madison connections Fri, 17 Sep 2021 18:57:03 +0000

September 17, 2021

A woodblock print by UW-Madison alumnus Jim Furstenberg captures the intricacy of the characters in “Rashomon”.

The woodcut on display in the lobby of the Ronald E. Mitchell Theater and Theater Department shows a simple scene: a man and a woman in a bamboo grove. They represent the characters of husband and wife in “Rashomon”, the flagship film of 1950 by Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa.

In the print, the husband looks forward to it; his wife watches from behind – but is his gaze loving or malicious?

The print was created by the late School of Education alumnus Jim Furstenberg when he was a graduate student at UW-Madison in the 1960s. It was loaned to the Department of Theater and Drama by his wife, Barbara, to be featured throughout the department’s production of the play “Rashomon,” adapted from the Kurosawa film by Fay and Michael Kanin.

The play, directed by Professor David Furumoto – who retired from the department last summer – was a smash hit in July and returns to the Mitchell Theater from September 16-26.

Barbara Furstenberg said Jim was inspired to create the copy after seeing Kurosawa’s film on campus.

For Furumoto, the play’s director, what he loves most about the woodcut is that it captures the theme of the play – “the elusive nature of truth” – and the intricacies of characters.

At first, the premise of the play seems simple: In a forest grove, a samurai is found dead, his wife assaulted, and a notorious bandit is captured. But as the mystery of the crime unfolds, witnesses tell very different stories of what happened.

You can see a duality in the woman’s expression in Furstenberg’s print, Furumoto says.

“It’s this character where you don’t really know which version you want to believe in,” he explains. “In some cases, it was this victim who was attacked and who was treated very badly not only by the bandit, but also by her own husband.

“But at the same time, there’s another story, where she’s a cold-blooded opportunist.”

UW-Madison ties that span decades

In the print hides another story: UW-Madison connections that stretch back decades.

Jim and Barbara Furstenberg both graduated with a PhD from UW-Madison in the 1950s and 1960s. Jim studied Arts Education for his BA and MA degrees, and then earned a PhD in Arts Education. adults. Barbara obtained an interdepartmental bachelor’s degree from American institutions, as well as a teaching certificate and a doctorate in history.

Photo by Barbara Furstenberg
Barbara furstenberg

“The education I received (at UW-Madison) has been a defining part of my life,” says Barbara Furstenberg. This is one of the reasons she has kept in touch with the university over the years.

After completing their studies, Jim and Barbara Furstenberg moved to Hawaii so that Jim could work at the Honolulu Academy of the Arts. Barbara eventually found a job as director of community engagement at the University of Hawaii.

Another alumnus of UW-Madison, James brandon, had started the Asian theater program at the University of Hawaii. One evening, Barbara and Jim went to see a college production by Brandon, presented in the traditional Japanese Kabuki style.

They were struck by one of the performers of the play: a freshman at college named David Furumoto, who would later become a professor at UW-Madison.

“He had such a dynamic character that I barely looked at the other actor,” Barbara said. “He just totally got your attention to him.”

It was Furumoto’s first major role in college, and he continued to do more performing – and ultimately directing – while pursuing his BA and MA in Fine Arts. After graduating, working and studying in both Japan and Hawaii for several years, he finally decided to move to California to pursue an acting career, and the Furstenbergs lost his track.

Years later, the Furstenbergs returned to Madison after retirement to be closer to their family. They went to see a show at the University Theater one evening. “It was shortly after we arrived,” says Barbara, “and Jim opens the program and he says,“ David Furumoto is on faculty! “

Opening pupils’ eyes to oriental traditions

Photo by David Furumoto
David furumoto

Furumoto joined the faculty of the Department of Theater and Drama in 2000. He brought to UW-Madison very valuable perspective and experience with traditional oriental forms of theater not often performed in the United States. .

Furumoto says that while some of his drama students over the years questioned the value of learning these traditional forms, they eventually got there.

“Yes, it’s a different culture,” he says. “But if you really start looking, what are all the actors trying to do?” “

Whatever style they use, actors aim to play a character and tell a story.

Furumoto is convinced that Western actors can learn a lot from stylized techniques – be it Japanese kabuki or Italian commedia dell’arte – especially when it comes to how they relate to their physical bodies on stage. .

“I firmly believe that an actor has to have a very solid, what I call a ‘core’, and nothing helps that core more than studying a stylized form of theater,” he said.

Rashomon production
The Department of Theater and Drama’s production of “Rashomon” will run through September 26 at the Department’s Mitchell Theater.

Although his expertise is in Japanese theater, over the years he has also enjoyed merging Western scripts with Eastern techniques. For example, he once directed a production of Shakespeare’s “Richard III” in the Kabuki style.

Before retiring, Furumoto chose “Rashomon” for his final production at UW-Madison because he wanted to be able to apply his knowledge of Japanese theater and provide the students of the department with the opportunity to perform and experience these techniques. stylized.

The message he would like to convey? “It’s not just Shakespeare and the Greeks in the theater,” he says.

“Rashomon” will be presented September 16-26 at the Mitchell Theater in the Department of Theater and Drama. Learn more and to buy tickets.

Editor’s Note: The poster for this production includes a content warning for depictions of physical violence and sexual assault, as well as information about campus resources for survivors.

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Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes premieres on PBS on September 17th Fri, 17 Sep 2021 04:01:56 +0000

Tony award-winning choreographer and director Matthew Bourne’s production The Red Shoes debuts on PBS on September 17 at 9 p.m. ET as part of the Great performance series; check local listings.

The theatrical adaptation of the classic 1948 feature film by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger was taped at Sadler’s Wells Theater in London in January 2020. The cast includes Ashley Shaw, contestant Tony Adam Cooper (Swan Lake), Dominic North, Michela Meazza, Liam Mower and Glenn Graham.

The ballet tells the original story of Hans Christian Andersen about obsession, possession and the dream of being the greatest dancer in the world.

To the music of Hollywood composer Bernard Herrmann, The Red Shoes is orchestrated by Terry Davies and performed by the New Adventures Orchestra with sets and costumes by winner Tony Lez Brotherson and lighting by winner Tony Paule Constable.

The Red Shoes is the third Bourne production presented on Great performance Following Swan Lake in 1998 and The Sleeping Beauty in 2014.

The production is also available on and the PBS Video app.

(Updated September 17, 2021)

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Government urged to allow reopening of Tulu theater and film industry Thu, 16 Sep 2021 19:46:35 +0000

Tulu theater and film artists on Thursday urged the state government to allow theaters to reopen and allow theater troupes to put on dramas while artists are in dire straits.

At a joint press conference here, senior artists Devadas Kapikkad, Vijaya Kumar Kodialbail, Kishor D. Shetty and producer Prakash Pandeshwar said educational institutions, commercial establishments and industries have been allowed to reopen and that the transport sector is back to normal.

New cases of COVID-19 have declined significantly in the coastal region.

Therefore, the Dakshina Kannada district administration, MPs and other elected officials from the coastal belt should step in and convince the government of the need to allow the reopening of cinemas and the theater sector.

They said that many artists are completely dependent on theater and cinema for their livelihoods.

There are more than 30 theater groups in the coastal belt. Over 5,000 people depend on different forms of cultural activity.

Theater groups have not been granted permission to put on plays at major festivals, including Sri Krishna Janmashtami and Ganesh Chaturthi.

Therefore, it has become difficult to earn a living for many artists. The government should allow theater companies to put on shows at the upcoming Dasara and Deepavali festivals.

Mr Pandeshwar said that around 10 to 15 Tulu films are waiting to be released. The government should allow full occupation of cinemas. Only then will it help producers, cinemas and other stakeholders. If 50% occupancy is allowed in theaters, it will not help stakeholders.

Mr Kodialbail said that if the same situation persists, many cinemas will have to be closed permanently.

Tulu’s film industry will be forced to deal with the situation that existed in 1971, he said and added that any restrictions on theaters should be relaxed.

The artists said MP Nalin Kumar Kateel, the minister responsible for the district S. Angara and other elected officials should take the lead in convincing the government of the need to save the theater and film industry.

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The Virginia Film Festival will return with in-person and drive-thru presentations in October Tue, 14 Sep 2021 20:42:35 +0000

The Virginia Film Festival announced Tuesday that it will return in its 34th year with a program of theatrical and drive-in presentations from October 27 to 31. Festival officials also announced that this year’s lineup will include an episode of Hulu’s highly anticipated limited series “Dopesick,” presented in partnership with the Virginia Festival of the Book. The screening, which will take place at the Paramount Theater, will be followed by a conversation with writer and executive producer Danny Strong.

The Virginia Film Festival, a program of the University of Virginia and the Office of the Provost and Vice Provost for the Arts, returns to theaters after presenting an exclusively virtual and drive-in format in 2020.

“Following last year’s necessary and successful pivot to virtual screenings, we are delighted to return to theaters in person and resume popular film screenings from last year. We are very happy to announce that we are back this year with a slightly smaller, but incredibly strong film program, ”said Jody Kielbasa, AVU vice-president of arts and director of VAFF. “This year’s festival will feature in-person theater screenings downtown at the Paramount Theater and Violet Crown Charlottesville, and at the Culbreth Theater on University grounds. The festival will also continue its hugely popular drive-through film series at the beautiful Morven Farm in eastern Albemarle County. Kielbasa added: “As always, the festival will strive to create the safest possible environment for its audience, requiring masks in all indoor locations.”

Starring and produced by Michael Keaton and filmed in Virginia, “Dopesick” examines how one company sparked the worst drug epidemic in American history. The series takes viewers to the epicenter of America’s fight against opioid addiction, from the boardrooms of Big Pharma to a struggling mining community to the halls of the DEA. The limited series is inspired by Beth Macy’s bestselling book, which appeared at the 2019 Virginia Festival of the Book. “Dopesick” stars Keaton with Peter Sarsgaard, Michael Stuhlbarg, Will Poulter and John Hoogenakker, with Kaitlyn Dever and Rosario Dawson . Guest stars include Phillipa Soo and Jake McDorman. The series is directed by Oscar winner and former VAFF guest Barry Levinson. The screening and discussion of “Dopesick” will be presented by the Virginia Film Office with support from the Virginia Festival of the Book.

Writer and executive producer Danny Strong began his acting career in many classic movies and TV shows, then moved on to screenwriting and production with his scripts “Recount” (2007) and “Game Change. “(2008), both of which won awards. win HBO movies. Since then he has grown into a prolific screenwriter, director and producer, working on films such as “The Butler” (2013), “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay: Part I and II” (2014; 2015) and his directorial debut. in 2017, “Rebel in the rye.” Strong was the co-creator and executive producer of the hit FOX drama “Empire,” for which he wrote and directed numerous episodes. As an actor, Strong is well known for the five seasons he played Jonathan in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, the four seasons he played Doyle in “Gilmore Girls” and for appearing in seasons 4 and 6 of “Mad Men”.

“We are proud to be able to share this powerful look at a crisis, the effects of which are felt every day across the country and here in the Commonwealth,” Kielbasa said, “and to work alongside our friends at the Virginia Festival of the Book. We are also delighted to be working with our long-time partners at the Virginia Film Office, whose hard work in attracting and hosting productions like “Dopesick” continues to raise the profile of the Commonwealth as one of the venues for the country’s predilection for major film and television projects. “

The 2021 Virginia Film Festival schedule will be announced on September 28. On Thursday, September 30, the full film and guest program will be available online at 10 a.m., and tickets go on sale to the public at 1 p.m. For more information visit the The site of the film festival.

Masks will be required for all VAFF events held in indoor locations, regardless of immunization status. In accordance with Paramount Theater policy, VAFF events at Paramount will require proof of vaccination or proof of a negative PCR test within 72 hours of the event, as well as photo identification.

The Virginia Film Festival 2021 is presented by the Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation. The Virginia Film Festival 2021 is also generously supported by the following “First Sponsors”: Bank of America, National Endowment for the Arts, Office of the Provost and the Vice Provost for the Arts, Violet Crown Cinema, Virginia Film Office and VPM.

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In the News: Will David Suchet’s Retrospective Play West End, Love Actually? Off-Broadway Returns, More Fri, 10 Sep 2021 21:05:09 +0000

Read on for more theatrical titles you might have missed in today’s news.

Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS Awards Over $ 13 million in 2021
Throughout the year, Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS distributed $ 13,024,000 in grants, including $ 7.7 million to The Actors Fund. Additional funding was provided to 131 food service and meal delivery programs in January, 41 nationally recognized AIDS and advocacy organizations in March, and 252 direct service programs in June. Broadway may have been dark, but Broadway Cares supporters helped keep the lights on for organizations providing meals, medicine and emergency aid to the most vulnerable across the country, including many members of the our theater community faced an epic industry shutdown, ”said Executive Director Tom Viola. “Time and time again, our supporters continue to make Broadway Cares the philanthropic heart of Broadway. ” For more information, Click here.

Poirot and more, a retrospective Will play West End
David Suchet will revisit many characters and performances, including his 25-year career as a main character in Poirot by Agatha Christie, like his show Poirot and more, a retrospective tours 24 theaters in the UK, culminating with a West End tour of the Harold Pinter Theater from January 4-22, 2022. Journalist Geoffrey Wansell will join Suchet on stage as an interviewer in the in-depth nightly conversation with the winner of an Emmy actor. Poirot and more, a retrospective is co-created by Suchet and Liza McLean. It was originally produced in Australia and New Zealand by McLean and Andrew Kay, and is presented in the UK by McLean, Kay and Jonathan Church Theater Productions. Visit for more information.

Andrea Burns

Marc J. Franklin

Programming for the New York Theater Barn Latinx Theater Creators Roundtable
Andréa Burns, Emilio Sosa, Jaime Lozano, Shereen Pimentel, Vanessa Garcia, Victoria Collado and many more will participate in the virtual live event A seat at the table: a panel of Latinx theater creators September 22 at 7 p.m. ET. Co-moderated by Broadway alumna Maria Torres and New York Theater Barn’s Héctor Flores Jr., the group will collectively investigate, inspire and ignite the future of the performing arts. The conversation at the intersection of art and politics will benefit the non-profit organization which has been an incubator for emerging artists and their work since 2007. For tickets, Click here.

Love in fact? Unauthorized musical parody Return
The British romcom Christmas film’s musicalized consignment will return to Off-Broadway and make its Chicago debut this holiday season. The musical from Bob and Tobly McSmith, creators of Office! A musical parody and Friends! The musical parody, premiered in 2019 at the Jerry Orbach Theater, where it will take place this season from november 24 to january 2, 2022. The show features music and orchestration by Basil Winterbottom. In addition to the New York race, the musical will premiere in Chicago this winter. The performance dates, location and cast for this production will be announced shortly. Visit to learn more.

Steve broadnax

Steve broadnax

Joseph Marzullo / WENN

Steve H. Broadnax III and Jason Michael Webb team up at People’s Light
The 2021-2022 season at People’s Light will feature the pair working on the world premiere of Bayard Rustin inside Ashland (May 18-June 12, 2022), based on the eponymous Civil Rights figure. Broadnax III (Thoughts of a colored man) conducts his own play with recipient Tony Webb (Choir boy) as music supervisor and arranger. The Malvern, Pa., Theater will reopen in November with Zak Berkman’s adaptation of A Christmas Carol (November 20-January 2, 2022), with a first cinematic release virtually in December. In February 2022, a film adaptation of Heather Raffo 9 parts of desire will be broadcast online. In-person hearings will return for Personality: The Lloyd Price Musical (March 2-27), directed by Broadway alumnus Sheldon Epps. Then, that of Jeanne Sakata Hold these truths (April 6-May 1) highlights activist Gordon Hirabayashi. After Bayard Rustin inside Ashland, summer brings Paul Osborn The vinegar tree (June 29-July 24) and Bess Wohl’s Tony-nominated Great Horizons (August 3-28). For more details, visit

Log in alert: Don’t miss the on-demand feed from Aaron Tveit Live! In concert from Barrington Stage Company this weekend only. Other streaming options for this weekend include Irish Rep’s Angela’s Ashes: The Musical and a memorial service of Come from afar and the town of Gander, Newfoundland. Check out the Playbill live stream schedule for more information.

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St. Petersburg Freefall Theater announces 2021-22 season Tue, 07 Sep 2021 21:01:08 +0000

After a year of providing safer ways to experience theater live, the Freefall Theater in St. Petersburg has announced its return to traditional programming with the 2021-22 season on the main stage.

A new monthly subscription plan has been introduced. After an initial 12-month commitment period, subscribers have access to all paid productions and events at no additional cost. Memberships are $ 29 per month for adults or $ 19 for those under 18 and are on sale now at

In addition to five productions and a summer show that have yet to be announced, the theater company is presenting more events and series for subscribers. They include the Tandem Cabaret series created by Resident Music Director Michael Raabe, block parties, Pop Goes the Yoga, Movies with Matthew movie screenings, live artist interviews and live game shows. Individual tickets can be purchased by non-subscribers.

The 2021-22 mainstage season is themed Simply Escape Awhile. Here are the productions, all of which take place in the theater, with security measures in place.

Ladies at sea (22 Oct-21 Nov 2021): The chance meeting of an aspiring actor with a sailor who dreams of becoming a songwriter makes them fall in love on the deck of a battleship that becomes the ad hoc place of his Broadway debut in this musical.

The night before (December 3-24, 2021): Written and directed by local theater staple Matthew McGee, this vacation special takes place on a snowy day in Florida, when a group of friends gather around a piano for an evening of music, fun and games.

Fatboy (January 28-February 27, 2022): This satire after Alfred Jarry Ubu plays is a ‘a live-action Punch and Judy show plenty of slapstick and precise punches against modern life and our appetite to consume, well… everything.

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill (March 25-April 24, 2022): In a seedy bar in Philadelphia in 1959, Billie Holiday gave one of her last performances before her death. This portrait of the legendary jazz singer features more than ten musical numbers.

A skeptic and a Bruja (May 20-June 19, 2022): In this world premiere produced in collaboration with Urbanite Theater, a woman calls on the stars of a ghost-hunting show after experiencing paranormal activity in the isolated house she recently purchased.

A sixth production scheduled for July 29-August. 29, 2022, will be announced soon.

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SO YA WANNA BE A BROADWAY STAR is back at the New Paradigm Theater Fri, 03 Sep 2021 19:24:26 +0000

The goal of New Paradigm Theater is always to combine education and mentoring by industry professionals with any event or production. NPT’s signature event, So Ya Wanna Be A Broadway Star (October 2, 2021 from 11 p.m. to 3 p.m.) is a chance for singers and actors aged 8 to adulthood to audition and receive professional Broadway commentary. and casting directors, agents and producers on the pitch! Many actors and singers are tired of just hearing “Thank you” after auditions and not knowing what the professionals behind the desk really think or how to improve.

Thanks to generous donations, NPT is able to offer cash prizes this year. They include a “Judges’ Choice” for $ 500, a “Rising Star” for $ 100 and a “Fan Favorite” (voted on by their audience) for $ 100. These prizes will be awarded at the end of the event.

This educational hearing master class is also an opportunity for them to choose performers for their holiday show (December 11 and 12 at the Fairfield Theater Company) and write the show specifically with them in mind. Short video from the NPT Holiday show:

Anyone performing / auditioning on October 2, 2021 will be offered the chance to perform in their “NPT Holiday Show” alongside their Broadway performers.

Networking is crucial in the entertainment industry and the singers auditioning this year will meet and receive feedback from professionals such as:

Paul Bogaev: Emmy and Grammy winner. Tony nominated. Music producer on films such as Dreamgirls, Chicago and Across the Universe.

Tiffany T’zelle: Known as the fairy goddess of R&B, she has traveled the world as a supporting singer for Diana Ross, Tevin Campbell, Barbara Tucker, Carl Thomas, Leela James. She worked for one of the largest music publishing companies in the world, Zomba Recording Corporation, home of Jive and Verity Records.

Scott Bryce: (Emmy nominated actor and director) TV, movies, Broadway. Homeland, 30 Rock, As the Word Turns, Beacon Hill, The Good Fight, Blue Bloods, Deception, Person of Interest, and from a new post-production movie Redemption in Cherry Springs. Scott is also wanted for a principal and teacher as well as a member of the NPT board of directors.

Jamibeth Margolis: (director and casting agent from NY): some credits include the Broadway and National Touring companies of such mega hits like Les Misérables, The Phantom Of The Opera, Miss Saigon, The Producers, Cats and Jane Eyre as well as two dozen other Broadway shows. She also currently performs for Off-Broadway, national tour companies and shows for leading regional theaters and major New York theater festivals. Its casting office is dedicated to the development of new plays and musicals. Additional casting credits include multiple TV pilots and industrial on-camera films for major US corporations.)

Additional professionals:

Chris Coogan, musical director of NPT will accompany this master class. Called “a masterful pianist” by the New York Times, Chris Coogan is a composer, performer, teacher, choir director and producer.

Kristin Huffman, artistic director of NPT production, Broadway performer and professor at the University of Hartford will also host a panel discussion and the audience (friends, relatives and listeners) can ask insider questions about the industry. “Mentorship is an important part of NPT’s mission statement. They often feature the outstanding performers (adults and youth) they see at this event, in their performances.

Pre-registration is mandatory and there is a reduction for early registrations (before September 12)

Members of the public who aren’t registered to play but want to watch and learn can pay $ 10 at the door. Parents and other supporters are welcome and should wear masks and bring a blanket or chairs to sit on the lawn. Entrance to the church facilities will not be permitted, but there is a bathroom on site.

The mission of New Paradigm Theater is to promote social responsibility and foster creative solutions to the problems, leaders and citizens of the world through education and theatrical productions.

* This is an outdoor event. In case of bad weather, they will move inside and follow CDC guidelines

A mentoring and audition event on Saturday October 2, 2021 from 11 p.m. to 3 p.m. with Broadway pros Paul Bogaev, Scott Bryce, Jamibeth Margolis, Kristin Huffman, Tiffany T’zelle and Chris Coogan.

Ages 8 years old – Adults can participate (only 20 accepted) and you must pre-register

Location: Emmanuel Church SUR LA PELOUSE! *
285 chemin de la plaine de Lyon Weston CT

The flagship event of the New Paradigm Theater:

So you wanna be a Broadway star?

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The annual Wild & Scenic Festival is scheduled for September 15 Tue, 31 Aug 2021 23:04:21 +0000

Plumas Arts is delighted to announce the 14th edition of the SYRCL Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival in Quincy on September 15th. “This year will be a hybrid event with a virtual online option and an in-person option at the Town Hall Theater,” said Jennifer Prêt, event coordinator.

Plumas Arts will screen 12 films from this year’s Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival, based in Nevada City, California. The show starts at 6.30 p.m. and will last approximately 2 hours.

“This is the perfect opportunity to reunite the family and enjoy the festival from the comfort of your home, or hang out with a friend and watch inspiring films at the Town Hall Theater. Either way, it will be a momentous time and a great support for your local arts commission. We hope you can attend and look forward to seeing you there.

In-person tickets are $ 15 in advance and $ 20 at the door, with the virtual being $ 10 per person and both are available for purchase at The virtual and face-to-face “lobby” will open at 6 p.m. and films will begin at 6.30 p.m. sharp. If you have any questions, please contact Plumas Arts at 530-283-3402.


Masks will be required at the in-person event, and Plumas Arts also has information on its website on other covid precautions that will be taken. Seating is limited for the in-person option, so be sure to purchase your tickets in advance. More information on all aspects of the festival is available at

Plumas Arts would like to thank its local sponsors for their support of the event – Feather River Land Trust, Friends of Plumas Wilderness, Feather River Outdoors, Plumas Corporation, Pachuca Productions, Taco Fly Co., and Feather River College – both Student Services and Environmental Curriculum.

Quintopia Brewing Co. is generously donating the beer to pour at the in-person event! A few “friends” also sponsor the festival, Pete and Julie Hochrein, Amy Bennett and Diane and Van Bowman. Thank you to all these generous local sponsors!

The Wild & Scenic Film Festival was started in 2003 by the watershed advocacy group, the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL). Yuba River in 1999. The 5-day event features over 150 award-winning films and hosts over 100 speakers, celebrities and activists who bring a human face to the environmental movement. The national festival kicks off the international tour in communities around the world, allowing SYRCL to share its success as an environmental group with other organizations.


Have you seen this year’s flyer? Beautiful art is made by Stephanie Littlebird Fogel. Stephanie is an Indigenous artist, writer and designer from Portland, Oregon. Making connections between our collective past and our impending future, Fogel mixes his own tribal traditions with contemporary materials and subjects. This original piece was commissioned for the festival with the theme of “Resilient by Nature” as it is the theme of the festival this year.
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“On Broadway” Filmmaker Explores the Allure of the Stage Fri, 27 Aug 2021 20:41:25 +0000

“Without the theater, New York would in a way not be itself. This is what Ian McKellen says at the start of the documentary “On Broadway”. Most of us who love the Great White Way, even those who have only traveled it in our imaginations, would be hard-pressed to disagree.

The film is essentially about Broadway’s checkered fortunes from the disastrous era of 1969-1972 until just before the pandemic struck. The 2018-19 season, with around 15 million ticket buyers, was the most commercially successful in Broadway history. The following year, COVID-19 closed all 41 theaters.

Directed by Oren Jacoby and largely assembled before the pandemic, the film ends by briefly noting that the famous Theater District reopens in September. Jacoby’s speech is clear: Broadway has already nearly collapsed and will do it again.

Why we wrote this

When Broadway reopens this fall, it won’t be the first time it’s made a comeback. The new documentary “On Broadway” explores the resilience of theater – and why it matters in people’s lives today.

Especially for those unfamiliar with the extent of Broadway’s past struggles, the documentary – which contains plenty of archival footage – will be a bit of a revelation. In the four years starting in 1969, attendance fell from 10 million to an all-time low of 4.8 million. One of the main reasons for this calamity was the downfall of the Broadway neighborhood itself: 42nd Street was full of prostitutes, sex shops and drug dealers. Cleaning up the area was essential to revitalizing the theater, but the painstaking process took years. Federal funding through then-President Gerald Ford for the near-bankrupt city was denied, as the famous New York Daily News headline from 1975 states: “Ford to city: Drop dead.”

In the documentary “On Broadway”, actor Ian McKellen declares: “Without the theater, New York would not be itself”.

And yet Broadway in that pre-AIDS era managed to revive, largely by offering shows that were first developed off of Broadway, the more famous “A Chorus Line,” which was transferred from the Public Theater to Joseph Papp. Not only did this turn out to be a hit on Broadway, it also provided Papp’s nonprofit company with a windfall he would have described as “the GDP of a small country.”

Although the documentary does not mention it, this trajectory of repertory theater on Broadway somewhat mirrored what was happening in Hollywood at the same time, as the studio moguls – realizing their big, expensive productions were not connecting with audiences. mass – have opened their doors, at least for a while, to younger and more daring filmmakers. (It was easier to take creative risks when the financial stakes weren’t so high.)