Marco the Magnificent (Russ Crum) charms Lili in this early scene from “Carnival!”
The calendar for the coming month at Tusculum College is full of events showcasing the talents of those on campus as well as those in the community.
On tap are an independent film festival, a Theatre-at-Tusculum production, poetry readings by faculty and an art exhibition by a professor.
Southern Appalachian International Film Festival 2011
“Southern Appalachian International Film Festival 2011: Hidden in the Mountains” will be home again when the festival returns to Tusculum College for its sixth annual event, beginning with opening ceremonies Wednesday, October 26 and concluding Sunday, October 30.
The Southern Appalachian International Film Festival began with the idea to revive the Sinking Creek Film Festival, originally founded by the late Mary Jane Coleman of Greeneville and held at Tusculum College until the festival moved to Nashville and became the still-successful Nashville Film Festival.
Scheduled events include festival screenings comprised of 100 features and short films from all over the world, and a special Opening Night Gala: The “Mary Jane Coleman Legacy Celebration,” which will incorporate an awards ceremony for the festival winners and a very moving presentation of two commissioned portraits of fallen soldiers which will be given to their families by artist Kaziah Hancock.
Hancock began “Project Compassion,” where families of fallen soldiers in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts submit a request accompanied by a photo and a team of artists then produces a painted portrait of the soldier killed in action to send to the family. Hancock’s documentary, “Kaziah the Goat Woman,” separate from “Project Compassion,” will be screened as part of Southern Appalachian International Film Festival 2011: Hidden in the Mountains on Friday, October 28, at 4 p.m.
Filmmaker Shelley Rogers, a Greeneville native, will have a screening of her environmental film, “What’s ‘Organic’ About Organic?,” which is also nominated as one of the top submissions in the festival. Rogers traveled around the country exploring what goes into the making of organic products.
The film takes advantage of the farmers’ good humor as they explain what “growing organic” really means and focuses on these farm families and their connection to the land, making theirs a personal fight to stay afloat while competing against mega-farms in other states. Rogers’ film will screen on Saturday, October 29, at 12:30 p.m.
Rounding out the diversity of Southern Appalachian International Film Festival 2011: Hidden in the Mountains is “Hollywood to Dollywood,” a documentary film about twin brothers, raised in the South but now living in Los Angeles, who decide to drive across country and present Dolly Parton with the script they have written for her, during Dollywood’s 25th Anniversary Celebration. “Hollywood to Dollywood” will screen Friday, October 28 at 5:15 p.m. and again on Sunday, October 30 at 4 p.m.
Films scheduled for this year’s event include five horror films, three independent films, seven Appalachian-themed films, eight films with sexuality themes, eight women’s films, eight art/experimental films, eight environmental films, 14 foreign language films, 14 documentaries, seven short films and eight student films.
All screenings, as well as the Opening Night Gala are free and open to the public. The gala will begin at 6 p.m. and will be held in Chalmers Conference Center. Screenings begin at 11 a.m. on Thursday, running to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday screenings run from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Sunday screenings begin at noon and will conclude by 8 p.m.
The festival will be held in several locations on campus, including The Hurley Room in the Niswonger Commons and Rooms 213 and 202 in the Charles Oliver Gray North building. For specific location information, movie trailers and a complete list of films to be screened or for further information please visit the festival website at www.soapiff.com <http://www.soapiff.com>, or call Festival Director Amelia Fry at (423) 943-8295, or Festival Coordinator Bridget Chandley at (423) 361-3370.
The purpose of Southern Appalachian International Film Festival 2011: Hidden in the Mountains is to publicly recognize, promote and preserve the work of independent filmmakers and encourage film production and film culture in Southern Appalachia.
Poetry Reading, Art Exhibition
The Humanities Division will be presenting this year’s Faculty Spotlight, featuring an art exhibition by Aurora Pope, a poetry reading by Clay Matthews, and a nonfiction reading by Jan Matthews.
The event is Tuesday, November 1, at 4 p.m. on the Rankin House lawn and in the Clem Allison Gallery. It is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided.
Clay Matthews and Jan Matthews are members of the English faculty and Pope is a member of the art faculty. Pope’s art exhibition will be on display in the Allison Gallery through November 4, and student exhibitions will be featured in the Allison Gallery through the end of the year.
Theatre-at-Tusculum will bring the splendor, magic and romance of “Carnival!” to the stage in November.
The musical, which tells the romantic and heartwarming story of the orphan Lili in the colorful, exciting world of a traveling carnival, will be performed at 7 p.m. Nov. 4-5 and 11-12 and at 2 p.m. on Nov. 6 and 13 in the auditorium of the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Building on the Tusculum College campus.
A talented cast of 81 brings the tale of Lili to life as she joins a traveling carnival and finds herself surrounded by a company of fantastically colorful personalities, such as Paul, the handsome, but bitter puppeteer; the dynamic magician Marco the Magnificent; kind Jacquot, Paul’s patient partner, and the incomparable and fiery Roalie. They are surrounded by a kaleidoscope of carnival characters and creatures, clowns, gypsies, mystics and tumblers and dancers, who are all manipulated by the artful ringmaster B. F. Shlegel.
Adding to the carnival atmosphere are a charming unicorn, played by a miniature horse named Junebug, an adorable dancing dog, some other animal surprises and four charming and hilarious puppets, creations of Greeneville artist Judith Plucker.
Guest artist and renowned vocalist Russ Crum has been providing his expertise to the cast that includes some local favorites and some newcomers. Crum is portraying Marco; golden-throated Sterling Bean is taking on the role of Paul; Emily Bryant, who many will remember in her role as Dorothy in the 2008 production of the “Wizard of Oz,” portrays Lili, and exciting newcomer Audrey Shoemaker has taken on the role of Rosalie. Theatre-at-Tusculum favorites Tom Sizemore and Seth Holt return as Jacquot and B.F. Shlegel, respectively.
This musical will also feature a breathtaking dance performance. Lori Ann Sparks, creative director of Central Ballet Theatre of Greeneville, and the show’s choreographer Kim Berry will be performing a dramatic and beautiful routine using on aerial silks.
Theatre-at-Tusculum’s production staff has been weaving its magic to make the world of the carnival come to life on stage. Costume Director Barbara Holt is using every bit of glitter and glitz from the Arts Outreach Costume Shop to create eye-catching, colorful costumes with her army of volunteers. A special team of volunteers will transform the Carnival players with “Cirque du Paris” face paints. Music Director Angie Clendenon, assisted this year by Tusculum student Josh Davis, has assembled a professional pit orchestra, and Technical Director Frank Mengel has designed a colorful set. Gifted choreographer Kim Berry rounds out the team and a host of dedicated volunteers drill, hammer, sew, paint, pin, glue and prompt to ensure the show’s success.
Director Marilyn duBrisk and Arts Outreach Coordinator Jennifer Hollowell are expecting large audiences, so early ticket reservations are encouraged. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors 60 and over and $5 for children 12 and under. Reservations can be made by calling 423-798-1620 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.