On this week's Speaking of the Arts Diana finds out about this week's Extra Credit movie available at RagtagCinema.org from Barbie Banks; Trent Rash from the Missouri Symphony Orchestra reveals which naughty 18th century composer cut the pigtail off a chorister; Adam Brietzke and Kathleen Johnson from Talking Horse Productions teach Diana the first building blocks of impro; Hannah Reeves takes us behind the scenes of the new Contemporary Cuban Art exhibit at the Sager Braudis Gallery; AND Alex George tells us what new book is flying off the shelves this week at Skylark Bookshop. And we manage to fit it all into just one hour.
As we're all practicing social distancing and going to an arts event is off the menu, this week we track what's available to us at a distance and check in with some of Columbia's arts makers and distributors. Ragtag Cinema's Barbie Banks tells us what movies are streaming through their website; Skylark Bookshop's Alex George talks about the new Emily St John Mandel book 'The Glass Hotel' and Hillary Mantel's 'The Mirror and the Light'; the Missouri Symphony Orchestra's Monica Palmer gives us new insights into Ravel's Bolero; we get an improv lesson from Talking Horse theatre's Adam Brietzke and Kathleen Johnson; and Hannah Reeves gives us a sneak peek at two of the artworks in their new Contemporary Cuban exhibit.
These are strange and unprecedented times for all of us. With all arts and culture events canceled, all venues shuttered and no end in sight, this week Diana chats to Michael Donovan, the Executive Director of the Missouri Arts Council (MAC) about what resources are available for artists and arts organizations, and what conversations MAC is having with funders and organizations around the state. In Act Two, Monica Palmer, the Development Director for the Missouri Symphony Orchestra talks about why the arts are so important to the public good and some of the ideas that she is working on to keep us all engaged during our quarantine time. And in Act Three, the Columbia Art League's (CAL) Executive Director, Kelsey Hammond, discusses what online events CAL is planning and how she's trying to navigate organizing Art in the Park whilst uncertainty abounds.
France in the late 1700's was a bad time and place to be an ex-Queen, a political activist, a civil rights fighter, or even a playwright, but America's most produced playwright, Lauren Gunderson, takes us back to that era with her play 'The Revolutionists'. The comedy about the meeting of Marie Antoinette, assassin Charlotte Corday, playwright Olympe de Gouge and the fictional freedom fighter, Marianne Angelle, was to have been performed at Stephens College this weekend, but an abundance of COVID19 caution has put the show on hold. But the play's director, Elizabeth Braaten Palmieri, and two of the actors, Fiona Bleu and Julia Vuolo dropped in to chat about their production anyway. In Act Two of this week's show, America's best-selling and favorite tupperware lady, Dixie Longate, graced the studio with her southern Alabama charm and chatted about her 20-years in the tupperware show business, her admiration for party-plan genius Brownie Wise, and her Dixie's Tupperware Party that plays March 12-14 at Capital City Productions in Jefferson City.
Every year for 4 days the True/False film fest transforms Columbia, Missouri into the epicenter of documentary film excellence. This week's Speaking of the Arts show is dedicated to the fest. In Act One, Diana talks to director David France ('How to Survive a Plague') about his new documentary, 'Welcome to Chechnya' (https://www.welcometochechnya.com/) - a searing exploration of the purges being committed by the Chechen government against its LGBTQ community and the work being done by the LGBTQ network in Moscow to rescue people whose lives are at risk. As well as chatting to David, one of the subjects of the documentary, Max Lapunov and cinematographer/translator, Igor Myakotin, talk about Max's experience as a victim of torture by the Chechen police. In Act Two, musician Yasmin Williams (http://www.yasminwilliamsmusic.com/), talks about her music, and how her custom-made Skytop guitar is a result of molluscs and fungi. Plus she plays her music live in the studio.
2020 is the 100th anniversary of something that American women take for granted - the right to vote. But the history of women's fight for equal voting rights was long, and a new play by University of Missouri Professor, Cheryl Black, delves into the history in a series of vignettes that highlight the theatricality, the pageantry, the personalities and the nay-sayers who are scattered along this path to enfranchisement. In the Second Act Diana chats to author Phong Nguyen, author of a new lipogramatic novel called 'Roundabout', which the book cover describes as a ‘slapstick meta-romp through art, literature, metaphysics and modern America – all written without a single letter e’. Why would anyone want to write a whole novel without the letter e? Find out on this week's show.
Morality plays and Robin Hood first appeared in the middle ages - and Diana explores both on this week's Speaking of the Arts. In Act One Director Brooke Grno and actor, Paige Hudson, talk about their production of the morality play 'Everyman', one of the oldest works in the English dramatic canon, in which Everyman is summoned to God for his final reckoning but must first cast off his earthly attachments to his many allegorical friends. In Act Two, we stay in England to hang out with Robin Hood, Friar Tuck and Sir Guy aka actors Jon-Michael Rutter, Dave Bond and Mike Azar, whose production of Ken Ludwig's 'Robin Hood' is at The Little Theatre of Jefferson City, and Diana tests them on their English accents.
The Negro Motorist Green Book was last published in 1966, but in the last 5 years the book has inspired a movie, a documentary and a funny, poignant, time-traveling play by Kansas City playwright, Michelle Tyrene Johnson. 'The Green Book Wine Club Train Trip' opens this week at Talking Horse Productions, and actor Carla Tigue and THP's Artistic Director, Adam Brietzke, drop by to talk about this first production in Talking Horse's 'Year of the Woman' season. In Act Two, True False film programmer Jeanelle Augustin, Music Director Martin Kamu, and Art Installation Director Duncan Bindbeutel give their predictions for the must-see films/musicians and artworks at the upcoming documentary film fest (March 5-8).
February brings with it a raft of openings. The sugar-sweet, pinkalicious musical comedy 'Legally Blonde' opens at Columbia Entertainment Company on February 13th, and this week Diana chats to its Director and Choreographer, Marvin Byas IV. In the Second Act of the show, Dr. Julia Gaines, Director of the University of Missouri's School of Music, waxes lyrical about their brand new Sinquefield Music Center and how one man's response to 9/11 led to the school's new $24 million facility. Plus Diana ends the show with her usual round-up of arts events coming up in mid-Missouri over the next 7 days.
Each February the University of Missouri holds its annual Visual Arts and Design Showcase (VADS) to celebrate the creative expression of undergraduates working across a range of artistic disciplines - photography, theatre set design, floral art, textile and apparel design, painting, sculpture, digital storytelling, architectural studies and more. As part of the two-week event the university flies in a keynote speaker who is a leader in their field and a visionary thinker in the arts. On this week's show Diana chats by Skype with the #MIZVAD20 keynote speaker, Dr. Craig Wilkins, architect, educator, and author who has spent two decades exploring how hip hop culture can be incorporated into architectural thinking. In the Second Act of the show Assistant Professor of Film Studies and Digital Storytelling, Christian Rozier, stops by the studio along with three of this years VADS showcase students, Jessica Tifase, Tyree Taylor, and Alex Sapaugh to talk about the event and the works that will be on display over the next two weeks.
There are not many people in the world who not only speak 6 languages fluently, but also can converse flawlessly in over 50 dialects, and can teach, say a Bosnian to pronounce words correctly in Yiddish, or an Indian to sound convincingly Arabic, but the one person who is capable of such linguistic feats is Paula Carter Cavanaugh Vanlandingham. Paula is a dialect coach to actors the world over, and returns to Speaking of the Arts this week to talk about recent projects and teaching a Latina actor to speak such great Scottish that even Peter Capaldi thought she was a Scot. And in the Second Act of the show Diana catches up with Capital City Productions founder, Rob Crouse, to find out what happened when their theatre home of 12 years was suddenly taken away from them - and the happy new beginning that is their next home.
Arts entrepreneurship links both Acts of this week's Speaking of the Arts. How do you turn your art into an income? Diana's First Act guests this week are all film-makers and are involved with the upcoming COMO Shorts Film Showcase: Matt Schacht, who is one of the showcase's founders, and film-makers Chase Thompson and Elizabeth Germann whose work will be featured. In the Second Act author/chef/arts entrepreneur, Nina Mukerjee Furstenau, drops in to talk about her book 'Biting Through the Skin: An Indian Kitchen in America's Heartland', her next book provisionally titled 'Green Chilis and Other Imposters' and helping Bengali artisan women weavers find a global audience through her new project artaweavers.com.
This year is the 20th anniversary for TRYPS Children's Theatre and on the first new Speaking of the Arts show of 2020, TRYPS founder and artistic director, Jill Womack, chats to Diana Moxon about working with Charles Nelson Reilly, teaching empathy through theatre and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. And in the Second Act of the show, Maples Repertory Theatre artistic director, Todd Davison, stops in to chat about their 2020 season and how he got his start in theatre by having his own puppet company - as a 4th grader.
Speaking of the Arts meets Open Mike Radio on this 2-hour year end review of music and the arts with Diana Moxon and Mike Hagen. Faced with the impossible task of choosing just a handful of interview clips and live Open Mike Radio music recordings from the past year, this is but a tiny collection of their faves. From Speaking of the Arts we revisit Diana's interviews with actor/singer Symonne Sparks, Greenhouse Theatre Project's Elizabeth Braaten-Palmieri and Jenny Hipscher, the Eurovision Song Contest, authors Crystal Wilkinson & Joanna Luloff, and MU Theatre costume designer, Marc Vital. And from Mike's in-studio concerts he chooses Justin Hickerson, Violence of the Violets, the Sweaters, Austin Jones and the Bootheel Boys, Bartholomew Bean, the January Lanterns, Blake Gardner and the Farmers and Dave Dearnley.