Artists and audiences this fall explore troubled youth, embattled and grieving families, endangered shorelines, World War II losses and discoveries. And, on the lighter side, they explore dance and sing to the sounds of Zimbabwe, the Highlands and contemporary America.
East Tennessee State Universityâ€™s Mary B. Martin School of the Arts opens with the first in its 2018-19 independent film series from South Arts Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers. Monday, Sept. 10, the narrative film â€œSadieâ€ by Megan Griffiths screens in ETSUâ€™s Brown Hall Auditorium. â€œSadieâ€ is what Variety calls â€œa sympathetic portrait of a budding sociopath,â€ featuring newcomer Sophia Mitri Schloss as the outcast 13-year-old, missing her deployed-soldier father.
Southern Circuit films are free and followed by a Q&A and reception with the filmmakers. All Southern Circuit films are on Mondays this fall at 7 p.m. in Brown Hall Auditorium. â€œMan Madeâ€ a documentary focusing on four transgender men as they prepare to compete in the only all-transgender bodybuilding competition in the world screens Oct. 22, while â€œChasing Portraits,â€ the filmmakerâ€™s story of pursuing her great-grandfatherâ€™s long-lost pre-WWII paintings of Jewish life, is shown Nov. 5.
Fall season also features three visual art exhibitions, starting with â€œThe Shore Line Project,â€ an interactive multimedia documentary that looks at the tensions between unchecked development and climate change on coastal towns and cities around the world. â€œShorelines are powerful, disruptive and awe-inspiring â€¦â€ says award-winning documentarian Liz Miller, â€œa front line for disasters and they are also the frontline of resistance.â€
The Shore Line is on display at ETSUâ€™s Reece Museum Sept. 24-Oct. 5, with an artist talk by Miller Thursday, Sept. 25, at 6 p.m. with a reception to follow.
The following week, the sixth annual â€œFL3TCH3R Exhibit: Social & Politically Engaged Artâ€ opens, featuring artworks of myriad media from around the globe, spotlighting social and political issues. â€œFL3TCH3Râ€ runs from Oct. 8-Dec. 14 in Reece Museum and features a jurorâ€™s talk Thursday, Nov. 1, at 5 p.m., by graphic design legend David Carson, who is selecting this yearâ€™s exhibition pieces.
The School of the Arts sponsors more visual art in October, with the Upstate Photography Exhibition, at Reece Museum Oct. 22 through Dec. 14, featuring the work of ETSU Art & Design professor Tema Stauffer, whose photography examines the social, economic and cultural landscape of American spaces. Upstate features color photos, exploring urban and rural environments and relics in or around Hudson, New York. Alison NordstrÃ¶m, an independent scholar specializing in photographs, gives the pre-reception talk Nov. 29 at 5 p.m. Xhenet Aliu gives a reading Wednesday, Oct. 24, 5 p.m.
Finally, The Martin Schoolâ€™s fall season also includes three ticketed events, two musical and one dramatic.
On Sept. 28, Brian FitzGerald and Martin McCormack, the duo known as Switchback, combine their mix of mandolin, guitar and bass and â€œstunning vocal blendsâ€ (Music Connection Magazine) for what McCormack calls a â€œmagicalâ€ concert of contemporary Celtic music and Americana songs that reflect the duoâ€™s Irish heritage and Midwestern roots.
Switchback performs at First Presbyterian Church, Johnson City, at 7:30 p.m.
October brings a touch of the dramatic and classical with Actors From The London Stage performing Shakespeareâ€™s â€œHamletâ€ in ETSUâ€™s Bud Frank Theatre, Thursday and Friday, Oct. 25 and 26 at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 27, at 3 p.m. The play is staged with minimal props, costumes and set, says AFTLS Founding Director Sir Patrick Stewart, to keep the focus on the Bardâ€™s words, which continue to resonate with audiences 400 years later.
Fall season 2018 closes Tuesday, Nov. 13, with an uplifting performance by Nobuntu, a female a cappella quintet from Zimbabwe. Nobuntu interweaves traditional Zimbabwean afro-jazz and gospel songs with pure voices, percussion on traditional instruments and authentic dance movements. Media in America and Europe have called Nobuntuâ€™s performances â€œvibrant,â€ â€œstunning,â€ â€œbreathtakingâ€ and â€œexhilarating.â€
The vocal quintetâ€™s concert takes place at 7:30 p.m. at Central Baptist Church, Johnson City, Tennessee.
â€œEach season is new, diverse and exciting for us at the Martin School of the Arts,â€ says Director Anita DeAngelis. â€œThis fall, we will balance deep conversations and perspectives on family, personal and societal issues with joyous and toe-tapping music from other continents and our own. We look forward to sharing all these experiences with students and our friends in the community and Upper East Tennessee.â€
For more information about ETSUâ€™s Mary B. Martin School of the Arts or to purchase tickets, visit www.etsu.edu/martin or call 423-439- 8587. Follow the Martin School of the Arts @artsatetsu and on Facebook.