Friday, July 13, 2012

'Byrdcliffe launches first Festival of the Arts' July 13 - 15


Times Herald-Record Published:
5:01 PM - 07/13/12
Last updated: 5:07 PM - 07/13/12

Byrdcliffe soothed the brain-numbing dehumanization of the industrial age with a surge of handmade crafts. A century later, the Tweet-glazed patina of technology washes from the soul in a three-day celebration of art, dance, film and wordcraft.

The first Byrdcliffe Festival of the Arts brings together 17 local arts groups for a weekend of day and evening performances.

"We wanted to offer a smorgasbord of art delights where people who might like rock music but not often see dance performances could experience both," said School of Rock founder Paul Green, who teamed up with Byrdcliffe's new director Matthew Leaycraft to bring the project to fruition.

"We have a fantastic entertainment lineup for this," Green said, with "special guests" being added daily. A coup of sorts was to have Gene Ween sign on for the role of Judas in Green's rock-star-laced production of "Jesus Christ Superstar." The cast includes three versions of Jesus.

"Connor Kennedy, one of the hottest new musicians out there, will be doing a show of all-original music," adds Green. "Tracy Bonham has been amazing in any show I've seen her in."

The Woodstock Film Festival brings the New York premiere of the BCDF Pictures film "Why Stop Now?" at the Upstate Films Woodstock theater on Tinker Street.

"Of course we will have producer Claude Dal Farra and perhaps some of the cast members," said Woodstock Film Festival founder Meira Blaustein. "There are so many deep connections to the area with this film, and we're very happy to bring this BCDF Film forward." A post-screening panel discussion includes screenwriter Philip Dorling, whose short film version was screened at the Film Festival in 2008 and was developed into a feature film with the help of Academy-Award-nominated screenwriter Ron Nyswaner.

"For the panel discussion afterwards, we'll also have filmmaker/director Griffin Dunne and perhaps Larry Fessenden of Glass Eye Pix and Vincent D'Onofrio," 

Blaustein said. Pianist Justin Kolb opens up the world of opera with what he dubs "an informance" with renowned opera singers Maria Todaro, Louis Otey and Kerry Henderson in "An Unusual Night at the Opera," presented by the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice.

"This is one instance where the audience will have an opportunity to ask questions of the opera singers throughout the event," Kolb said. "It's upbeat and unpretentious. We read the audience and spin it from there."

 Leaycraft built the festival from a strong core of nine arts organizations and formed partnerships with new groups, snowballing into a list of performers that will expand right up until the doors open on Friday.

"We're honoring the spirit of the Byrdcliffe Arts Colony in a contemporary manifestation," Leaycraft said. "The spontaneous quality makes it very healthy, highly motivated and gives performers a chance to reach new audiences."


What: Byrdcliffe Festival of the Arts

When: July 13-15; opening reception is at 6 p.m. Friday at the Kleinert-James Center for the Arts, 36 Tinker St., Woodstock

Where: Byrdcliffe Arts Colony, Kleinert-James Center for the Arts, Colony Cafe, Upstate Films Woodstock and other venues

Price: $100 (full festival ticket); $20 (most individual events)

Visit: byrdcliffe.org


Rose said...

Thank-you Nantz, if it wasn't for all the information you provide, I wouldn't know half the things that are happening, especially enjoying the Chained pictures and discussion. I still say the last poster art released is the best depiction for the movie LOL

Nantz said...

You're so welcome, Rose. I was surprised that I only heard about it moments before the actual event. I think if people had more notice they would have considered going up and enjoying a nice weekend. It doesn't really say if Vincent will definitely be there but he is an Advisory Board member and since he has a home there could be a possibility. I've also enjoyed the 'Chained' discussions.

vikeau said...

Nantz didn't you post something last year saying that Vincent is on the Board of the Woodstock Film Festival? If that's the case I would think that its a good possiblity that he'd be there to support other art organizations in the area. And I too have enjoyed the "Chained" discussions.

Nantz said...

I think I did, vikeau, good memory. I also have it in my sidebar but you have to scroll pretty far down, LOL.