As almost anyone can readily attest, good intentions don’t necessarily lead to positive outcomes. This is certainly true in Eric Coble’s scathing and hilarious “Fairfield,” which takes the idea of celebrating diversity to unexpected places.
“There is something useful in people on stage making the mistakes as a way to have the audience identify,” explained Jada Suzanne Dixon. “I’m intrigued by the deliberate provocativeness of the show as a potential mirror to examine ourselves and maybe spark a conversation that needs to happen.”
Directed by Dixon, “Fairfield” is making its regional premiere at Miners Alley Playhouse, 1224 Washington Ave. in Golden, from July 12 through Aug. 18. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays.
The show is about Fairfield Elementary, a public school located in a diverse and liberal district. When a teacher’s attempt to celebrate Black History Month go awry, everything erupts into chaos in the school and community. The show raises questions about what society determines what is appropriate and inappropriate.
This is Dixon’s directorial debut at the theater, and she said the intimacy of the space allows audiences to really immerse themselves in the story being told.
“It generates this feeling of the audience being a part of the action, being a participant, versus, sitting back,” she said. “That is what I am hoping we accomplish. That even when the audience feels uncomfortable, and they will feel uncomfortable, that they lean in even further. That they are able to see themselves or see others in their life as the characters. That they can identify with the moments in the play where the characters crash into the irrational decisions over and over.”
Cast members include Sheryl McCallum, Adeline Mann, Brian Landis Folkins and Sinjin Jones. As they developed the show, Dixon said the cast and crew had some insightful conversations about the show and what the characters are experiencing.
Hopefully, the audiences who see the show will have the same sort of conversations after seeing it.
“I’m hoping they are slightly stunned, horrified, and that their belly hurts from laughing. I hope it sparks important conversation,” Dixon said. “In watching these characters bump into each other, we can identify in our current social and politically charged environment that it isn’t enough to stub our toes and bump into each other and try to avoid the conversation about what just happened
Call 303-935-3044 or visit www.minersalley.com for information and tickets.
Boldly go to the future with Sci-Fi Film Festival
The Denver Film Society and Denver Museum of Nature & Science have once again teamed-up to celebrate some of the classics of the genre in film while giving fans a chance to escape the summer heat. The Sci-Fi Film Festival runs Wednesdays through Aug. 14.
Films that will be screened include “Donnie Darko,” “Get Out,” “Jurassic Park,” “Prospect” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” Some films will be shown at the SIE Film Center, 2510 East Colfax Ave., and others at the museum, 2001 Colorado Blvd.
In addition to the film, there will be introductions and discussions with Vincent Piturro, professor of Film & Media Studies at MSU Denver and scientific experts.
For information on films and tickets, head over to www.denverfilm.org.
A journey to Emerald Isle, via Clement Park
The Irish culture has a vibrant and dynamic presence in the metro area, as evidenced by the fact that the Colorado Irish Festival is commemorating its 25th anniversary this year.
The 2019 festival will be from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, July 12, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, July 13 and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, July 14 at Clement Park, 7306 W. Bowles Ave. in Littleton.
The event will see thousands of visitors over the three days, as it is known for its display of kilts and bagpipes, Irish step dancing and the traditional and contemporary Irish music. There will also be a cultural village featuring everything from literature and demonstrations to Gaelic sports and sheepherding.
Get all the details at www.coloradoirishfestival.com.
Clarke’s Concert of the Week - Norah Jones at Red Rocks
Norah Jones is one of those immensely talented artists that we’ve come to take for granted, especially because she’s always so reliably excellent without being flashy about it. She can work confidently in jazz, country, R&B and pop, or swirl them all together while making it look effortless.
Jones will be taking to the stage at Red Rocks, 18300 W. Alameda Parkway in Morrison, at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 16.
If Jones herself wasn’t a big enough draw, she’ll be joined by R&B and gospel legend Mavis Staples. She’s been a crucial musical voice since she started with her family group in the 1950s and is a national treasure we should all recognize.
Get information and tickets at www.redrocksonline.com.
Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at Clarke.Reader@hotmail.com.
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