More Than Movies: Dietrich Theater gears up for the holidays

More Than Movies - Margie Young

Sometimes a wonderful opportunity comes along that is a win-win for everyone.

WVIA and Box of Light Studio in Bloomsburg are partnering for a Sit Next to Me Film Festival, a diversity project featuring the experiences, challenges and opportunities of any group: those who are bullied or issues of gender, race, age, religion or ability. Rand Whipple, of Box of Light, invited the Dietrich Theater to become involved.

We were interested from the start, but it is the sponsorship of the Northern Tier Partnership for Arts in Education that has made it possible for us to bring Box of Light teachers to the Dietrich for a very special residency: “Digital Arts and More,” a free program.

Ten students have registered for this 10-day residency for 9-14 year-olds, an immersion into the digital arts, and beginning with creating a film for the Sit Next to Me Film Festival. This has been so much fun that one father who drops off and picks up his daughter related that on the ride home she doesn’t stop “babbling” about the fun she is having. We will keep you posted about the resulting film produced by these young filmmakers.

Open Mic night

Open Mic attendees were treated to the magic of the barbershop group Vocal Accord. According to Jess Schaffer, they were so appreciated that the audience did not want them to stop. They kept wanting more. How lucky we are to have such talent in our community.

Halloween Carnival

Our first Halloween Carnival is certain to become a tradition at the Dietrich. Storytelling, a Mad Scientist event, a parade, and fun and games attracted over 150 young children. Our fundraising committee saw the need to have a Halloween event for the younger set and the rest is history. Thank you to the Chapla family and all the volunteers of the Dietrich Fundraising Committee for all you did to make so many little ones happy. And a special thank you to Toni Hockman for sponsoring the event.

John Mitchell presentation

What a pleasure it was to host Robert Hughes for his presentation “John Mitchell: An American Hero.” Hughes not only wrote the one-man play, but he also enacted both parts in it: the interviewer and John Mitchell.

Mitchell’s story is one that needs to be told. He dedicated his life to his mission to make life better for coal miners and their families. Many who attended the presentation had the opportunity to share their personal family stories: what it was like to have a father who was a miner and live by the bells and whistles that told you the beginning and end of the work day and also if a miner had died. One attendee related that her whole family would listen to the radio every day for the Miners Report, followed by the obits.

Everyone at the presentation went away with not only a new respect for John Mitchell and his legacy, but a better understanding of the daily life of a miner’s family.

Upcoming events

These are events we needed to tell you about in case you missed them, but now we need to tell you about events coming up that you can plan to attend and mark your calendars. Looking ahead to Tunkhannock’s Christmas in Our Hometown on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 1 and 2 at 5:30 and 7 p.m. when Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas returns to the Dietrich for all your friends and family. Four free showings, free popcorn at each, thanks to our friends at Ace-Robbins of Tunkhannock and the Jim Henson Legacy Foundation. This classic children’s storybook comes alive with the artistry of Jim Henson and his puppets. No computer animation. Real puppets and real scenery. Seating will be first-come/first-served. We are always able to accommodate everyone.

The Dietrich Theater Holiday Workshop for all ages will be held from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2. An old-fashioned experience complete with cookie decorating, ornament making, singing and creations by our Balloon Lady. Sponsored by Ace-Robbins, the holiday workshop is free. No reservations. Just come.

Much more to tell you about next week, We truly hope to see you soon and often. Remember, we do it all for you.

More Than Movies

Margie Young